Saturday 23 April 2016

After School Activities

At 4pm (almost precisely!) each afternoon the school bus leaves Hector at The Old Parsonage.   He scrambles off the bus, takes hold of  Dobson's lead and then they race each other to the kitchen door, ending up in a breathless tangle.

School bag and dog lead are exchanged for a treat for the hens and they both head off for Owl Wood.

The girls wait at the gate; they soon get into a routine when they associate it with a treat.  The large white hen is Suzy, the pretty grey one is Dusty.   Dusty is a dreamer, often lags a long way behind the others, so we always keep some treats back for her.

Queen Mab, Leonie, Frankie and Shaggy are quick to join in the feasting, Dobson watches enviously, but has great respect for chicken-beaks, he knows they won't hesitate to go for him if he gets too close.

Hector quickly reverses his little electric car out of the lean-to garage, at the side of the hen-house, and off he goes driving around the woodland, singing away to himself.

An ebay bargain find, several years ago, that little car has brought so much fun to all the grandchildren.  

A few turns around the woodland and it is time for tea.  

Yesterday, being Friday, was a special tea.  I forgot to photograph it, but I had filled a two-tier cake stand with sandwiches and tiny homemade cakes.   I wondered whether it would be too girly for Hector, but no, he loved it.

Sandwiches, cakes and several glasses of milk were thoroughly enjoyed.   Then he and Grandpa went back into the woodland, one to have fun, the other to clean out the hen-house.

Shortly afterwards Frankie came back from her nursery school and informed me that there was a baby rabbit's head and some bits of mouse out on the patio...

..Coco has been at it again.

Cowslip Cottage is really starting to take shape, we shall be working down there again today.    Your lawns could do with a cut but the rain is falling so I won't be doing that job today.

Saturday 16 April 2016

Busy Times

This has been the busiest of times, and will continue to be so.   Poppy and Miles are returning to England and Cowslip Cottage must be made ready for the beginning of July.   Eeek and double eeeek!  Bare plaster, no skirting boards, electric wiring still being done, doors to be rehung, heating almost completed, the list goes on and on.

I am decorator in chief.   Not my favourite job, but certainly the only one I am qualified to do.  I have decorated many homes over my 62 years.    It may be a cottage but it has large rooms, quirky rooms, I quake at the thought of how many square meters of wall and ceiling I must paint.  I have to paint them all at least four times.  Joy!

So, Parsonage Cottage and gardens are being neglected as Max and I work to get Cowslip Cottage finished in time.  It is so exciting, we are thrilled at the thought of them living there, just a ten minute drive from our more need for Skype conversations!

I fear that the vegetable garden and the polytunnel will not be bringing forth their bounty this year.   We couldn't mind less, though.  We are both so excited and happy to be able to get things ready for Poppy and Miles as they begin this new chapter in their married life.

Meanwhile, in between my decorating jobs, I have been spending a lot of time at home nursing my poorly little granddaughter, Merry.   She spent a couple of days flaked out on the sofa, having to be coaxed to take fluids.  Luckily, a couple of days of rest and care have seen her bounce back with that enviable resilience of youth.

She was so well yesterday that I decided to let her do some baking.

Jam tarts, of course.   All made with love for Mummy, Daddy and Hector.    Like most children she loves to get her hands stuck into mixing and then rolling pastry, carefully measuring out the jam and baking.  She also enjoys eating the results of her labours.

We also managed to take Miss Pinkerton and Dobson to the vet, to have their annual booster and health check.   Silly Dobson had to be muzzled after he almost bit off the vet's stethoscope... oh the shame!     They have tried so many ways to make the experience a good one, but each time Dobson ends up almost eating someone.   He no longer has to go and wait inside, they come out to the car park and vaccinate him as they pass by...!

Crazy, but it works.    Just as well he enjoys good health.

Max took Miss Pinkerton in for her check up - she was so relaxed that she was almost asleep.