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Showing posts from February, 2014

Wrapping a cowl round your neck, a cow? No a cowl

A small spinning project using the Ashford silk merino sliver  in cinnamon, colours of warm earth tones which I received from a secret Santa we had at the spinning and weaving group I belong to.

 A easy pattern to follow (could even watch tellie at the same time) from Botanical knits book by Alana Dakos. It is lovely and soft but my photos didn't make it look great, a model was needed he may of found his use on the farm, not sure how a jumper may look on him though.

This week

It was a glorious Sunday today, being a bit farm bound in the winter we took a drive to Saint Antonin this morning for coffee and a mooch round the market. Being a nice day tables were full outside of everyone enjoying a bit of sun. We managed to see quiet a few friends who remarked on us 'being off the farm', yes we do sometimes get out albiet usually to Villefranche for important erands!

 Not everyday has been lovely, rain has put a stop to outside must dos for a fair chunk of the week.

 However Farmer J did start on post cutting in the woods until his chainsaw gave up the ghost and is now in the maison de la tronconneuse (house of chainsaws). While i started battle with the brambles that have grown so well since the autumn around the gites. We have our first guests arriving next Saturday so trying desperately to get tidy.

 We started to uncover the old well opposite the house - a bit of a mammoth job, more to follow when it is finished.
 And we gave the wall between the h…

Snap shot

A moment from the week at La Singlarie

La Singlarie 2012 vintage elderberry

Oh for a morsel of grain

Our old boy must be at the age of being a grumpy old cockerel. Usually he can be found hanging out around the hanger or in the field with a few of his old birds (we now only have four left) but when your left on your own you have to find something to amuse yourself with.

A pick up of cereal for the animals always means a few grains falling here and there, normally the chickens can be found scratching around near the stored grain with the cockerels calling to them when a tasty treat is found, letting the hens have first refusal. Once a week on milling day farmer J is  their best mate with falling grains being gobbled up but when a delivery just comes in and no other bird is around you just have to take advantage and jump up on the trailer to help yourself, even when a tractor pulls up and takes a big bag away over your head. Carry on and eat, eat when the trailer is moved for you never know when your last feed may be.

No cockerels were harmed in the photo shoot, no escalope of poulet …

Snap shot

A moment from the week at La Singlarie

Pedicure time

In the post

Today in the post we received a DVD of the film we had a shot in back in the beginning of September last year. It's a documentary to commemorate the 1st World war. which throughout the four years of battle ten Averyonnaise families each day received the news of  relatives death in the trenches. That is a lot of lives lost.

 One family lived at La Singlarie, which is why we have a quick shot in it (not that i have watched it yet) and we have an invitation to the premiere! Sadly we will not be attending as its in Rodez and right in the middle of animal feeding time - not sure I could face a large screen of myself, bad enough looking in the mirror each morning. Our invite has gone to Alex down the road who will no doubt go along on our behalf, only hope he will wash and brush up and wear his finest attire for the event.

hopefully my french will be good enough to understand the commentary enough to give a small review soon.


Mona, our eldest cow started limping last week. Thinking she had foot rot back as it is so wet on the ground at the moment she was treated. When it came to Saturday and her limping and swelling hadn't gone down it was time to call in the farrier.

He came on Monday with his portable crush on a trailer( I was at my spinning meeting so could not record how the event went). She has had a pedicure where when he cut the hoof back he found a  piece of metal which she had trodden on and over time the skin had grown over. Trimming the hoof and removing the abscess once cleaned the foot was  bandaged to hold a piece of wood which has been stuck on with resin to heightened the half of her hoof that's OK and relieving the cut half, this will come off in time when the bandage is removed on Friday.

She is now putting weight on the back foot so hopefully it will of healed and cause her no more pain. The only problem is she has to stay in the hanger till then, which has meant lots of barrier…

This week

It all got a bit too muddy for the seven pigs up the top of the hill (and for farmer J who was feeding them) so a move to empty enclosures was welcomed. The pigs moved in record time over electric fencing so I think they were as fed  up with the mud as much as we are. It's so much easier to fed when your boots don't get stuck.

The piglets are growing, they have not yet ventured out into the enclosure still. Think they may be pigs that don't do mud. They have been introduced to cereal which they are beginning to get a taste for, mums been trying to fit in under the fence to get to their food as yet she hasn't managed, settling for a bit of hay to distract her.

The nine laying hens from last year have been moved to join the old hens, two cockerels, gorgon and the two girls as well as the sheep. Shutting them in for a day (Gorgon was not pleased at being shut out for the day) I thought come the next morning they may return to the barn the following evening. Six were miss…

Snap shot

A moment  at La Singlarie  this week

Squatters in the sheep's shelter

In need of Padington Bear

The past week has been a mammoth marmalade making one. Here in rural south west France the Seville orange is tricky to track down, I have only found them in the organic shop, so when in town last we put our order in. When asked how many I should of calculated better, I should of noted down how many kilos I used last year, for that was not enough to last through to this. Farmer J likes his marmalade and it goes really well made into an ice cream with chocolate torte, a staple dessert dish on the gites menu and for breakfast should it be required.

So as I stood in Bio coop, trying to think how many kilos I needed 5 came to mind, no that might not be enough, 7, yes seven kilos please. Seven kilos of Seville oranges, not the prettiest of oranges and not edible when raw, once cut they do not have that bright orange inside and with quiet a few pips and pith which need to be kept essential for a good set is a lot of oranges. A lot of preparation, done in batches from good old Delia Smiths r…


Eight years ago today Franklin came into our family, a rescue dog from the SPA in Rodez we drove to see if they had a dog to re home. He had been there a month after being left tied to a bin in the town centre, chosen because he didn't bark, he came to us to say hello and was completely different from the dog we had lost days before Christmas.

120 Euros he cost, a young boy still a pup, very thin but with a look of take me home please. A collar put round his neck, forms completed, cheque handed over and a kiss from the manager and he was ours. Five minutes down the road in the car he threw up.

Five minutes in the house and he had weed up the settee and collected an assortment of treasures including socks, toilet roll inner tubes, tissues and soft toys all placed in a pile under the table and garded. He ate at an amazing speed, fearing he would loose it to our other dogs. Then he started to bark, he has a fine bark on him. He barks for his tea, when a visitor arrives, the heat la…

Snap shot

A moment from the week at La Singlarie