Thursday, June 28, 2007

And introducing our new Kune Kune pigs! Kermit the little orange boar and the older and much bigger Miss Piggy! The little chap is 9 weeks old and his potential wife is 13 weeks old. They are so friendly and love to be scratched!
They will hopefully one day have lots of piglets, some for sale to other people who want smallish pigs and some to make sausages.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thought you might like to see what a participant on the knitted felt course made with some of my wool dyed with madder! It was made by Vanessa who just happens to be the owner of ROOTS the most fantastic deli/shop/cafe in Taunton, Somerset which is our nearest town.
I have decided to sell all of my sheep that are not either Dorset Down or Ouessant and concentrate on these 2 breeds so if anyone wants to buy some sheep I have a few for sale!

Rain...........I have had enough! This evening a year after the last flood and 3 months after the new plaster had dried and the new carpet was laid disaster struck!
Torrential rain caused the road drains to fill to bursting and then unable to cope the water came down our lane at an angle and straight under our front door in a spectacular fashion and a torrent sped across the hall and down into the study!!!

We ran for sand bags, and anything else we could get our hands on and stemmed the fast flow............we now have the carpet up, the underlay in the yard and the house full of fans and dehumidifiers courtesy of the insurance company!

NOTE added Sept 07

The local highways authority has admitted the fault was their drains!!
They have now completed major works on the road and the culverts and even put in a little 'hump' along the lane as a token of their kindness.....this was after the legal team at the insurance company helped me to write them a letter stating they had better DO SOMETHING!.........A house 900ft up a hill should not have to suffer from incompetant councils and now we will never flood ever again...........and assurances to anyone who might be tempted to buy our house..........It is now safe from water!!! YAY!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Learn to felt wool!! I have just put 3 amazing courses on the website
They will take place in the fabulous setting of West Hatch in the tiniest village hall ever seen! First will be Felting for beginners, making items such as mobile phone cases as shown in the picture. Second on will be 'needle felt' making animals such as this sheep and pig and the third will be cobweb scarves which are just amazing! Book on all 3 and get a 10% discount!

The tutor is Andrea Coleman and you will be amazed at what she can do with wool!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Found this very funny picture again by local photographer Pauline Rook and thought to myself that sheep are not so daft really! Ours certainly are not and Pete and I spent Wednesday in the pouring rain putting the rest of the flock through the turn over crate we borrowed from friends to make the toenail cutting less arduous..........the one shown in the picture is the same as the one we borrowed. Its less stress on the back but do not be fooled into believing the sheep co operates meekly like the one in the photo!! I have the bruises to prove it..........However we do not have worse backache than we started with!
All trimmed, sprayed and sorted they are now back munching their way through the paddocks and odd bits of grassland in 3 local villages.
I have decided to sell my Shetland flock to concentrate more on the Dorset Downs so if anyone wants some let me know.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Have I been busy! Last Thursday we gathered up all 122 sheep and lambs and Jock the sheep shearer and his son came that evening and sheared them all in less than 3 hours! Well what with wool rolling and bagging we didn't get indoors until 11pm! On Friday we gave half the sheep a MOT.........wormed them, trimmed feet and resprayed against flies...........11pm dinner this time!

On Saturday we held a 'what to do with your wool' course covering washing, dyeing, carding, spinning and peglooming wool.............we all had a great time. An hour after the course finished Ren, a very nice person from Shaftesbury in Dorset arrived to travel down with me to near St Austell to join several other people from the 'Its not easy being green' forum at the Strawbridges house for a crafty weekend making loads of stuff from recycled and surplus bits and bobs to sell at the Big Green Gathering in August to raise money for a new charity Brigit has set up caled the 'Big Green Idea' It was a lovely 24 hours and some of the stuff made can be seen on the INEBG forum.
It was also very lovely to catch up with Dick and Brigit again as many years ago we lived in the same Dorset village and shared the school run! My older children were friends with theirs and remember them with great fondness. The picture is of the waterwheel featured in the TV series 'its not easy being green' which runs their electrictricity but was being repaired whilst we were there.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

This must be the quickest update but I wanted to show you all the wonderful bags of home produced charcoal we now have! They are available at £3 a let us know if you want some of this wonderful sustainable stuff that is not produced from rainforests like so much of what is found in the supermarket!

Yesterday we had 10 lovely people attend our bi annual smallholding for beginners course. The weather was very good and everyone really enjoyed themselves. The sheep in one of our fields took the opportunity to remove the stock fencing from one of the post and railed fields and escape into one I'd been saving for later.............must have borrowed the pliers as I cannot imagine how they did it!

More interesting stuff happening this week........the weather is set fair for a bit and hopefully we (and the bbc) will get to shear the sheep!........i hope so as we have a 'What to do with your wool' course next Saturday!
On Tuesday morning I am making my debut on the current affairs panel for BBC Somerset Sound (help! what do I know about current affairs!!)...........if you want a laugh you can listen on line!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Thought I would share with you some of the fantastic photographs taken in my area by Pauline Rook an amazing local photographer..............exactly where do I live? In the best kept secret in the West Country, The Blackdown Hills! This area is an AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty) situated basically between Honiton and Taunton to the south and north and Cullompton and Chard to the west and east.