The gift of nature, and seeds.
On St Patricks day I started to plant my seeds and plan my raised beds for this year. I miss my Australian friend so much, it made me smile though to see her hand-writing on the envelopes we shared last year. We had so many plans and a meeting of minds about growing our own stuff, and I am really excited she has plans to grow things where she is too. It is so tropical there, it will be interesting to see what she grows. I hope my seeds have lasted okay as I am using up ones from last year in a lot of cases. At least with starting this early, if I see they aren't coming up I will be able to buy some more.
I haven't taken photos but lots of seedlings are up already on my conservatory windowsill. It is so bitterly cold outside though I will wait a while before planting them out. Pease carrots and potatoes are out though, planted direct. Fingers crossed!
The gift of time.
As I said, the lambing has started. I took two weeks off work to help my husband. The first week was so beautiful, and though we had a bad start to it all, we had fewer casualties as the week progressed. Then this last week the weather has been so poor and our maternity suite has become very busy. We can't let them out to the fields as the lambs will perish, and the blasted sheep all began lambing at once. We had three days where the lambs just kept popping out, twelve one day, fifteen the next, sixteen the day after that. My poor husband was getting so stressed, and we lost some lambs to bad weather and bad luck.
I had many plans for my two weeks off. I would help him, but also begin clearing out the house, and pack some things. Well, that went to the wall. I managed to take three bin-liners to a charity shop, one big box of toys to our childminders, and two bags to a friends. I also cleaned out two cupboards. Not bad really now I write it down, but no boxes are packed with our belongings.
So I gave my time to my husband, and I really enjoyed being with him. I know how much he appreciated it. But for everyone out there reading this, don't for one minute think "awwww, wee lambkins how sweet....what a 'good-life' they are having". It is not romantic, and it is not the good life. It is back-breaking, stooping over the little lamb, feeding it out of a bottle or syringe. We were feeding seven at one stage, four times a day. My face is scorched from the finger numbing wind and rain that battered us as we counted and fed the sheep each day. Most days I smelt really bad, and my water proof leggings did nothing for my look.
'Country living' would not have put me in their feature, unless it was a very far away picture. My husband is just absolutely shattered, and the children have had to get into farming clothes most days, and potter about outside amusing themselves. Most requests are met with,' no I'm too busy'. We both feel guilty that we can't spend any time with them.
The time I gave has been at the expense of myself and the kids. And it was gladly given. He pours hour after hour into the farm, and something has to change. It really does. We both know that this is not what we want from our lives. I do not want to look back and see that we let the farm take so much time from us, with not enough in return. There is a lot to figure out.
Last night we went out with friends, tonight my husband is making a treasure hunt for the kids. I have coq au vin with roasties in the oven. We will savour the feeling of just being inside and having a good weekend. It is a gift in itself.
Finally, I received a gift in the post from a blogging friend, Anne (Frayed at the edge). I was so amazed at her thoughtfulness, and for also being able to get my taste so spot on. Thank-you Anne, I love the old american sheet. I really need my machine fixed so I can get going again. Acts like this and the comments people leave are so lovely, and are truly appreciated. Have a lovely week everyone. I am back to my other work.