Showing posts from January, 2014

Reasons to be cheerful: part 2

Do you remember the Ian Dury song which provides the title for this post?  I loved it, back in the day. So I am going to take a series of blogs to celebrate the things that are helping me look to this day and today I am going to start with a dog. A couple of weeks ago my son and daughter in law with their new baby daughter set off for a few weeks in Australia, visiting Katie's sister who has herself just had a new baby.  The sisters wanted to spend a little time together while their babies were small.  So Flora the black labrador came to stay up here for a month or so. She has been many times before, both on her own and with Chris and Katie, so she knows the ropes and quickly settles down. I love her quiet, calm agreeableness.  Lie here, wait there, eat it, don't eat it, come, go?  Certainly she seems to say as with a wag of the tail and a quick upward look to check what you want she settles right to it.  Yet she retains all the joyousness which characterises the happy do

The joys of keeping hens

We bought our first hens about seven years ago.  I researched the whole thing busily and selected a breed which was hardy and flighty, the Frisian bantam.  I had the idea that if they were to live free range it would be good if they had the element of self protection offered by being able to fly.  Funny how your priorities change! This is the cockerel, a fine, shouty fellow.  For a while he and five hens had the run of the garden.  I had not realised we would have to fence the vegetable beds, particularly in the spring, and quite how much soil they could dislodge in the search for a something tasty in the flower beds.  Still they were bantams and could only do so much damage! The flock grew.  We bought a lovely little white Wyandotte, just because I liked her. A friend gave us a Welsumer and we liked the rich brown eggs they lay and bought some eggs to raise some more.  We experimented with an old incubator and raised more hens: a Cream Legbar, a very beautiful Barnevelder,

Look to this Day

Look To This Day Look to this day: For it is life, the very life of life. In its brief course Lie all the verities and realities of your existence. The bliss of growth, The glory of action, The splendour of achievement Are but experiences of time. For yesterday is but a dream And tomorrow is only a vision; And today well-lived, makes Yesterday a dream of happiness And every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this day; Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn! By the poet Kalidasa, widely regarded as the greatest poet in the Sanskrit language, writing probably in the Fifth Century AD. I went to yoga the other night, dragging myself away from the woodburning stove and the warm chair into the blowing, rainfilled night.  The hall where the class takes place was cold too, unusually.  The caretaker had forgotten to put the heating on.  We shivered and kept our socks on.  Our calm and cheerful teacher worked gently to warm us up and to get us to mo