Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Natoinal Hedgelaying Championships were held this year at Sandringham........yes the Queens estate in Norfolk.........and Pete by virtue of having won a class at the Blackdown Hills hedge event in March was eligible to compete (you have to have either won a competition or have attended a certified course run by the NHLS I believe....but don't quote me!)
So off to Norfolk we went on Friday.........and I can confirm that its a bloomin long way with no direct route as in Britain all roads seem to go from north to south or east to west and we wanted to go from southwest to north east!.............6 hours later we arrived at the b&b and collapsed exhausted.
Next morning we arrived at the hedgelaying competition that also had a ploughing match attached to it....a real country day out and having met all the other people who had travelled up from the southwest for the Devon & Somerset Style class the draw for which bit of hedge was whose was made.
Now to those who have no idea what hedgelaying is I will let the pictures speak for themselves save to say its a way of turning a row of small trees into a stockproof barrier with different styles from different parts of the country.
Pete had a decent bit of hedge to lay and they all had 5 hours to complete their sections. One of our local Blackdown Hills hedgelayers called Roger Parris who is a real charecter had a Japaneese film crew following him all day!
Pete did not win anything because the standard was amazing, but gave a very good account of himself as would be expected of a man who hedgelays as part of his business. The standard in the Devon & Somerset section in which he was competing was in fact so high that the supreme champion hedge was Terry Coombes from the Blackdowns!!! To go all the way to Norfolk and win was a terrific achievement for our area and style of laying!

The top 2 pictures show a Welsh style and Yorkshire style which has a fence built in it! The next one shows Roger Parris laying his hedge, the one with the car wizzing in the background is thw Champion hedge of Terry Coombes and the last id of Pete making the finishing touches to his hedge with an enormous pile of 'brash' or waste cut from the hedge behind him!

We left as it was getting dark and arrived home at midnight, tired but happy after a brilliant day

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I have had a very busy time recently and it shows no sign of easing up! The felting is going well and it is possible to make fantastic bits of felt so here goes mulch mats, hanging basket liners, slippers, bags etc....its limitless! I am going up to Wales on a a trip to look at insulation machinery in the next few weeks....exciting!
The piglets are growing like mad, and spend their days exploring the fields with their doting mums who dig small holes for them to rummage in! Unfortunatly we lost one that had been attacked by we think, a fox! There were canine teeth marks in its head and under its jaw so now we have a humane fox trap leant by the local hunt set next to the chicken run........we have had 2 broad daylight fox attacks on the hens in the last 2 weeks too grrr!
We have a long stay Wwoofer called Duncan a graduate from Bristol uni who is here until mid December and is making a real impression on the place! He is concreting the unfinished bit of the pigs yard at the moment and this will deserve a report all of its own when finished....its looking so good.
The sheep are all in big fields of lush grass and are looking well and happy. I have some new Gotland sheep that are beautiful and the ram called Fred will be tupping the coloured Wensleydales (the rasta sheep) and the 2 big white Dorset Down cross Wensleydales I have.
Sarkozy my French Ouessant ram will join all the Ouessant girls in early November.
I have recently lost the use of a nice field I often use to graze the sheep on in the winter in trying circumstances but as my limited french would say c'est la vie, ne ce que pas?
Anyway here is a selection of nice pics I took when in Brittany recently of some amazing trees....old oak pollards, and of course the old railway line that I'm continuing to explore.....its so so quiet on that old line the silence is almost deafening!.......And the amazing calvary in Pleyben....the best in Brittany I'm told

Thursday, October 09, 2008

We have piglets and very cute they are too, all 10 of them! Here they are at10 days old. They are growing very quickly and are for sale......ready in late November.