The last 3-4 months has been the busiest ever ! we felt like we were trotting everywhere with the slightest feeling of not quite panic hanging over our heads. Its seemed like the fog of busy has finally lifted and we can see the finish line.. at last
June has been a bonkers month here at Grobdale, the build started up again after the lock down precautions, turning our tranquil quiet space back into a drilling and banging cacophony ..
kinda missed our building gang actually, but had forgotten how much noise they can make.
The man of the house hadn’t been sat around idle either and an oak frame porch at the front of The croft soon began to take shape.
The entrance is starting to look amazing, we have such a clever kilted wonder.. ( kilt only available for viewings in the hot weather).
We had a few new arrivals in June, first off was Polly a beautiful Trakehner (horse )came to Grobdale as a grass livery .
A friend we made earlier in the year contacted us to see if we could house another horse…like we are going to say no !!
Polly arrived one blustery lunchtime and immediately settled in, her and Lotte have become quite an item and its lovely to watch them grooming each other.
Bliss when you have a buddy to scratch the bit on your back you cant reach …Thanks Dee for trusting us she’s gorgeous x
But not just one more addition to the family we had a few thousand arrive kind of middle of the month !… bees to be more precise.
I went on a course a few years ago at the advice of my lovely friend Paula ( who clearly knows what I need to do more than I do); and got a little insight into what was needed to keep bees, just in case in the future ….we had the opportunity .Well who knew huh , roll it forward a few years and we buy a farm and meet Gary Cook..
All of a sudden I’m shopping for a new outfit and more cedar than a girl would normally want ..
The days the bees arrived was quite exciting in a low key kind of relaxed way, unpacking them and settling them into the new cedar hive was Gary’s job I’m watching mostly and handing stuff over.. looking forward to seeing how this progresses.
What you can’t see from the above photos is how hot it was , the bees love it , but we were feeling the need for a dip ,
so of course you take the pig too , Nora loves a wander out , and a dip in the river was just what she needed.
Love making our pig happy ..
Porch Number two is taking shape, and slates are on order to complete them can’t wait to see what they look like ..
The cottages are coming on now and its the final push to get them completed.
First fit electrics and plumbing is almost done , internal walls , insulation, plasterboard and in two of the three the plastering is done ! Here’s a wee little filmy thing to see whats occurring..
As you can see , the windows and doors are all now in place along with the larch cladding. The building team are doing amazingly well coping with the bonkers extremes in weather along with social distancing measures.
( not too bad when you have three buildings , everyone can almost have a cottage to themselves)
End of the month brought us ducklings , finally one of the nests ( we have or had 4 sets of mums sat patiently waiting for babies to hatch !!) came good and Lauren noticed that…
two ducks sat on eggs inside the chicken house had tweeting bums 🙂
May started off with a very tiny wee last lamb, quickly and aptly named ‘Toots’.. she was born on Star wars day or May 4th (May the force be with you ) and we were worried that mum being very young herself ( cheeky last years lamb getting in with the ram when she should know better ) didn’t have enough milk.
The last few months have been very full on, what with the spectacular apocalytic, pandemic that has hit the world .then a drought.. then a moorland bush fire !! sounds biblical doesn’t it .
But not a mention here of the ‘C’ word I promise .
This is my catch up blog because it seems the whole world has conspired against me and my date with a laptop once a month…
They won 3 times it seems but now I need to empty my thoughts out online sorry .
A ‘Stella’ quote ( did you see the xmas special) that just seemed rather apt given the added hairyness of our wild boar ! The girls were looking well wrapped up for the winter in their winter coats and didn’t seem to mind some extra bedding too
… Proper cosy in there.
December whizzed by us at a speed close to that, of a pig after apples ! And before we knew it we had the Christmas trees up ( 4 in total ) staircase , hallway and kitchen covered in pinery ( green finery) and baubles galore;
Threatening to dangle and glitter , like no one was watching ..
Jobs less sparkly, were the collecting and delivering of sheep with our new chum Janette,
However there is always a sneaky cute job to do too like giving the new baby calves their morning bottle feed..
Meet Monica the cutest calf EVER..
(Janette also now owns two of our Tamworths )
Best picture ever, deserves to be full size huh x
November descended on us all like a sneaky ninja … ( well it was dark, and black a lot )
where has this year gone ?
We feel like we’ve fairly trotted from one job to another non stop since forever … But what a lot’s been achieved .
October rocks up , fresh cold and clear blue skies.. (sometimes 🙂 The sheep were a high priority this month and the first thing to sort out as next month is Tupping time and we needed a new Ram .
So I trotted off to the lakes, Cockermouth Tup sale to be exact.
Herdwicks are a Lakeland breed and so the Lake district is the ideal place for a bit of sheep shopping ! The annual Herdwick Tup sale was my first choice and something we were keen to try out ,so first Saturday of the month I booked Henry and Harry into the auction at Cockermouth and headed off VERY early one clear cold morning all loaded up with everything I needed to sell them and buy a new Ram for my girls ..
Get your best knickers on girls ..
The Tup sale started off with lots of showing , the competition is fierce .. winning a rosette will gain you a lot more Guineas in the auction ring so primping and preening was paramount ( I didn’t even attempt it , I’d only just managed to get my two off the hill, feet trimmed and in a trailer never mind a pink rinse !
Love the way they judge them from the back end.
Notice their fleece colour , its an oxide powder called Raddle that’s used to mark the backs so they stand out (Its more pink than red I think ) Herdwick showing raddle is a very specific product and uncharacteristically EXPENSIVE !
Anyway time to get mine sold and to choose a pink Ram
I found three I liked, and set to checking their teeth and boy bits ! yes I did , and no there’s no photo ( I was on my jack jones) all the Rams for sale were in either individual pens or grouped by owner to be sold individually .. You can see the picture I’m sure , me sneaking around trying not to be noticed in case I couldn’t catch the sheep ( tho I did and had em in a head hold so I could check them out .. thanks Tom C for the shepherd training )
One of the three became our new Grobdale herdy Ram .. meet Harold a slightly older gent so hopefully experienced, and I waved goodbye to Henry and Harry , sadly they sold separately but am sure their new jobs will keep them busy so they don’t miss each other too much….Job done tick
A bit later in the month Andy came over all “Wallace and gromit” turning up one Friday lugging a huge industrial oven he’d Skip dived , with an evil and cunning plan to morph it into a smoker ..
Cue lots of metal cutting noises , welding and banging sounds and smells for a few days then hey presto a contraption !!The finished article looks awesome, a bit
Heath robinson meets Aardman animations..
AND it conjured up the most mouth watering smoked duck . He’s a super hero inventor my hubby x
Talking about mouth watering dishes, our first
home bred piglet went off to his final destination at the rather fabulous No 1 Fleet Street restaurant housed within The ship Inn Hotel.
“roast porchetta, apple and butterbean puree, pork and cider steamed petite pudding, slow roast belly, parsnip puree, chorizo crumb, roast potatoes and sage juices “
Sorry I’m still drooling at the thought, clever chef that Callum Harvey .. book in if you get a chance .
The oven was a great up cycling project and we didn’t stop there, on a trip earlier this year we had seen some lovely furniture made from oak whisky barrels and it had been
Poking Andy’s brain ever since ,
So one Friday we took delivery of 18 pre used whisky barrels from Loch Lomond distillery .. cue sawing and banging noises x I didn’t get too involved but loved having a go at the “un coopering”.
The first creations were quite lovely and the jury is still out on which we like the best ..
I’m quite excited to see what my clever man makes next .
Furniture making and buying were a small part of the steading conversion project going on , the build itself was gaining in momentum as more trades joined our builders on site.
We had dykers (dry stone waller’s to us) , electricians, digger drivers, plumbers , zinc roofers and then at
the end of the month Scottish power rocked up with all sorts of vehicles and hardware to install ..
Up on the hill though, the sheep couldn’t care less .. they were enjoying the sunshine and their new boyfriend ..
Fingers crossed ( not legs) we have lambs on the way ..
Imagine this title, in the voice of Joey Tribiani ..
Cos that’s how I heard it, when a very good friend ,said it should be our strap line..
Made me smile and made me think . We have a lot of very welcome visitors to our tiny piece of Scotland and just recently
(I blame current politics.. no I didn’t say the “B” word)
I have had a few friends, say a’ bit of Scotland’ is what they needed to ease stress..
August started with our lovely Helen and Damon adding a few giggles to the day , this is us taste testing gherkins vs cucumber .. does anyone know the difference ?
June is the best month as far as our favourite ginger is concerned as it means all her favourite things .. Cake , friends , presents and chocolate .
We always celebrate a birthday and it generally lasts more than a day, shame the cake didn’t last as long .
A surprise visit from our besties also went down a treat too.. we love you guys.
June 13th was Nora’s due date , and we had planned for Andy to be home for the early days , we couldn’t have planned it better as he had only been home maybe an hour when Nora went into labour !
We camped out in lambing shed to be rewarded in the early hours with the birth of
9 healthy happy piglets ..
As first timers we were quite nervous , there was so much that could go wrong however Nora was a true textbook pig and did everything according to what we had read .
Nora has turned out to be a fabulous mum looking after her litter .. we clearly brought her up well .