The day before we came back to Norfolk, I had a fed-up-sounding message from Roses. One of the bullocks had got into the garden, demolishing a gate and a bridge on the way, she’d been down to close the wrought iron gate to the road, so he wasn’t likely to get out (not impossible, but he wasn’t very likely to leave his friends in the field and head off across the field behind the annexe) but wasn’t well and couldn’t do more on her own. So I sent a message to the farmer and he’s taken them all away – there were only four left, I don’t think we should ask – a month early.
Lovely Wince, our gardener, has rebuilt the bridge and wheeled over a whole lot of logs that were being stored in the old stable. It was completely taken over by brambles but, last winter, someone had pulled them away and stolen quite a lot of the logs. With the weather starting to turn autumnal, I reckoned the rest of them would have gone, possibly within days. We need to demolish the tumbledown stable next and chop the wood, as much as is reasonable, into kindling. There’s always plenty to do here, but actually it’s satisfying work, building up stores for the winter. LT, for whom it’s all new, enters into the spirit of it with great good humour.
I harvested the last of the butternut squashes this morning. We’ve had an excellent crop and, unlike last year’s, they’re small to medium size. Last summer’s were enormous, I didn’t know what to do with them and could only use a bit of one at a time. Rather a lot got thrown out, in fact, which won’t happen this time. We’ve also started picking the Bramley apples – there are far more than we can use, and it’s a big old tree and we can’t get at half of them anyway. Family are coming to lunch tomorrow, so they’re welcome to have a go and take some home, if they like.
Weeza emailed earlier in the week, wondering if we’d be free to invite them to Sunday lunch and, by coincidence, Ro phoned last night with the same idea. So that’s splendid. And it’ll be the first time we’ve seen them since our wedding.
We’ve also brought in some pots of plants to the porch and have taken up half the top of the tortoise run with them. We’re feeling very homespun and worthy in, of course, an entirely good way.