Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Lost and Found


I have decided to expand the gift section of our little farm shop and so when we had to go to Taunton I took the opportunity to visit a few charity shops and a bric-a-brac/antique market on the way back to buy some unusual containers for my new candle-making enterprise.   Well, I was thinking of one shelf in the shop, really.

On the way to Taunton we picked up fuel and it was not until I wanted to pay for a new watch strap with my card that I realised it was missing.  I emptied my handbag and went through the contents several times and came to the conclusion that I must have either left it on the counter or dropped it at the Petrol Station.  As I stood in the queue to to get to the till, the cashier recognized me and waved my missing card, thank goodness.  Apparently I had left it in the card reader.  I am guessing it was when I asked for a VAT receipt.  I took the receipt and forgot to take the card.

I visited the charity shops in Chard and bought a some interesting  pots and on the way back from Taunton went to the Antiques Bazar  in Crewkerne where I bought quite a few little gems, including six unusual wine glasses.   When I got home and unpacked my little treasures, I found that there were only four in the bag.

One of the staff had carried two wine glasses to the counter and Mike and I carried two each, so I think the person packing the bag only saw the ones that we put on the counter together and missed the other two.   Luckily our neighbour goes into Crewkerne quite regularly and agreed to pick up the missing glasses, after I had phoned to make sure they were there.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Mike comes to the rescue


This is the time of year when the footfall in the farm shop increases.  We should probably fix some antlers to an alpaca and dress Mike up as Father Christmas - only problem is they would probably both have strong objections to that idea. Socks are very popular at the moment - luckily because I have had to change my supplier and buy larger quantities.

The damp, mild weather creates an ideal breeding environment for fluke (a dangerous parasite which causes permanent liver damage) so starting in October we medicate the alpacas and sheep to try and protect them against this dangerous and unwanted pest.  They will repeat this at least twice more over the winter period.

Having got to grips with my knitting machine at long last, I needed to make some more scarves, so I set up the machine and started the process when to my dismay the carriage on the ribber attachment dropped to the floor.  Apparently I had not located it properly and although it looked OK it was not fixed.

The floor in the farm office is tiled so of course the carriage could not fall sideways, it had to be face down which meant that the plastic cover for the cam lever (whatever that is) broke and lodged itself inside the housing.

I could see that the carriage could be dismantled, but given my record in putting things back together when I have investigated problems, I felt it was best left to Mike.   When he got home he stuck the plastic back together with super glue and this morning it is ready to go again.   Fingers crossed all will be well.

I think I am having in the throws of a series of small but annoying problems.  I undid a new bale of straw this morning to put in the chicken shed when I cleaned it out and managed to drag the baler twine along,  which decided to wrap itself round the wheel of the wheel barrow several times before I noticed.  I went to get another wheelbarrow and by the time I got back the alpacas had scoffed half the chicken food which was also in the barrow.

All went well then until I went into the shed where the chickens are fed.   The lid fell off one of the feeders and I put the bucket on the floor so I could pick it up.   Several hens jumped on the bucked and emptied the contents on the floor.  I left them to it and went back to try and dislodge the baler twine which was embedded around the hub of the barrow wheel.

At least that went well and I am now safely indoors!!

Thursday, 9 October 2014



Well, we cannot grumble really.  We have had a very good summer but now the weather is biting back. Only one or two chickens thought it was safe to come out again after the cloudburst.   The alpacas are hiding under a hedge and our A boards at the farm entrance blew over in the high wind.

That was five minutes ago.  Now the sun is shining again!!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Weather or Not


After a really good summer which has made all the jobs seem much easier, we experienced torrential rain and very high winds last night.   The chairs and tables where we offered teas and coffees next to the shop were blown around and the ice cream sign came apart.   Luckily there was no real damage and we will be storing the furniture away in the garden shed tomorrow.

The day started off very wet so we both went out and cleaned and fed the chickens and checked on all the animals before going back indoors to get out of the rain and do some of the many outstanding jobs in the dry.

Mike put the first coat of white on the ceiling in the room next to our bedroom which took quite a few hours.  I missed the opportunity to photograph him actually painting.  In the photos he (and of course trusty friend, Jake) are on the way down and are in the boot room/dog room.

I carried on the exciting stint of washing the paintwork which I have been doing gradually over a few days. After a good soaking first thing, the dogs seemed quite happy to laze around indoors.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Fox Surprise


The dogs have a small enclosed area at the side of the house so that we can let them have access to the outside even if there is a reason to deny them access to the rest of the 15 acres available.  For several nights in a row when they have been let out for their last night comfort stop they have gone mad and rushed up and down the hedgerow.   When checking the area the next morning I have been finding fox poo./

The gates to the yard will prevent the dogs going out but do not prevent the odd chicken from wandering in, so I asked Mike to put some chicken wire up.  He has done a really good job and we are hoping the fox will have a nasty surprise when he tries to come in later this evening or overnight.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Elephant in the Rooom has Moved


The old lorry unit has been very useful.  When we bought it we had no under cover storage on the farm and the dogs had nowhere to sleep as the original mobile home we had on site was too small.  

Mike partitioned it off and the dogs had half as a sleeping area and the rest was used for storage.   Since we moved into our new house it has been moved next to the barn but was still visible even though it was behind some trellis.  It became a paint store and a dumping ground as a half way house for things on their way to the rubbish tip.  It was also something that we did not talk about!!

This week Mike carried out some welding repairs so that it could be moved and he and Nick towed it into Mike's yard (out of sight) where it will be used as a garage for his precious Fergie tractor.   Hooray!!

Photos below - to be fair they both worked really hard all day, but in the photo Mike and Nick are taking a well earned tea break!