This summer has been memorable, not least for our wonderful team of helpers. Will, Pepe, Jorge and Andy (plus Carles soon) all are amazing. Each of them has brought something interesting and a new perspective on life, which, when you are tied to the land as we are, brings the world to us. When each one of them left, I cried, the children rolled their eyes and said “Oh mum, not again!” It was like having another son each time…. who was polite. (Please take note biological offspring).
We have a lovely new horse called Charlie who has arrived at the yard. It took him just one day to associate me with ‘food’. Every horse that I help out with associates me with food so, as soon as they see me they see me I get ‘the stare’ and am made to feel guilty if I have nothing for them. Food provider is my main role with livestock, horses, family, friends and if you count the cream tea, holiday guests. I feel as if my whole life is spent shovelling food at animals or people.
Here we are in October, pumpkins at the ready, harvest in and crops planted ready for 2017, harvest festival behind us. I love the rhythms of the farming year; there are never ever two days the same in my job. Even if the tasks are broadly similar, the weather rarely is. At least now harvest is finished Mike will stop his verbal abuse of weather forecasters and respite from OCD checking several weather sites throughout the day using every available bit of technology, only to have him declare “Might as ***** well have relied on a ****** pine cone or bit of **** seaweed” (any additional words have been omitted to spare those of a delicate nature).
Thanks to Stuart and Johnny our little old vintage tractor made it once more to the Speech House Vintage Show. I took Jorge our Spanish workaway to show him a typical English tradition (well….in its fourth year in this case). We also went to the Dean Heritage Centre which was excellent, well worth a visit; I loved the wooden carved Gruffalo.
We went to the wonderful wedding of Hannah and Rob. Hannah was at the yard several years ago, it’s so nice to keep in contact with our old livery clients. We were honoured to be invited and had a great time.
Andy from Alabama, USA has taken some great photographs. Many of these are his, so thank you Andy. We also have a lot of our winter wood sawed up, at last I feel that I have made some progress.
The progress on the laminate floor at the holiday cottage is another story. When I purchased some beautiful Chestnut boards I was assured if I didn’t have enough they would be easy to get from B&Q (and other retailers)….alas only if ordered ahead! I was a tiny bit short (my disastrous measuring again). If there is such a thing as ‘incurable measuring dyslexia’ I have it. It WILL look great when it is finished. Meanwhile the guests have seen the funny side of the carpet being back on top.
We are virtually solidly booked in the cottage and hardly have a day spare to do repairs/maintenance. I am not complaining and need those bookings. The Forest of Dean it seems is becoming a real destination. When we go out for the day with our workaways I see the Forest as a tourist. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. As I write this I can hear Andy, who has such a wonderful and committed faith, saying “amen to that”.