Monday, 30 July 2007

jam

finished jamSome people achieve jam. Others have jam thrust upon them.

Yesterday we were given fifteen pounds (that's FIFTEEN POUNDS) of 'lammas plums' by some very nice freecyclers. I am not entirely sure how lammas plums fit in to the Plum Family Hierarchy (or Bullaces for that matter - I think they're rounder, aren't they?); but they are a lovely dark purple with a beautiful blush on them and they fell off in dozens when we shook the tree - with the help of a very friendly two or three month old kitten.

We have put aside nine pounds for wine (should make two gallons) and the rest I made in to jam. Due to a bit of a dozy moment I added far too much water at the beginning of the Jam Process (tm) and then had to rootle round for other fruit to add so it wouldn't come out too sloppy and fail to set. So we now have 'Mixed Fruit Jam, July 2007', which contains plums, raspberries and blackberries.

jam and jam pan 2There are SIXTEEN JARS. Sixteen jars! Wow. And that doesn't include the bit that B drank during the bottling process. And it tastes flippin' fantastic. Yay! for jam!

In other news - we have had some friends to stay over the weekend, which was a very nice break indeed - we chilled out, we ate, we watched DVDs and generally relaxed.

And today we are toddling off to stay with B's mum and dad for a night or two, in order to a) catch up with friends in Wallasey, b) to catch up with a chap who owes us some money and, very importantly, c) to (hopefully) meet up with Turquoise Lisa, who has offered to lend us a birthing pool and a birthing ball. Seven weeks today before I'm supposed to need them.

Eeep!

Let us talk about other things. For example - the vole under the bed. What do you do when the cat brings in a vole at 4am and deposits it under the bed? Do you

  • a) Spend an hour looking for the vole? or
  • b) Try to ignore the fact that the cat is playing Vole Tennis all over the bedroom, including, occasionally, actually ON the bed? or
  • c) Remove the cat from the bedroom, shut the door and hope the vole goes to sleep?
I did c). But now there is a vole in the bedroom and I can't find it.

And also, ScribeFire - which is what I more often than not use to post. The latest update doesn't seem to have a 'click to close' option anywhere - no menu item, no cross at the top right. You can hit F8 to make it go away; which is fine. But who in their right mind these days writes an interface WITHOUT A CROSS TO CLICK?

That is today's grumble. Also, I forgot to shut the hens up last night and should put some socks on and go and see if they are still alive. I'm a bit scared to go and look to be honest.

That's all for now, I think. Oh, except we are hoping to move house the first weekend in September, if anyone fancies coming to help? :)

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

hawk from a handsaw

It's not that I'm not here.

It's just that I'm kind of stymied a bit as to what to write next. I think I'm going to have a go at Kitchen Witch's word-meme thingy actually. But not today. And we have people visiting for a few days tonight. And things to put on eBay. And the business website to update. And I have started craving haddock, for some reason.

Thank you everyone for all the lovely comments and emails. It did help to write it down, and knowing that there are a load of other women out there who have experienced the same thing has helped an enormous amount.

Back in a day or two.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

damascus

The obstretician appointment went well, I think. I have slightly lowered iron levels and we discussed ways of dealing with them; and settled on having a go at the diet-method and seeing what happens. Spinach and beetroot, here I come. And, also, 'Good quality chocolate that is high in cocoa solids and the occasional glass of rich red wine, although of course we are not allowed to say that any more. So I'm not'. I think I love the obstretician.

Having said that though, so does B - on the way home from a VERY long lunch (The Oak, Welshpool again, GO THERE), he suddenly asked "Is it okay at this stage of your pregnancy to tell you that I find your obstretician hot?"*. We then bought two sun loungers (at half price!!!) from Woolworths, which I intend to spend the rest of the summer sitting on, languidly gestating.

I have also been doing some thinking in The Long Awake Reaches Of The Night (tm) - and I have concluded that some of the feelings around revulsion and rejection that I am having with this pregnancy date back a long way - all the way back sixteen years to what I think of as The Date Rape Issue.

Feelings of powerlessness, feelings of being invaded, feelings of rejecting what is happening. Not wanting to be examined or have the bump touched by anyone. Not wanting to be around other pregnant women who are enjoying their pregnancy. Fear that B will stop loving me and wanting me. Feelings of self-disgust. Fear of illness - I developed a really bad water infection after the incident which I didn't get treated because I couldn't, physically, make myself go to the doctor for quite a few days and the repercussions from which lasted for a while.

It's good that I've worked this out (Finally, doh! It's only taken seven months). But I now need to find a way to work with all these feelings, because I will be DAMNED if I will let one stupid, irresponsible, selfish guy from nearly twenty years ago fuck up my relationship with both my husband and my baby. And with myself, of course.

Last year, ditdotdat left me a comment saying I possessed 'incandescent forthrightness'. I was really touched by the comment at the time, as it's something I pride myself on - and I see it as something one should apply to ones inner self as well as the world around one. But I'm a bit stumped this time.

What can I do to help myself? I have eight and a half weeks to form a relationship with this child that doesn't trigger hair-raising feelings of panic, depression and rejection. I know that the house-moving stress isn't helping; and that as I have never experienced pregnancy before I have all the insecurities of a first-time pregnant-person to work though, too. That's fine.

It's just that for a lot of the time, I am loathing being touched - B rubbing the bump sometimes relaxes me - but equally often it makes me grit my teeth and want to cry. Secretly, I slap the bump and hate it for making me feel so uncomfortable. At the weekend, I scratched my arms up with my fingernails, which is something I started doing after The Date Rape Incident, I guess to externalise the misery and pain I felt in my head. As a management tool it works relatively well in a very short-term way; but it's not ideal. I have spoken to the obstretician about it, and she didn't see it as a big problem - neither do I really, it's just a marker that I am not coping very well.

Writing about it helps, so that's good I suppose. And this morning I actually feel quite chipper. Perhaps, now I've acknowledged the cause of them, the feelings will go away on their own?


* We decided that it WAS okay, because it was her intelligence he was attracted to. But I reserve the right to irrationally change my mind at any point, if that's okay with everyone.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

bulletin

Results:

  • Evening with Sluts-and-Slut-Husbands - VG fun
  • Washing up remaining - ooooh, loads
  • Barnvelders back in lay - 2
  • Live shrews released by Betty in bedroom at 3.30AM - 1
  • Live shrews failed to be captured by B at 3.30AM in bedroom - 1
  • Live shrews retrieved from under bed during breakfast by Mrs Three Legs and released in under-stairs wine brewing cupboard to play with later - 1
  • Squeaks coming from cupboard - lots, quite distressing, but I can't fit in there to intervene
  • Swimming pools visited yesterday - 1, will definitely go again
  • Midwife appointments this morning - 1
  • Estate agents reminding us that we'd promised updated photos of house interior - 1
  • Digital cameras mislaid - 1
  • Rooms needing tidying before we take pictures with phone-cam - bloody ALL of them

Composite stress/relaxation level from all of above: Manageable.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

pudding club

So, we have identified, if not solved the problem with The Narky Hive. They don't appear to have a queen, either. We couldn't see any eggs or any open brood in the hive and very little worker brood. There were a lot of drones though and a lot of drone brood - it's a big hive. There was also a sealed Queen Cup (see the first image on the page), which means that the bees might be on the case already and be developing a new queen.

Just in case they aren't, we repeated our frame-swapping technique that we had already done with the small hive - so now we have two hives with eggs and young brood on a couple of frames - and if the bees have any sense, they will make themselves up a new Queen out of the eggs by picking an egg and feeding it royal jelly.

B then offered to go and see Quite Nosey But Nice Neighbour and sort out her computer, whilst I had a bath. He is fab.

And now, we are going to toddle off to Welshpool for a bit of shopping and then go for a swim. I have purchased a special maternity swimming costume and it isn't too horrific. I am bit more comfortable bump-wise this week - I think the babe has shifted, so it is not continuously booting me in the bladder and I am therefore not loathing it all quite so much.

This evening, The Montgomeryshire Domestic Sluts are coming round for tea and bringing their husbands. I might not have mentioned them before - we are a self-nominating group from the downsizer.net forum who all live locally and have started meeting up In Real Life for lunch, discussions about pigs, ducks, green burial and cakes. The only prerequisite for membership is that one has to loathe and abhor housework. I think that other branches are in the process of being set up around the country ... .

We are going to cook chicken curry, from our own chickens (already in the freezer, so no stressful slaughtering needed, thankfully) and then I am going to have a go at Chocolate and Banana Pudding.

I think that that might be all for now.

Monday, 16 July 2007

gah

Bollocks.

You KNOW you are a bit unbalanced when your Quite Nosey But Nice Neighbour rings you up and the minute you hear her voice you start having a panic attack.

Admittedly, her first words were a rather edgy "You are VERY elusive you know" and immediately made me feel that I needed to justify that fact that I had been a) away and b) under the weather and she replied "Well, I knew you were there now because I heard your voice." It doesn't make one feel watched AT ALL. Oh no.

And then, when she got to the point of the conversation it turned out that she's got a computer issue and I have started freaking out because I just don't WANT to go and fix her computer and spend an hour in chit-chat.

I feel like a really Bad Person for not being neighbourly, but I just wish she would understand that I haven't got any resources to give anyone else at the moment.

Gah.

Have come in for lunch. Back up to the bees now. I like bees. They don't have computers.

i LIKE mondays

So. A pretty good weekend:

  • Helped Ma to extract a couple of frames of her honey and to put the new floor we'd taken her under her beehive.
  • Spent some time with Pa. Apparently he has been particularly grumpy this week and has been telling Drusilla, who works on the nursery a couple of days a week, that she shouldn't talk to the customers. And a few people who have come in to do Pick Your Own Raspberries have been enquiring after 'the old gentleman who was here last year, who wasn't very friendly'. Bless him. When I am ninety, I am going to be grumpy as hell and people are just going to have to make the best of it. Oh. Hang on ... .
  • Spent a VERY enjoyable evening with The Kitchen Witches, discussing (among other things) growing vegetables (the more the better), ideal places to live (remote - VERY remote), well water (muddy, unreliable), parental eccentricities (too numerous to mention) and bees (I am hoping to convert them to The Cause). I hope that they are going to come and visit us very soon.
  • Spent some time with Sister Natalie, who has offered to come up and help if we need her to after the baby is born. We are both very touched, as she and I haven't had the best of relationships over the years and we would really love to see more of her.
  • Spent Sunday afternoon sobbing and wanting to go home, whilst B and Ma finished extracting the honey - my stamina ran out and everything got a bit stressy, what with raspberry pickers, Pa getting up late and that making Ma grumpy and me generally not having slept very well whilst there. We couldn't go any earlier, because we needed to finish using the extractor in order to take it home with us.
So all in all, a pretty successful weekend. It was really, really nice to see the family and to feel that I was coping okay with all the chaos that normally makes me very unsettled.

This morning, we have gone in to our own bees, to have another go at requeening the queenless hive. And after a cup of tea we are going to go in to The Narky Hive and see what's going on there.

Oh, except, I don't seem to be able to keep Proper Tea down at the moment. It's very distressing.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

various things

Yay! for all the guesses, thank you! Z wins the prize - which is some garlic, obviously - so Z, if you'd like me to post you out a few cloves of Elephant Garlic (for growing next year perhaps?) email me your address.

We are off to stay with Ma for a long weekend. Things we are taking include:

  • WBC hive floor
  • heat lamp for chicks
  • honey extractor
  • bee suit
  • chocolates from Cork - which I have managed NOT TO EAT in the interim. See my halo.

We will also be visiting Kitchen Witch and Mr Kitchen Witch on Friday evening - I believe that roast beetroot is on the menu and I am therefore very excited.

Apologies to all my pending interviewees - I want to do a good job of questions for you all, but I need to put aside a good wodge of time to do so. Next week some time, hopefully. Also apologies to everyone generally, as I have not been reading and commenting on everyone else as much as I'd like to have been. Normal service will hopefully return some time next week.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

allium sativum

garlic
We have garlic.

See our garlic.

It is a mixture of Elephant Garlic, Purple Wight and Early Purple Wight.

You should plant your garlic on the shortest day of the year and harvest it on the longest - as a rule of thumb, this worked well, as did growing it in big-ass pots - deep ones, with plenty of room for the roots to go down. We got as good a result from the pot-reared stuff as we did from the ones that had been in the ground. It grows REALLY easily, I would recommend it as a high achievement crop for someone who was a bit nervy about growing their own veg - and who liked garlic, of course :).

It's now sitting in the kitchen waiting to be plaited and will keep at least until Christmas, probably much longer - depending on the humidity of where we keep it. We live in Wales, hence, quite high humidity, currently anyway.

We will keep some to plant in December, so hopefully next year our Garlic Costs will be a big, fat, zero. This lot came from The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight, with a comprehensive leaflet of Garlic Instructions. They have a great site that not only allows you to purchase online, but also contains all the garlic information that man, woman or garlic fan could possibly wot of.*

And now, here is an Anglo-Saxon Riddle:

I am a wondrous creature: to women a thing of joyful expectation, to close-lying companions serviceable. I harm no city-dweller excepting my slayer alone. My stem is erect and tall--I stand up in bed--and whiskery somewhere down below. Sometimes a countryman's quite comely daughter will venture, bumptious girl, to get a grip on me. She assaults my red self and seizes my head and clenches me in a cramped place. She will soon feel the effect of her encounter with me, this curl-locked woman who squeezes me. Her eye will be wet.

A small prize for the first person to guess the answer, on your honour not to use google ... . I should mention that the Anglo-Saxons liked a good double-entendre and there are about a million rude-seeming riddles floating around that are actually not that rude at all. This comes from a manuscript called 'The Exeter Book', written down by the monks at Exeter Cathedral. I think some time in the 9th Century - but I am not sure of the date and I'm happy to be corrected. KW, might this be your area?


* This is Old English. I am not entirely sure what it means - 'knows' I think - but it does sound good.

Monday, 9 July 2007

day of the bee

Yesterday was Bee Day. Mel has written about it and posted some very unflattering photos of us all in bee suits, here, so I won't duplicate her post ... just pop over to confirm in your own mind that I can still do up the bee-suit over the bump :).

It was a very long, very tiring day; but I think that we all came away feeling quite smug that actually, we had managed something that some people had actually told Mel was impossible - moving the hives over such a long distance. She describes the necessary procedure here.

The bees were very good tempered about it all - the single battle wound was proudly displayed by B, who had the most cobbled-together suit of all of us - think pith helmet swathed in VERY old veil that seemed to develop holes as fast as I sewed them up, tucked in to a boiler suit. At one point I felt as if I was married to Mr Benn - B was certainly wishing the shopkeeper would appear and tell him that it was time to go home at the point that he was trying to remove the bee-sting from his adam's apple whilst wearing sweat-filled rubber gloves. He gets the Silver Milk Bottle Top Award For Bee Phobics Who Face Their Fears.

Some of the individual bees did rather less well - we transferred the frames from the WBCs to the Nationals mid-afternoon and then waited until about 8.30PM when the weather had got good and cool, for the laggards to come home. Then we called time, stuffed up the hive entrances with foam, gaffer-taped the stacked boxes of the hives together, put the travelling screens on the top (so plenty of air could get in to the hives to keep them cool), secured the ratchet straps and Tony and B carried them down to the van.

A small cloud of bees who had been outside at the cut-off point followed them down the garden to the van, where the lads summarily executed them, by squashing. It was rather like Canticle For Leibowitz, where the body of the woman with the blueprints is found outside the blast doors of the nuclear shelter. Sad, but necessary for the survival of everyone else. It's stupid to have a weep over BEES for goodness sakes - but I admit to shedding a tear after Mel and Tony had driven off. Blame it on the hormones.

So, things we learned:

  • Don't rest Hive No. Two on top of Hive No. One as you swap the frames over - it may cause Bee Wars as the bees will get confused about where they are supposed to be living.
  • You can NEVER find the queen in a hive of bees when you are looking for her.
  • If you take a super (a box of frames) off a hive and you are working to time, it's probably best to rest it on a sheet or a piece of board, because otherwise when you pick it up again there will be a small heap of bees on the ground who will then have to find their own way home - if you have them on a sheet, you can shake them back in to the hive.
  • Mel's friend Tony is GREAT at 'banging' bees off frames and floors.
  • You CAN move bees that are in a WBC by transferring them to a National Hive first.
That's the lot, I think, unless Mel or B has anything to add. I think it was a great confidence builder for all four of us, all being relatively new to beekeeping. We agreed that it was probably an A-level bee-keeping exercise, or maybe first or second-year degree level, and I think we did okay.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

positive global change, downsizer and ethical living

I haven't had a 'green' post for a while - so partly to justify Mel nominating me as 'Blogger for Positive Global Change'* and partly because hell, I just feel like it, excuse me while I get those tubs out and thump them, loudly.

Firstly, to take part in the meme, I need to nominate five bloggers who I think are trying to change the world in an environmentally positive way. Here are my five (the instructions for participation are down at the foot of the page). I don't think that to change the world in a positive way one needs to do BIG things. Small, everyday things are what are going to tip the balance - making informed choices about where we source the things we buy - not just food; whether we put an extra sweater on before turning up the heating; whether we buy new things or mend the things we have; whether we get the bus rather than take the car. All of these people do some or all of these things in some way.

  1. Kitchen Witch - lives in a cob cottage with variable running water in deepest Devon, UK; keen vegetable grower and find-a-solution-yourself-er.
  2. Voluntary Simplicity - Living a sustainable lifestyle in a council house in North Lincolnshire, UK.
  3. 10 Signs Like This - Jamie lives on a few acres in Georgia, USA and is an author for the 'Eat Local Challenge'.
  4. Turquoise - Based near Chester, UK. Allotmenteer, my Sensible Childcare Guru.
  5. Ludlow Lass - A relatively new blogger, Ludlow Lass is in to wild food and is involved with the 'slow food' movement. She also keeps bees, hens and ducks.

If you'd like to participate, folks, see below.

Secondly, although not a blog, this seems a really good moment to mention downsizer.net. If you are interested in sustainability issues, making stuff yourself rather than buying it , growing and preparing your own food and chatting to people who are in to the same kind of thing, downsizer may be for you.

I've been spending quite a lot of time over there during the last twelve months - there are articles, hints and tips and a very friendly discussion forum that is much more rational and respectful, and much more knowledgeable (about everything, not just downsizer-y type stuff) than many others I've come across in the past. There are also groups of people who live quite close together who meet up pretty regularly in real life. Despite this, it is NOT 'clique-y' - it's very friendly and welcoming. It's largely UK based - but there are members from all over the world.

Thirdly, can I remind you about my ethical living links page? I will be updating it over the next few weeks, so if there is anything you think should be included, please let me know.

Tomorrow: Vampire problems? Not here - we've harvested our garlic crop!


* A meme started by Climate Of Our Future. Here are the rules for participation:
  1. When you get tagged, write a post with links to up to 5 blogs that you think are trying to change the world in a positive way
  2. In your post, make sure you link back to the original post from Climate Of Our Future, so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
  3. Leave a comment or message for the bloggers you’re tagging, so they know they’re now part of the meme.
  4. Optional: Proudly display the “Bloggers For Positive Global Change” award badge with a link to the post that you write up

Saturday, 7 July 2007

escape ...

Very frustrated this morning - no viewings for the house this weekend, the surveyor hasn't yet been in to the new place for the mortgage valuation, the baby is kicking and wriggling like a wriggly thing and is really uncomfortable and I am not in a good head-space-place at all. I could honestly sit down and scream, in a very Scarlett O'Hara fashion.

In fact, I did sit down and scream last night, for a good half hour. I'm sure it's not good for me, the baby or B - and this morning (afternoon) I feel like a wrung out rag. Doh.

B is engrossed in Fritz Leiber as a kind of escape from the real world and in a minute we are going to go and sort some more of the rain forest/garden out; so at least that should be grounding, a bit. And then there's the everlasting 'keeping the house clean for non-existent viewers' excitement planned for later on. Oh joy.

One bright spot to the weekend is that tomorrow, Mel from Bean Sprouts is coming to collect two of our six hives of bees. She is very excited to be getting them and we are equally excited to be getting rid of them - we have so much on that looking after six hives is definitely TOO MUCH WORK (tm) at the moment.

B and I have also made a pact to sort out the wasps nest that we have a sneaking suspicion the little buzzy b*****ds have built in the disused chicken house. We can't tell for sure until we take the lid off - it's the one that's built a bit like a coffin. The wasps are going in and out like mad though, and it's cedar wood, so I'm thinking that that is idea wasp-nest-material. I am going for the 'bee suit, bucket of water and a board to put over the top' approach if they are in there. Apparently the other method is the 'bee suit, bucket of paraffin and a match' approach, which seems a little ... well ... flammable.

So that's it, really. Tomorrow - which shop should one go in to labour in to benefit most from voucher-type gifts from the retailer?

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

the stegbeetle interview

Finally, I answer Stegbeetle's questions. If you want me to interview you, instructions at the bottom.

1. You're obviously a country girl at heart. What is it about life in the country and the whole "hands in the earth" things that you find so appealing?
Initially I read this as 'appalling' :). I find anything to do with the earth very soothing and balancing. If I'm having a bit of a stressy day, I can go and spend a few hours in the garden planting things out and pruning things and I find that I'm almost a different person when I've finished. I think everyone takes their strength from different places or states; and my 'recharging place' is quiet, outside and countrified. Not that I don't like people or pubs etc. - but I don't get 'recharged' from spending time with them (as B does), I get 'recharged' from spending time on my own, talking to plants and chickens.

2. Where do you stand on such "countryside vs. town" issues as the ban on hunting with hounds?
I do feel that country communities are gradually being eroded - Post Offices shut down, bus services stopped etc. etc.. A lot of people who live in towns aspire to live in the countryside - but I think that many of them don't understand that it is a different way of life - around here for example, two or three day power-cuts aren't unusual during the winter and people just boot up the generator and get on with it.

There is quite a strong feeling that people who live in urban areas don't understand rural communities - however, they do want the benefits of country pubs and days out looking at pretty villages. Those things can't happen unless our rural communities are supported somehow, whether that's by helping them become more self-supporting again, or by direct subsidies. Farming in the UK is now very hard - because of the supermarkets and because of imports, because people generally don't think about where their food has come from and just expect it to be cheap - although I do think this is now starting to change.

The best thing that can happen for both the UK's urban and rural communities is to move back towards integrating them with one-another - the countryside is there for everyone to enjoy, but it isn't just a tourist park - it's actually an industrial landscape, geared to producing food. If more people in the UK sourced their food from our own country, then I think that a lot of these country v. town issues would disappear.

I actually think that the hunting thing is a non-issue - it had an enormous amount of parliamentary time spent on it in comparison to say, the Iraq war and in comparison was SO unimportant. It was a red-herring used by the government to distract people from real issues.

3. You and B are clearly a great partnership. How did you meet and was it love at first sight?
Well ... I was living with Crazy Tom and B was living with Xena the Warrior Princess. And Tom and Xena had a mutual friend who got married and introduced us all at her wedding in about 1996. As couples we became good friends - used to visit etc. etc.. I CAN remember standing in my lounge in about 1998 or 1999 and listening to Xena shouting at B in our kitchen and thinking 'I wouldn't talk to a dog like that, he shouldn't be with her, he should be with me' and then becoming terribly confused.

Anyway. In early 2001 I'd finally had enough of Crazy Tom yelling at me, threatening me, telling me he wasn't sure if he loved me, punching holes in doors, telling me I was shit and, finally, pushing me over the sofa. So I left. B and Xena were really supportive - they were pretty much the first people I told, both about the abuse and that I was leaving. I settled in to the Smallest House In The Village (currently for sale on eBay, incidentally, we'll pay a 5% deposit!) and started to put my life back together.

And during the autumn, B decided that he'd had enough of Xena treating him like dirt, too - same kind of thing as I had with Tom, only without the physical violence. We talked a lot and we discussed whether we were going to have a fling; but we decided that that was a crap idea. So we cut off contact for a bit whilst B sorted himself out - he went to live with his parents and I pined for him.

Just before Christmas we got back in touch and decided that we should do some dating to see whether we actually liked each other as people or whether we were just set for a few rides on the Carnal Carousel. Our first one was on 28th December, when we met up at the castle gates in Ludlow and had a fabulously romantic day wandering round. Including snogging so much under the tree round behind the castle walls that the man walking his dog felt he had to cough REALLY loudly at us. Over the next few months we talked about our expectations from life, relationships and everything else, including whether we wanted kids; and I stopped throwing up after shagging. And the rest is history, I guess. We moved in together in August 2002. Got married in April 2003. And here we are.

4. Is it at all difficult to "leave work at work" and not let it encroach on your personal relationship?
Not now. It was to start with. But during the two years R worked with us, he taught us to be more professional in the way we treated each other and that has been a lasting positive strength that has helped us both personally and professionally. It is difficult to 'switch off' sometimes - but I think that's something everyone who runs their own business experiences.

5. How far do you see the home livestock thing progressing? Are we talking herds of Aberdeen Angus, given the space?
Aberdeen Angus might be taking it a bit far. But definitely goats at some point in the next two or three years, for milk and meat. And rabbits for meat, too, probably in the next twelve months. And I would really like a pony. Or a donkey. Or even a horse. I think we'll leave all that until the baby is a bit less dependent, though ...

The rules if you want to play:

  1. If you want to play along and now be interviewed by me, please leave me a comment or send an email saying: "Interview me."
  2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
  3. You will update your weblog with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  5. Then others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions and so on.
Go on - you know you want to!

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

house for sale. still


In a blatant blog-whoring kind of way, our house is still for sale. If anyone would like to buy it, please do let me know. Details and more photos on ebay.

It is now priced at "Offers Over £239,995" (as they say), with us paying the 1% stamp duty.

Off to try to chop down some of the garden now, before it turns in to rain forest.

Later: Steg's interview.

Monday, 2 July 2007

back

We're back!

Cork is beautiful - full of interesting things to do / look at and a huge number of really nice places to eat, which has been my focus pretty much all week, with the 'How fantastic a lunch can you get for ten euros?" challenge. (Incidentally, probably won by Fenn's Quay, which we went to several times. Go there. Because it's great).

I have chilled out and although I've been a bit wibbly, with one or two 'hating the baby' days, I think I'm coming back in to balance again. I've bought some new trousers in Mothercare (held up with string - never mind all those clever elasticated waist things, string is where it's at for effectiveness); and a couple of tops in a style I vaguely remember also wearing back in about 1978. What's that all about? But great for fitting in the bump.

In home news, my lovely chicken sitters have done a great job, with all poultry present, correct and contented - with the minor exception of the two broodies (nothing to do with the chicken sitters, though) - one of them has got fed up with her babies and needed repatriating to the main hen-house. And one of them is sat on a clutch of eggs that should have hatched on Friday and haven't. Bless her. I am tempted to see if I can get some day old chicks for her to bring up. But I am also tempted not to get any more poultry until after we move. Arggghhh ... decisions!

In house-selling world, the people who put in the insultingly low offer came up to a very slightly less insulting offer that was still unrealistically low. So we declined it and are now back to stage one again. We really need this sorted out, for both our sakes - head space is currently at a minimum.

Today, washing. Sorting out food for the week. Returning phone calls. Watching some DVDs. Planning the next couple of weeks.

Tomorrow: I have no idea. Oooooh! Except, I've just remembered, I haven't done Steg's interview yet. Yay! for instant blog-topics!