Tuesday morning Pitch and Stitch - 10.00am to 1.00pm

Tuesday morning Pitch and Stitch - 10.00am to 1.00pm
This hanging from Annie Downs' Hatched and Patched book should be in every caravan as a cushion or decoration!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Signs of Change

Another beautiful, sunny, frosty morning and there are signs of change around the farm.

First there was the appearance of a single post in the middle of the sheep field.  A neighbour asked Jonathan what it meant and Jonathan said it was to tie the mower to so they could leave it to mow the field.

The more likely explanation is that there are a few changes coming - one involving making the caravan site a bit bigger, which may please our caravanners when they start coming again in March!

Next, the grey goose has started laying an egg every other day

unfortunately she has made her nest in the middle of the hedge, so although she hides her eggs well, they are in danger and she certainly will be when she starts sitting, so I have to figure out how to protect her and them.

Lastly the chickens are enjoying the longer days and have started laying.  And Mr Rooster is keeping his beedy eye on everything

He looks really handsome in the sunshine!

Friday, 19 February 2016

A Quick Little Trip to Devon

My sister moved to Fremington in Devon back in October, and as it was high time I visited I decided I could take a couple of days away from the farm this half term.  I took the train from Newbury to Exeter, then Exeter to Barnstaple.

I love going on the train.  I looked out the window the whole way there and back - in the towns I look at the houses and wonder about the people's lives; how different, or not, their lives are from mine.  I look at the farms, and think how I must start tidying up more outside

On the way to Taunton I was shocked at the flooded fields.  This may look like a lake at first glance
but as we whizzed by you could see the hedges and trees poking up out of the water

 (I know, you can see my little camera reflected in the window, but I don't think it detracts from the floods).

The next leg of the journey was quite different - all through the little Devon hills

I think I'd like to be a ticket collector on a train.

Once at my sister's house the sunset from the kitchen window promised a lovely day on Thursday.

However, it turned out to be a cold and wet day but we went for some lovely walks.  We did part of the Tarka Trail along the estuary

and then down to the Quay for lunch in the charming café and Heritage site.

It's hard to believe but 30 years ago this was a thriving, industrial Quayside with railways delivering goods for import and export.  They said when the boys dived into the water from the bridge they came up black from all the coal dust, and during harvest the farmers in the field came back covered in black dust rather than yellow corn dust.  Now it's simply a wide open estuary with a big sky:
In the afternoon we visited Rosemoor RHS Garden and I got lots of ideas for landscaping our garden:

Well, apparently this place used to be a Dairy Farm!

Then I needed to visit the sea so we drove up to Westward Ho!  - Under a very dark and glowering sky we looked out to Lundy (where, as we all know, what happens on Lundy, stays on Lundy)

and looked up and down the beach and agreed that it was freezing

What a great time we had.  And then I had a poke around Carolyn's workroom and took snaps of her micro-macrame in progress

and her dolls which I so coveted when I was little but wasn't allowed to touch

Finally, this morning, I caught the train back home.  I settled into my seat, and as I was getting out my croissant to munch, happened to glance at the lady sitting next to me.  I decided I wasn't quite as hungry as I thought I was when she popped out her teeth and gave them a good clean!  Reminded me of the lunch queue at school when we all took out our braces but, still, not really something to do in public!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Valentine calf

Calving is always supposed to start on St Valentine's Day and although we've had a couple of surprises already, this morning we were pleased to see a little Valentine had been born overnight:

She's already had some milk and Mum is keeping a good eye on her. 

I also think this little calf which was born the other day is absolutely adorable - he looks like milk has been spilt on his head!

And, of course because it's Valentine's Day we had some surprises at home.  I know people think it's fake and silly and a waste of money and just making Hallmark richer - but I actually love the bit of colour and fun that Valentine's Day gifts bring to what has been a very grey, dank and cold February.  For years I have given my husband and children little gifts and cards, even though Jonathan always moaned.  Well, in recent years he's come round to my way of thinking and actually I think he even enjoys it!

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Stirring News

We had an excellent day with Lynne yesterday - and I have managed to pull out of my slump!  I think I've had some sort of virus and hit rock bottom on Tuesday evening when I sat and watched television and didn't have anything on my lap - no knitting, no sewing, nothing!

But in yesterday's workshop I got out my Medallion and started working on that again - and we're off!

Yesterday evening I watched Midsommer Murders and after sewing a bit more of my Medallion I picked up my knitted blanket and started crocheting around the edge.  Lovely to have my mojo back!

When we came in for lunch, as always, I shut the dogs in the utility room.  Reuben likes to lie in his cage, but Millie, on the other hand

prefers to make a nest in all the coats

above her cage!

Over lunch we were discussing the habits of various members of our respective households, and how annoying they can be.  I pointed out all the spilt tea and coffee on the side, and was asked how it happens all the time.

Well, this morning I had my camera at the ready and was able to snap the culprit in action - so here's how it's done:
Firstly, overfill the cup:

Secondly, start stirring

and a little more vigorously

and there you are, job done

Friday, 5 February 2016

Mosying on

Jane asked if Millie has been behaving - well, in a way she has.  I take her and Reuben down to the barn most days and they have great fun running up and down and in and out of the straw bales.  When they get home they are pretty tired out and Reuben lets Millie have a sit down:

Response to the new schedule has been very good - I think Sandra and I are particularly looking forward to the skirt workshops with Robyn Fittall - I have done hardly any dressmaking so always look forward to the challenge of making something I can wear!  Robyn is going to send me a photo of the example she is making as soon as it's ready.

We are pleased we have some new stitchers coming on the new Wednesday workshops for Lynne Johnson's quilts and look forward to seeing their versions of her Baltimore

and Medallion quilts

....there are still some spaces available.....

Whilst I haven't been very productive, our chickens have decided to start laying again but the egg sizes aren't particularly regular

Those two at the back were about 4" long....ouch