our herd

Playing along with My House This Month

If you are familiar with this hashtag on instagram you'll know every month a new photo prompt challenge is set and people share house/design/item photos. If you aren't familiar and you are on instagram - do have a look, its great fun, there is a prize and there are A LOT of gorgeous insta accounts to discover this way too.

I'm turning mine into blog posts too, 

so  the first one was -New Year goals?

That would be these two, we have some fitness levels to achieve this year. I've got to say I am so excited at having these two to ride. Buuuuuuut the current levels of rain, crazy gale force winds and 90,000 tonnes of mud, are making it hard to get a good start. I just keep chanting - spring is coming, spring is coming.  Because it is right? even if its far far far away right now... 


pink and the moon


Its been a long day. We often begin with an idea of errands or jobs we will achieve in the day. And we also always say; there is no rush we are here forever. Buuuuut... once you get started one chore easily leads to another.  After the animals, and errands done first thing, the girls and I headed off to a summer fair in the mountains. A little while there and we came home to find the husband busy setting fire to things burning all the garden rubbish we have accumulated since clearing fifteen years of overgrown gardens. Never one to be comfortable sitting down when others are working, I began to work too. Clearing the hedge clippings, filling the troughs, and finally unable to put it off any longer, creosoting the gates. 

Creosote is not like creosote anymore... dark sticky hideous oily stuff, now its a lot like paint and comes in many many shades. Trying hard not to appear too alternative and townie I did stick to a shade of brown.  Brown is not attractive and as I was painting on what turned out to be a sort of ginger poop colour {exactly a ginger poop colour to be honest} I confess I wish I had picked blue or something.   Ah well... everyone has brown. just trying to fit in... Tho, the local farmers have already written me off as 'not a farmer' and no doubt 'a little bit crazy' so I really should have gone with blue.

It was while painting the poop colour on the gates, and counting down to being able to finally sit down, that I became aware of the goats crying. 
(You might think goats bleat, but I can assure you if in distress they really sound much more like they are crying) Sometimes when they hear our voices they do cry out, pleading for our attention, so I ignored them for a few minutes hoping they would go back to eating and I could carry on painting poop creosote everywhere. 
They didn't, and so I sent Daisy to see what was up. she was about ten paces away from me before she yelled the goats were in trouble. 
Goats do not get in trouble by halves. This was a drop paint brush moment and race up the track to their field.  
Cue one goat the other side of a four foot thick hedge -and therefore also the other side of a stock and barbed wire fence.  The other goat, desperately upset to be parted from both the people and his companion had tried to follow and got stuck in the very prickly hawthorn hedge. 

To cut a long and sweaty story short, both goats are fine, one has at the tiniest cut on his heel  (- how he is not sliced apart from barbed wire and a hedge of thorns I do not know, luck of the goat as usual) But Daisy and I are scratched, cut, stung by nettles, bruised by squeezing into the tiniest prickliest gaps- and an awful lot of fencing wood is now rammed in a gap that isn't really a gap to start with.  An hour of fence patching, hauling great big wooden gates into the hedge to attempt to stop them doing this again, some goat first aid and swearing and I am shattered. The most disheartening part being until the fence is replaced by the fencing man, no patching I ever do will hold a curious goat.  Several acres of field, hazel, banks, trees, shelter, food and water - no thanks we'd rather get hurt attempting to go next door, and eat that identical hedge.   Times like this I rue the day I ever got goats, and Daisy tells them she doesn't like them anymore.  We don't mean it, we love them to bits, but goat drama makes you very weary indeed.  One hot hot shower later and I am a bit less cross. Still picking thorns from my arm and random hedge bits from my hair, but yes, less cross. ;)  I don't think there will ever be a quiet dull day around here...

Capability brown/tarzan

There are three vines on the outside of our home. Two non invasive and one out of hand and trying to grow thro the roof tiles... apparently thats also mostly likely the way mice get in the roof space. Oh lovely. So today, even tho I don't do heights, I was balanced on a step ladder as far as I could reach, cutting down vines to a decent compromise of  'Thats pretty on the house' but not 'Oh you've trashed the roof'  Forty six miles of wisteria later - never in my life did I think 'too much' wisteria would be a bad thing, but you live and learn - and its cut back to the top of the ground floor windows, trailing nicely along, and not covering the roof corner and hanging in all directions. By the way; should you ever need a vine strong enough to hold a middle-aged woman off the floor, then fifteen year old wisteria is your best bet. I was swinging on the damn thing and it would not budge.
Anyhow, the already full skip is now even more full of vine, both wisteria and the Virginia creeper. Every time I cut down large plants or branches I am surprised how strenuous it is. After this and the tree lopping yesterday I feel like I've been in a wrestling match and lost. 
I've so much landscaping - general hacking back of overgrown stuff, lets call it landscaping shall we - to do I am somewhat overwhelmed.  I know I don't have to do it all at once, the husband reminds me of this every day, but I WANT to do it all at once,  - ego verses practicality right? ;)

Before anyone really garden-y tells me so, I do know its a bit early to prune a wisteria. Its also not a good time to lose part of my roof however, so you know...

I keep looking at the slightly sloping back garden lawn. At some point I will have flower beds and some type of design out there.  Unlike the woodland and field landscaping however, this is not calling to me right now. It looks like work, not fun. And dull as it is right now, an L-shaped lawn with happy chickens pottering about on it, it is easy to just cut and keep at the moment. Theres also an evergreen hideous thick evergreen hedge in it that I don't want, but looks ridiculously hard or expensive to remove.... plus the husband thinks its 'not that bad' so it will have to 'disappear' one day when he is not here... ;) 

Super grateful the goats arrived here today, I love those little delinquents very much. Giving them a day to settle in and then I expect them to eat the landscaping issues right back for me. What eats nettles? ( my pet goats don't) Whatever eats nettles needs to come and live with me.