What a rare treat – we’ve spotted moorhen chicks!

I think if we were holiday makers we would have regarded this week as a real joy and indeed, rather laughed at those who felt it necessary to go abroad to find the Sun. Being what we are, of course, we have watched out desperately for any sign of the torrential rain periodically promised by the weather forecasters!

Despite this lack of rain, it has been a good week on the farm. Tim has been wedded to the tractor, first spreading compost on the cut fields and then topping the next growth of thistles. Our new acquisition, a drive on mower, has spent many hours setting back those pernicious creeping thistles whose heads are so low the topper cannot deal with them. Both the cattle herds have been moved onto new fields. The presence of four WWOOFers certainly has helped in that process.

wild flower meadow in field A.JPG

There has been some movement on the business park but all in the right direction and it too is looking particularly smart at the moment even if the signboard remains obstinately wrong. As businesses on the park thrive so do our own cottage industries involving the sale of Demeter baby food and beauty products.

Our four WWOOFers have had a week of moving the cattle and watering, weeding and picking. They have also produced some excellent apple flapjack and pancakes which we all enjoyed enormously, and are all now happily chatting away in English at lunch times and when with the grandchildren.

apple flapjack.jpg

For myself, feeling decidedly under the weather this week, I have had the chance to watch the cricket uninterruptedly, but sadly an urge to sleep has meant many exciting moments probably passed me by! In the heat of the week I have managed little reading, little activity and little listening. I did learn that the expression ‘Bob’s your uncle’ refers the relationship between the Earl of Salisbury and his nephew Arthur Balfour, but that was hardly earth-shattering news! I also reached the decision that the 1002 pages of the ‘ Tower’ were more than my patience could tolerate.

I am aware that the Proms are close upon us. Sadly, I note that the urge to ‘educate’ means many programmes include built in ‘noise’, but despite that, I will undoubtedly indulge in listening to as much as I can fit in. All that will compete with my recent acquisition of a rather large boxed set of Andre Clutyens recordings on Erato. I must also at some stage move stamps from stock books to my carefully crafted stamp pages. For some unknown reason, some time ago I got obsessed by the Paix series issued in France between 1931 to 1938!

And finally, this afternoon was ‘made’ when in the corner of the garden I counted 6 moorhen chicks and three adults – a rare treat because this year they have not visited because their route had been cut off. Clearly, they have at last realised the ditch which runs past our neighbour’s and then onto our land is the answer to the problem!

Moorhens and Chicks


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