So, what's been happening here lately?. Life has been chugging along at the usual pace with the season's changing noticeably around us as the hedgerows along the lane began greening up and thickening with wildflowers, brambles,and raspberries along with swathes of nettles and meadowsweet. Nettles seem to be the dominant "weed" this year and have filled every tiny bare space along the lane and also in my garden. I have given up the fight trying to keep the boundary stock fencing line free from them so now we have a nettle windbreak along the back of the house. There have been a few small changes around the house/garden area too. An unknown delivery driver managed to reverse into the front wall of the garden so we had to have a new stretch of fencing erected as a replacement to keep Jake in the garden. We took the opportunity to have a much taller fence built.
The chickens also now have a new much larger coop and a new pen, where they are safe from attacks by foxes and hawks. The new pen is at the back of the house and also encloses my blackcurrant bushes, cordon apple tree and plum tree, so in effect it doubles up as a fruit cage. It is a very large pen and gives them plenty of space and a mix of areas for dust bathing, scratching, laying in the sun or in the shade, sheltering under the fruit trees or cosying up together under the coop. They love it and are totally safe now from predators.
Conversely it has taken nature the same short time to almost fill the previous chicken pen area with nettles and brambles.
The old chicken coop is now destined to be turned into a kennel for Jake with an attached run for days when it is too hot for him to be with me in the car on journeys. He will be happy to be outside rather than left in the house. The rest of the space in there will be turned over to raised beds and veggie growing, the earth in there will be very rich with nutrients after five years of chickens scratching it up and adding their manure to it. Several old raised beds have already been moved from the area the chickens now inhabit to be reused. Sorting out that area will be the next big project. We have had a couple of short spells without internet connection. First the house was struck by lightning during a storm a month or so ago which blew out the telephone line, router and other electronic equipment connected to the phone line. It took a while to get that fixed again and equipment replaced. Luckily we had already unhooked all the rest of the electric equipment in the house so nothing else was damaged in the strike.
Then about two weeks ago we lost our phone and internet connection again when one of the local farmers managed to pull down a phone line with a high sided trailer when collecting in the haylage bales from the fields. We weren't too worried about being offline that time as we were about to leave for a holiday and everything was restored by the time we returned.
We have just spent almost two weeks in Spain enjoying some sunshine, Sophie and Marcus came along to help me with Ian, as he really wanted to enjoy one last foreign holiday before his condition makes it impossible. It was hard work all round, but he achieved what he wanted to do.
Now we are back home and getting back on top of the weeds in the garden.
Jake and Bow enjoyed a holiday on my friend's farm while we were away , playing with her dogs and spending time with the alpacas and apparently didn't miss us at all, so everyone was happy :)
The next occasion to look forward to will be the birth of my first grandchild who should be making an appearance in just five and a half weeks now, I can't wait :)