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The past week

 The cows were looking forward to being let into the middle field over the festive period (farmer J was looking forwards to a break form the morning and evening routine of feeding too). Unfortunately rain put a stop to that as their big feet wreck the fields when there sodden with water. Up until this week it has been dry - still incedibly mild for nearly the end of the year. Cow days are spent waiting for breakfast and tea of hay.

 A Christmas meal has been eaten, the kale and swizz chard have been striped. No foot prints could be seen so this time it wasn't Gorgon and his buddies as whoever was the culprit left the parsnips alone. (Gorgon would of not left the parsnips!!)

Christmas was celebrated with the four of us, pasties eaten Christmas eve in front of the TV. The usual family time of playing cards, DVDs, listening to music and vegging out was needed after a busy week before. Connor's girlfriend came to stay Boxing day, a normal day here in France with the main celebrating done on Christmas eve and Christmas day.

Food and drink was consumed - very conservatively this year, we didn't go mad buying so much food that lingers for ever. A lunch of traditional roast turkey and trimmings, cold turkey boxing day, turkey sandwiches and turkey pie were a bit turkeyed out now, left over turkey is now in the freezer with the carcase waiting to be dealt with tomorrow.

The black sow went off on Thursday for a few day of passion with Champion the boar.

Freya and Connor helped out making light work of feeding the animals. They left to go back to Toulouse this afternoon for New Years Eve celebrations to return on the 1st ready to celebrate Farmer J's birthday on the 2nd.


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Demounting a hanger

Farmer J has brought a second hand hanger. It's an extension to be added on to the farms hanger which  up to last year housed the cows in 2/3rds and hay in the other 1/3. As we now have more cattle and calves the hay space is being converted to house the cattle giving them full access to it.
Only thing is the extension has to be dismantled (and erected when planning permission is granted).

He managed to take down the road crash barriers on the side of it but need my gophering skills today to start taking off the roof. Cold, foggy and damp it was a bit chilly standing around however we did have a visitor, a old lady hunt dog. Once fed and watered (doesn't everyone carry dog food in their car or is it just me?) she found a draught free spot between the hay bales to have a sleep before being called back to her hunter once hunting had finished.

So a 1/3 of the roof is down with the rest to be completed on Monday ready for the metal structure to follow.

Laguepie chestnut fair

Yesturday was he annual chestnut fair at Laguepie, a small village in the Tarn et Garonne. The sun shone which made for an enjoyable time amberling round the market stalls, drinking coffee and eating hot chestnuts. Traditional dances and muscicians put on a display. In previous years there has been a mushroom display showing edible, toxic and fatal fungi in appropriate coloured boxes of green , red and black (leathel ones). I imagine no mushrooms could be found as it has been dry here for a while.

The many varieties of apples grown locally along with walnuts and chestnuts were laid out on tressel tables, so many different types of apples were displayed. As well as chestnuts for sale there was apple juice being made, which at this time of year many villages and organisations invite you to take your non treated apples along to have them pressed into juice for a small fee. We didn't stay for the set menu lunch, each course is chestnut based so you really have to love your chestnuts.