I've been mooching about the house for three weeks now. Home from work with a broken rib. The holiday has been nice granted, but the inability to use the time on many of the waiting projects galls me. On the plus side all of the small jobs that have been ignored for ages are now done. At the time of writing I think the rib is finally coming good and I am slowly getting into the heavier jobs I have been longing to do.
I have finally admitted that I will not have the hot house up for winter. As we can wait no longer I have turned the veggie garden over and will be planting out the winter crops soon. I have about three tonnes of compost, carefully hoarded, to enrich the areas that the excavator has denuded of good topsoil. Digging still causes me some difficulty - the pushing action in using a shovel, so I have yet to work out how to move all of the compost to where I need it. I might be able to cadge the use of a small loader from a neighbour. Otherwise the child bride and I will move it one barrow at a time in small doses.
Yesterday I placed my seed order for the winter planting. Mostly brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli), peas, carrots, kale, lettuce, shallots, radish, leeks and some swedes. We don't bother growing onions or potatoes as they are grown in abundance in this region and can be obtained cheap or free most years. If somehow we are suddenly able to move ahead on the hothouse then a few plants will just have to get squashed in the process.
We are now milking twice each day as it is time to wean Timmy-the-little-bastard from his mother. I think his mother Anna is actually quite relieved. Meanwhile Timmy-I-vote-for-veal made his displeasure known by bellowing day and night for a week. He was probably quite overdue to be weaned. Anna's milk yield has been up and down for months but it levelled off at ten litres per day as soon as he was away from her. This indicates he was drinking erratically and was already getting most of his sustenance from the grass.
With all of this extra milk and the time on my hands I have been madly making cheese over the last couple of weeks. Cheddar, Farmhouse, Haloumi, Quarg, Ricotta, Blue, Camembert and I am trying a Stilton which is pretty much touch and go at the moment. Not an easy cheese. I have also managed to finally track down an aftermarket thermostat for the cheese fridge so I can age the cheeses at 12 degrees Celsius. The warmest the fridge would do before was 8 degrees.
When we are not making cheese we have taken to giving ducks a cuddle. Actually I am checking them so see how well they are fattening (and they are growing nice and plump too). The ducks have not yet guessed at my motives and probably think I am just the local friendly pervert. Probably better if they don't work it out.