The kitchen was full of men again today. The happy farmer was busy with a man from the RSPB, discussing his birds, not the blonde ones that turn up in open top sport’s cars at the pottery, no the feathered variety that frequent our fields during the summer months.
It all began a few years back; one summer’s evening, when we heard the distinct croaking of a corncrake coming from the fields. We all got really excited as it was the first time the happy farmer had heard the corncrake on the farm since his childhood. Now every summer the corncrake returns, with that distinctive call, as it cries out, looking to attract a mate. It cleverly echoes its voice off stones and rocks to disguise its actual hiding place. Corncrakes like areas thick with nettles; they provide early cover before the crops grow. So we have fenced areas to keep the sheep out and allow the grass and nettles to grow especially for corncrakes. The happy farmer is also considering cutting the crops of silage and hay after 15th August which would provide continued shelter for the birds during the summer months.
I disappeared off to get petrol and slug pellets, my vegetable patch cannot survive without them I am afraid. We have loads of slugs here, and I have tried sinking pots of beer into the ground, but still they demolished my plants, so I gave up on the eco friendly methods a few years back, unless anyone has any different tried and tested methods that discourage the ‘naughty sluggies from eating all the vegeboles in mummy’s garden’ as my youngest used to say?
Of course as I am stood at the petrol pump the heavens decide to open and I get absolutely drenched. I am a total novice when it comes to petrol pumps, I am not sure whether it is just petrol pumps in general or whether we have a particularly awkward one, but there seems to be a knack to getting just the right amount of pressure on the handle to get the petrol flowing. Needless to say I haven’t mastered that knack yet, in fact at one point I was busy admiring the garden flowers and plants for sale on the benches, listening to the hum of the petrol pump, happily getting soaked, when I looked at the meter and realised that actually none of the dials were moving, I wasn’t applying enough pressure and so it had all come to a halt, felt a complete twit, but did eventually manage to fill the tank, just as it stopped raining!
I spent the rest of the morning getting all of the plants I have grown from seed planted in the vegetable plot, I decided a wet morning would help them get established and save me watering them. I then raced up the hill with the dogs. I had just got back, peeled off my wet socks in order to wash my muddy grit covered feet when there was a knock at the door. I won’t even begin to worry about what they must have thought when I answered the door, bare grubby feet and wet running clothes. People always time their arrivals to perfection and of course the happy farmer had disappeared, leaving his mobile phone on the table as I discovered when I tried to contact him to let him know the structural engineer was here to discuss building warrants and so on and do a survey for the next part of his renovations. Anyway, bare feet or not I ushered him in for a cup of tea, hurriedly slipping on the happy farmer’s ever so big boots to go out to the ‘well’ to fill the kettle with spring water. I think the poor man must have heaved a huge sigh of relief when the farmer returned. I made a hasty exit.
There is big excitement on the horse front too. One of our contacts on the mainland looking out for a horse for eldest daughter has located what looks to be the perfect one for her, or so she tried to convince me as I watched a video of the horse show jumping and doing cross country, my heart in my mouth, trying not to pass on my fear as her eyes were lighting up at the very prospect of a horse that doesn’t need any coaxing to do a perfect jump.The happy farmer is flying away with her to meet this beautiful creature, it only costs the price of a small car….eek.
Until next time…