With Miss F working in Toulouse today she can't be here to be the Christmas fairy that she does such a good job off. Decorating the tree, putting decorations around the place, decorating the cake, making the chocolate log, shopper and chief cleaner are a few of her jobs (not to mention wrapping farmer J's presents up for him) so it was up to master C, taking the role of master elf to step in her boots (or fairy shoes).
So he put the tree up and decorated it with a few helpful hints along the way, took me shopping for last minute forgotten bits (although he was suppose to be helping with the shopping a phone call got in the way), the wrapping of presents for farmer J was left to him, the little elf needs a bit of guidance in this department which meant i would be wrapping my own presents up). However he did come into his own as sous chef and master baker. I decorated the cake this year, a snow storm effect in the kitchen left a snow scene on the cake.
Today was the last day for us delivery our Christmas pork and beef, last stop was Saint Antonin market where we swapped a box of beef for a turkey, a free range turkey that has been foraging on grapes at a winery while it has been growing, we also got a couple of bottles of wine as well in the exchange which are now in the fridge.
So now its time to take a breather, with big jobs now done we can start to enjoy the lead up to the festive period (cows and chickens still need to be cleaned out tomorrow and four enclosures of pigs moved) but things can slow down a little (the moving of pigs will be very slow i fear). Master C returned home this afternoon, just in time for beans on toast and hunt the Christmas tree.
You see Farmer J, still in humbug mood (he will chill out very soon) was not prepared to pay for a tree this year so a trip over the woods was on the cards this afternoon (a treat for Connor, he doesn't know about the other jobs lined up for him!) Last time we found a tre…
Sadly Mabel didn't come into the barn last night, she had begun the same pattern as Maude waddeling off else where than the barn she should of been in with the other ducks and chickens, a safe barn where preditors cant get in. I had a few times caught her about to head out of Gorgons field and was able to usher her into the barn but not last night. She had already bedded down by the time the pigs were finished. There are so many places she could of hidden of which I couldnt find.
So this morning she was not in Gorgons filed waiting to be fed as I walked up to the other pigs to feed. On the way back from pig feeding along the road by the barn the tale tale signs of black and white feathers could be seen, her opertunist attacker must of been around before we were. It's so annoying that she would'nt behave like the others taking themselves to bed in safety. I think she thought she was above the other ducks and chickens, not really mixing with them.
"Sorry can't mop the floor, it's being used for cleaning a cows udder at the moment"
With 16 damp paws coming in and out on a very regular bases the head of a mop doesn't last very long here with daily floor washing. So the other week after the mop handle broke after constant use farmer J and I had a little discussion while waiting at the supermarket checkout where I had placed the usual mop type in the trolley, resulting in a "I'm not buying it there rubbish" from farmer J and a "we need a new mop" from me. We ended up leaving without a mop and me sulking as I was not going to get on my hands and knees scrubbing! After 30 minutes of sulking farmer J gave in, we ended up at Mr Bricolage, a DIY shop just before lunchtime closing to seek out a new mop, however only one was on the sale with a 38 Euro price tag, yes 38 probably the most expensive mop around? But it does have a leaver that squeezes out the water.
Today has been the first day where when outside for a while feeding animals you think "oh its a bit chilly today" still not wearing a coat* cold hands and other extremities were felt this morning. It was a dampish, fogyish kind of day, a day for moving pigs.
The five pigs in questions time is up, time to come down from the hill to the bottom enclosure where one by one they will leave this life for cuts of pork with crispy crackling, sausages and bacon. It always takes a little time to move a pig from their enclosure, trained to stay in electric fencing the pigs find it very difficult to go past the line where the gate once was. Being intelligent animals once zapped by the fence they learn to stay away from it (most of the time) so trying to get them to walk through the space that once had electricity running through it can take a little time.
Patiences and a lot of bread, once one goes its not long before others follow but then there is always the last one who just will not…
Franklin is now much better, with his wounds healing nicely. Being able to put weight on his paw means he has been caught a few times this week sniffing out anything that may of been left on the work surfaces.
Maude didn't come back, fearing the worst I think Mr Fox has been around so Mabel is now own her own wondering around. Caught on camera resting with our old duck I'm hoping they will pair up and be friends.
I managed to get in the veggie patch which has major weeding issues, the weather has been dry and mild still so Jerusalem artichokes were dug up. It has been windy here on two fronts this week the weather one with incedible winds and the digestion type with so many fartichokes being eaten. I'm hoping I got them all but cant be confident that next year there will be more. Gorgons happy, he loves artichokes and I found a recipe from Mark Diacono book a Year at Otter farm which had artichokes as a magic ingredient, along with brandy soaked sultanas it was really ta…
Since their arrival here to replace our old mullards mate, a male mallard Maude (grey) and Mabel (black and white) haven't mixed as I would of liked. Maybe foie gras ducks they think they are a cut above the rest. The rabble of 4 khaki Campbell's and 3 Peking's maybe too much for them as these seven are continuously busy waddling round the farm making a noise and investigating everything.
They spend their days sitting up on the wall outside the barn overseeing what is going on, occasionally they will fly over the field kind of crash landing and making an appearance when farmer J is milling cereal as do all chickens and ducks but most of the time they spend in a pair.
All chickens and ducks find their own way of an evening back to the barn for a night of safety. Last night was no different, or so I thought. It was dark when I closed their door and didn't see that Maude had no come back in until this morning when she wasn't there. Ive searched but cant see her, onl…