Tuesday 28 August 2012

Strength to Strength

Another of my 'catch-up' posts which rambles around a few subjects never really knowing where it is going to alight next. The kindergarten go from strength to strength as well as increasing in size so that the pups are starting to look like young dogs rather than  puppies. They also discover the delights of rolling in 'muck' and are continuously exploring new bits of garden, so return covered, for example, with goose-grass seeds from the woods. Both can now happily sprint upstairs and get down again safely, un-aided. The kittens look more like young cats now and they too are expanding their boundaries. They find they can climb quite high into the spruce trees. The bark is nicely rough and grippy and the branches wide and horizontal for a goodly length away from the trunk. The picture shows the pair (in red circle). You can imagine Mum was getting a bit anxious! The four-man pic is a try at getting all 4 faces into one shot, with Aoife (Rhymes with Deefer) the Vet, grappling 2 puppies as a favour after she'd injected all 4 animals with their first or 2nd shots.

A ridiculous amount of rain falls over Sunday night; it keeps us awake with its 'roar' on the roof and its hammering against the windows. It falls onto already very wet ground and Dad is horrified to find that his drainage moats round 4 of the 7 new fruit trees are brim-full with water, the poor trees sitting glumly in a mini lake. Dad quickly digs slit trenches out from each moat downhill to allow the moats to drain. This is a worry.

On the Monday is Mum's birthday. She has a lovely quiet 'private' kind of a one in which Dad gets to do all the fussing around, shopping and cooking and Mum gets a good rest. Dad has managed to find a white Hydrangea which Mum has been after for a while, plus a couple of other bits. She is particularly delighted with these pink 'Hunter' wellies sent by Diamond and wears them all of Tuesday and threatens to wear them to bed too. We think they are really cool!

With most of the garden now pretty much under control (at least scythed and mowed) Mum and Dad  turn their attention to the possibility of doing a pond in the bit formerly known as "The bit we don't talk about". Already known to be a bit boggy (hence the not talking about it- it was a mess of rushes) and in a slight saucer collecting the run off from the car port this area will be the same 'geology' as the rest, ie a foot or so of top soil lying over good old yellow Roscommon clay with rocks in it. There is space here, unlike in Faversham to create a tidy sized pond - maybe upwards of 20' by 10' (all be it they will have to dig it by hand!). We hope that the clay will allow us to make it waterproof by puddling the bottom and smearing the puddle stuff up the sides to ground level, across the topsoil to stop the sides leaking. Mum and Dad tentatively mark out a likely position, size and shape using a long electrical flex and then white emulsion paint on the grass. Today they had a bit of a poke about at one edge with the pointy shovel to try to establish the depth of topsoil and to confirm that the clay might be 'puddle-able' and could be made waterproof. There has even been chat on the internet poultry website about a few ducks, possibly even the multi-coloured 'Mandarin' ducks, but don't hold your breath for those just yet.

Finally, today, the talk of breeding rabbits has to include the construction of some private 'nursery' hutches in which the lady rabbits can spend their 'confinement' while they 'kindle' (produce their 'kittens'). Dad decides to do this in the calf house using the existing structure of the mangers which you may recall from when we first had chickens and they used to roost there. He does this using left over tongue-and-groove board from the hot press door project, waste span planks from Sparks's attic conversion and spare plywood left from building the log store. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. Organic, Sustainable Anne and Simon would be proud of us!

The Deefs

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