The reason that there has not been a blog for a couple of weeks is … !!

Well it has not been the intention to leave it so long between blogs cos lets face it a few weeks ago ………. Kate was off to London town to the People’s Supermarket Supper Club and I was in charge ….. Dawn was pregnant and Pam also and Hentonville was full of chickens and ducks………….. so why no blogging!!!

It is not that I haven’t thought of it and it has not been that lots of dreadful things have happened that we can’t blog about …… dreadful things don’t happen here……. Ok so I didn’t blog about our first ever attempts at injecting a pig…… and how useless we were until we got a grip and remembered all we had learnt on our pig keeping course! But that is not the reason I haven’t blogged it is more a case of so little time…. so tired… and the computer has been rather temperamental.

So here in one long update I will fill you in.

Oh yes the reason I am blogging on a thursday is because… well I should be doing the VAT return…. or registering this years lambs with the Ryeland flockbook society…. but as Kate is in bed… poorly….. coughing, temperature, I have plenty of time to tussle with technology.

So no piglets yet 😦 and either Dawn is pregnant or not. Last evening we were both feeding them on the  evening rounds and either both Pam and Dawn are pregnant and quite close together or we have two very fat pigs with boobs!  The teat formation is what we are looking for now as the teats develop about a week before the off. Kate has written in the diary that she saw Alfred serving Dawn on a certain day in June, which with the 3 months , 3 weeks and 3 days gestation time would mean Monday October 3rd is the day. Of course it may have taken more than one go / serving. Enough of this talk!! So it could be soon or not. My guess is Tuesday 4th October as Kate is off down to Devon on Tuesday to help my Mum with her move on Wednesday up to Droitwich and I am serving the Community in Malvern! Not the Alfred kind of serving…………. leaping to the rescue, saving lives etc 🙂 So anytime Kate is away would be my guess…. but I am sure we will be fine… YIKES!  So still to do in preparation is make up the farrowing pen and move Dawn into it, I hope Kate gets better soon.

Also for the weekend we have our annual tupping time commencing.

So the girls all had a pedicure last weekend in preparation and a few did a little crash dieting to try to loose those extra pounds they have put on over the summer, and Saturday is the day that they will meet Napoleon for the first time.

Napoleon has spent the last few weeks with the lads, trying to look cool yet gazing wistfully at the girls in the other field. He really is a handsome fella, little does he realise that we have plans to dress him up in the raddle harness on Saturday before he meet the ladies for the first time. The raddle harness holds the coloured crayon which will leave a mark on the backs of the ladies he has … I guess the word is .. served! The crayon colour is changed on certain dates so we have an idea when lambing will commence. We need to write it down.

This year we are planning for March lambing next year, as April 2011 was just too hot and there were too many other things needing doing. Hopefully March lambing will be less frantic!

So Winter preparation has begun.

And we welcome Henry into our midst. Henry was built by Jon Snow of Windysmithy. Henry is fabulous and does everything we hoped. Warms us up and stays in overnight. Cooking is also possible but we are learners currently. We had rice and sweetcorn for tea last week as we couldn’t get the fish  cooked in a timely manner. Benson as you can imagine loves Henry too 🙂 However we are not allowing ourselves to light him for a few weeks, until it gets really cold, as it is a waste of wood, and Henry cant half throw out some heat.

We still have pipes to lag and a skirt to put on the caravan! But we will get there….. grass needs sowing too….. jobs … jobs…. jobs!

Kate really enjoyed the Peoples SuperMarket Supper  club, and the feedback on the hog roast was great. Kate met an amazing chef, who seems to have inspired Kate to try some different dishes recently. Brawn being one of them…… it truly was amazing how much meat could be got from a pig’s head…. I agree it is a waste not to use it…..but I have had to confess brawn sandwiches did not help my working day along very well.

This week the weather has just been fabulous, and the mornings quite beautiful. Most mornings I get to let the chickens out at least and the view of the farm just makes it all worthwhile. Some days I get to feed the pigs too…. talking of which… I guess I am in charge in the morning so I had better go to bed now. The getting up in the dark bit is not the greatest fun, but I do like the fact that the chickens are in bed at 7.30pm.

So I hope you feel a little caught up. I will try to blog more regularly, but I do need to have done my jobs… VAT and flockbook stuff first 🙂

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