Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What have I done! I went to a meeting in the village last week about heavy goods vehicles using the road through the village as a rat run. The local MP was there and the district councillor........after listening to the problems that comprise of another road down from the hills banning heavy lorries due to subsidence I mentioned that the water main outside our house has fractured 6 times since Christmas and we have noticable cracks in the road...............Well the result is the BBC are coming tomorrow to put it on their breakfast show!!!! Yikes!! They are going to film me, the house, the road, and the deputy chair of the Parish Council.......and all whilst trying to get 2 dogs walked and 2 children to school!
I will let you know how it goes!
We have our first wwoofer of the year arriving tomorrow and I have loads of work for her to do in the veg plot. I am also planning some major earthworks to terrace what is our steeply sloping lawn into a veg garden. The weather however is totally against all my plans......it just will not stop raining! Whoever said global warming wasn't happening! I am praying for some dry weather as the sheep start lambing any day and its like paddyfields down in the village where I have 23 in lamb ewes in a 12 acre field with a barn.
I have been dyeing loads of wool today and its come out lovely shades of green and blue, I will add it to my pile of new colours when its dry.................at least it takes my mind off the weather and the BBC!
Fibrefest 2007 in the Blackdowns is going to be launched next week the website will go live very soon...........its going to be amazing so come to the Blackdown hills for a few days in September i can promise you will not regret it!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I can't believe its nearly a month since my last post! I must get more organised and post more often!
I ended my last post telling you that I would report on my permaculture course.............well what can I say.........a fantastic few weeks were had at Monkton Wyld Court Picture is of all of us permaculture people at Monkton Wylde............I am hiding at the back!

Thirteen of us from diverse places including France spent 2 weeks completing our permaculture design course, this enables us to have the skills to design not only our gardens, allotments and farms in a way that reflects the permaculture principles but also our lives in general. I found the whole process fascinating and the fact that we already tend to organise our holding and our lives around these principles but could still learn a whole lot more was very rewarding. I did find some of the sessions a bit difficult as occaisionally the theories being put forward didn't actually work in practise as I well knew having tried and tested them in the past at home............but that didn't detract from the rest of the course. The people attending were wonderful and one participant Phil from 'up north' is giving up some of his time off to help rebuild the wall that Mohammed took down in November.....................if anyone else wants to come and help on the wall as a wwoofer please register with WWOOF and come down too!
I am now the wwoof host organiser for the southwest so if you are reading this and want to know more about being a wwoof host let me know!
Kerry who was on the course is moving to Galicia in Spain to set up a permaculture based holding, her progress can be checked out at her blog

I have been incredibly busy catching up since the course finished. My sheep are due to lamb from the end of next week and its so wet and soggy underfoot that they are struggling sometimes despite there being 23 of them in a 12 acre field. They have a dry shed to go into if they want and two long hay feeders full of haylage, so all in all are ok............I just wish it would stop raining!
I rescued 6 sheep last week from a very nice lady who was very distressed because she had been left with 14 sheep after domestic problems. I took one ewe who had the biggest abcess on her foot I have ever seen and she is having antibiotic injections every day and dressings changed every 2 days. She is a right state but I think she will pull through as she also has a lamb which gives her the will to live...............this poor lady didn't know a thing about sheep and the foot problem was caused by untreated footrot!
My daughter Rosanna and I spent an eventful sailing from Plymouth to Roscoff to check on my little house and take delivery of a cupboard. I have never been on such a rough crossing........it was actually quite exciting, reminded me of old war films!.............on the way back we sailed late and as we were travelling overnight we started with a good nights sleep, rudely interupted by the rough sea at 2 am when I almost fell out of bed!
Still, I love going to France and the sea is usually quite calm...............now due to lambing I will not be able to return until May.
I will be converting quite a lot of our lawn to veg beds and hopefully installing an outdoor wood fired hot tub made from clay and an old bath this spring/summer and will try and post some decent photos as I go!