This time last year, it was dry as a bone. You could see dust as you drove down the farm track to the road. As the month wore into April and my mind shifted to turning out of the animals, my concern was that it was so dry that the grass simply wasn't going to grow and that we'd need to keep the animals in the sheds for longer.
This winter is has rained almost every day for 6 months. That is half the year you know! But every now and then I get a sense of spring. The celandines are out, little nettle sprigs are appearing, frogs and toads, even newts are saying hello. Our dear friends from Africa have of course not arrived yet, but the bird song is getting louder and I can now wander around the farm at 6 in full light. Surveying the fields and hedgerows, breathing in the signs of Spring like a sponge.
Ah the shifting seasons! We love to moan about it, but imagine how dull it would be if the sun set the same time every day? The weather stayed the same throughout the year. No variance, no change. The closer you get to the equator the more true this is.
The sogginess, means the pigs are in a flood of slurry by the feeder, every welly step is met with a squelch and the cabin is a developing island in a sea of sticky clay.
The Nap is gathering momentum, slowly but surely. We hope to have visitors in 6 weeks.....hmm! Plumbing 2nd fix started today and I started the cedar cladding at the front. The plaster on the vast ceiling is going a whitish pink and painted wood samples line the kitchen wall awaiting a decision. But there is still so much to do and I am but one person building a small but perfectly formed house.
The real difficulty for this whole build, is the other pressures, from family to feeding the animals, to lambing to calving, to making TV ads and last but not least, the desperate need to develop new revenue streams before its too late...
The strains and pressures of a family trying to live off the land.....