At long last we have some proper Winter Weather. It was -4 when I drove over to the farm this morning to collect some of the cover crop to check for nitrogen levels, and -1 when I drove home a couple of hours later. The pots (buried 90cm down in the Chalk) have only just started yielding water- did you know that the average date for drainage to start in the UK is November 27th? Before that the soil moisture deficit is too high after the summer months (how fascinating will I be at dinner parties). There is still ice in the shady bits in the garden and the birds have been keeping up a non-stop flow too and from the feeders all day and I am eating far too much :o)
Pop had a V.E.T. visit at lunch for a booster. She is Mrs Brave when Teddy is there too, effecting a kind of casual insouciance that compares favourably with Ted's shakes and shivers and fooled me thoroughly last time, but today she was on her own and it was a Very Different Matter. She scrabbled up on my lap the second I sat down and remained there with her tail firmly wedged under her bottom, growling at everyone who walked through the door. The humour aspect was largely derived from each person looking round for the expected enormous dog and then grinning broadly when they realised the source of the ferocious noise was a small, scruffy terrier who only measures about ten inches at best when she's standing. She was fine and told Ted all about it when we got home. She came out running with me through the gloaming this evening so I don't think the experience has left her all that emotionally scarred.
We are having Duck for supper (special 1/2 price offer at Waitrose). I haven't cooked it before and when I googled it everyone said 2 1/2 hours. This seems way too long to me, so I'm betting on 90 mins. If you know different and happen to read this before about 7pm please correct me :o)
Before I go, I urge you all to pop over to Leanne's blog (if you don't already read it) and take a look at her photos of Goose Barnacles washed up on the shore of her beautiful beach in Cornwall. I've never seen them before and have been thinking about them all day. They are wonderful things. On a similar theme (because you'll find Leanne talks about birds a lot too), the two books above are well worth a read. I've learnt masses from both and they are written in a very accessible and easy to digest style. The Sparrowhawk's Lament was only published last year so all info is bang up to date. It has a chapter for each of the fifteen breeding UK birds of prey with info on their ecology and conservation status.
Right, the Duck is calling and the fire needs lighting and there is a mountain of washing in the airing cupboard to sort and distribute among various bedrooms before we all run out of pants and (even more urgent) there are two hungry dogs looking at me telling me it is past their supper time and what on earth do I think I'm doing blogging when I should be feeding them....?
Hope all are well,