I’m not sure where summer has gone this year. I think Mr Bumbleandme me may have overslept and missed it! Autumn has rocked up all of a sudden and although we’ve been enjoying beautiful sunny days, the nights are getting much colder and of course the nights are drawing in. The leaves are starting to turn, the guttering has been cleaned out, and the drive and paths will now need a regular brushing to keep them clear. This does of course mean I can collect the leaves for leaf mould to add to the veggie patch.
It doesn’t feel like we’ve done very much this year, but I think we’ve learnt to pace ourselves and we’ve actually achieved rather a lot.
On the hottest two days of the year we took it upon ourselves to hire a wood chipper and set about moving and chipping the brash from the trees we had removed last autumn. I’m slightly ashamed to say the wood and brash had stayed were it fell since then. But, we needed to plan our attack carefully you see, as the terrain is treacherous. The winter was no time to be clearing in the wood, as it was too wet and slippery. Spring means the bluebells are out and if you’ve ever walked on bluebell leaves, you’ll know it’s not wise to be treading on them carrying brash and heavy wood. As soon as the bluebell leaves had died back sufficiently we set about organising the mess into piles.
The plan had been to hire a small chipper so we could take the machine to the brash pile…. Good plan, shame it didn’t work! Mr Bumbleandme had researched carefully which machine to hire. He even measured the width of the gate to make sure it would fit through. As the delivery man arrived, Mr Bumbleandme went to help the man get it up to the wood. I was banished from helping. As they got it up to the house, it soon became clear the wood chipper was far to heavy to lift up the uneven steps into the wood to the spot we’d left the brash and branches….
After a short committee meeting and a cuppa, we decided the chipping would have to be done by the side of the house. This wasn’t ideal, as the brash pile was about ten foot above this spot and the only way to get the brash to the wood chipper was either to carry it down the uneven steps, or throw it over the sheer drop and down by the side of the house. Neither were ideal, but we’d hired this machine for two days and there was a lot of brash to chip!
By now, the sun was beating down and it was warm, really warm! I was given the job of ‘chucking’, carefully, while Mr Bumbleandme got the job of chipping, and being careful not to let the chippings fly over the hedge and onto the road! We took it in turns to do each job, as the chipping wasn’t pleasant. The noise and smell of the engine wasn’t pleasant in the heat. On day one Mr Bumbleandme got heatstroke and on day two, it was my turn! It was hot and my word it was hard work! We did it though, and by the second day, the brash pile has successfully been moved and chipped and now lay in a big pile by the side of the house. We’d buried the kitty shack and a stone table and chairs too! Although the kittens didn’t seem to mind.
Mr Bumbleandme also decided, after much deliberation that some of his toys would have to go and he bought himself a flail mower! If we are going to turn the paddock into the neat, pretty and weed free field that we dream of, he needed to take action. The farmer has been a great help grazing sheep and then topping the field for us, but things have to be done on their time, as they are so busy, and it was time we took control ourselves.
The first run out for the flail mower went really well until Mr Bumbleandme got into trouble near the stream. The machine was stuck in the mud…. After half an hour of digging, swearing and cussing, we managed to heave it out and he was off again! It’s been used several times now and the paddock is looking so much better already. We’ve been promised by the farmer some of his rams to overwinter in the field, which will really help. Then in spring when reeds start to come up, Mr Bumbleandme will be on his flail mower regularly and hopefully eventually we will win the war on the reeds and have a beautiful paddock.
We’ve also removed some large leylandii from the top of the paddock which has reclaimed a massive amount is space. This area has changed quite a lot since we moved in as the pictures below show.
We’re not exactly sure what to do with it yet, but there were some pretty wild flowers there this year, so I fancy leaving it as a wild area for the wildlife. Eventually I think we will have a barn here, but the pace we work at that they be a while away.
In other news, we got some more poultry!
We got these lovelies about six weeks ago from a local poultry car boot sale. The appleyards are very noisy, but great fun. Nemo is particularly fond of them. Mr Bumbleandme observed the other day that when they put their head under the water, they lift their tails up in the air, but the others don’t. Well, it looks like Nemo has learnt their trick as she does it to! Nemo likes to hang out with the appleyards. The lavenders are curious things. On the one hand they look quite evil, but they are very very pretty. They are settling into the group well and their characters are starting to come out now.
The egg production however has dropped – to one a day! One a day from thirteen ladies, one egg! The ducks never really got going again after they moulted, which they may still be doing come to think of it. And the chickens, well they’re too busy exploring the neighbourhood to lay eggs!
Raynie, the Rayburn has been lit for about a week now and we’re toasty and warm. Mr Bumbleandme has been busy chopping up the wood from the tree work we had done last autumn, he’s also made good use of the veranda and turned some of it into a wood store.
Throughout the summer we’ve been thinking of the cottage interior. We’ve purchased some new lights and chalk paint and have plans for the kitchen and bedroom which we’ll do over the winter. Watch this space….
Thanks for reading.