Thursday, 13 September 2012

The nights are fair drawing in...

The year is passing so quickly and it would appear that Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter all merged into one amorphous season.

It has been an utterly disappointing year, yields down, little produce in the garden, fields to wet to go and gather the harvest...I will leave it at that as it makes for such a demoralising read. So many farms have been affected and there is nothing that anyone can do about it. You just have to take it on the chin, tighten belts and hope for the change in the weather which never seems to come.

The wild rasps were picked before the birds took them all, the apples are in the process of being bottled or frozen, the potatoes are tiny this year, no plums at all and one solitary tomato which remains resolutely green despite my futile attempts to ripen it up with a banana nearby.

The little one and I have settled into a good routine for home education and I feel so pleased that he is learning how to read and write, bake and count, paint and garden, sing and play with happiness and confidence. We visited the school that we hoped he would attend but it really is too far to travel to, there and back, twice a day especially in winter.
He attends an 'after school' club and meets his friends.

I am not quite so hands on at the farm now and miss some of the work but it does seem the time of year for stocking up for the long months of winter, trying (and failing) to draughtproof this draughty barn of a house and mentally preparing for whatever Winter throws at us.
There is still plenty of work to be done but the bulk of our son's education has been my responsibility. That said, it is a joy to get out and throw myself into something where you can switch your mind off yet achieve a repair or maintenance and feel happily tired at the finish of the day.

One setback was when the farm water was turned off; no warning or explanation, five days with no water...coincidentally, it came back on today after I asked the nearby school what was going on.
Luckily we coped with ensuring the animals had water but these 'well educated' folk never seem to think about that.
It would have been mannerly to have written or phoned and even more mannerly not to be so rude and obtuse to people when they enquire.
Speaking of rude and obtuse, I spare a thought too for the poor landowner's agent who is worked so hard, he not only forgot to tell us the water was going off for five days but every time we phone, he is in a meeting. For seven years, always in a meeting. It must be great being Mr. Popular. Imagine!

Our hopes of clean water have been dashed. We hoped to have a water filter system in before the winter but have had an awful job getting plumbers to actually turn up to do the quote. We need two quotes for the council grant but they just will not come. One lady (a plumber's wife) who I spoke to told me that it was a waste of time, no plumber would turn up as it was petrol, time etc which could be used working rather than gathering quotes.
I'm terribly scunnered by this attitude but it seems to be the way in this part of Perthshire.

The plumbers have no idea what they are missing here as I would have offered them endless supplies of e coli tea or cryptosporidium squash. The offer is there, Perthshire plumbers...You filter the water and I will keep you fed and watered.

Our son is asleep now, lulled into an earlier bedtime routine by the turn of the Earth, itself. He sees it is darker earlier and falls asleep sooner. It is good to use the extra hours (ironically!) to catch up on my blog or cocoon under a woolly blanket and read.

These are the early days of the long winter months.

I think I will study "How to become a Brain Surgeon in six months" this winter.

Then I can offer homers to plumbers and land agents, of an evening.

1 comment:

  1. They'd make good guinea pig patients.

    What you descrbe is farming, all right. One year it all goes year you just don't know....but you could do without uncooperative land agents to complicate life.

    We do what your son does...go and come with the light....but the length of day varies only by about half an hour over the year!