More clearing. If you’ve visited me here, you’ll know that on the field to the left of the drive, looking from the house, by the big barn, there was a lot of stuff – wood, metal water tanks, objects covered with tarpaulins and so on. There has been a lot of sorting out done and, this afternoon, Stevo and I spent a couple of hours finishing the job. That is, there are still some concrete kerbstones and some very large logs, but they are too big to move ourselves. The junk has been shifted.
Most of it never needed to be there in the first place, but Russell could never resist making anywhere look like a scrap yard. He’d be the first to say it looks so much better now, though it wouldn’t stop him cluttering it up again. As well as I knew him, I can’t say I ever understood him – that is, I knew what he would do, but never what drove him to do it. It makes me sad to think about the barrier he kept up for his entire life and I only realised in the last few years that it was completely impregnable.
I made a list of jobs to be done outside, the other day, and there are now two items ticked off. There are thirty-two still to go, unfortunately. They don’t include routine work, such as weeding, mowing, watering and so on and are, in the main, too much for me to do alone. I will talk to Stevo’s dad, who might have some advice, he knows everyone.
I managed to stroke the tabby kitten today, the least shy of the four. The black with white paws is also fairly outgoing and the two black ones are very cautious and also lowest in the pecking order. I can’t tell those two apart, but one of them can only feed when there’s plenty for everyone.
The chicks are very lively and they and their mother are eating heartily. I moved their coop to a clean patch of grass, which proved awkward as it’s heavy. In the end, I picked them up and put them in a bucket, to be sure I didn’t catch any of them as I dragged it, to the fury of their mother. She isn’t a particularly friendly hen, considering I’ve been caring for them all for the past year or more. Stevo and I discovered that the other coop is past repair, so I have to do some carpentry in the next couple of weeks, before the next lot hatch out.
I picked the first broad beans tonight – I’ve been eating the tops, pinched out against blackfly, but now there are a lot of pods ready to pick, though the beans are still very young and tender. For supper, I had simply vegetables – the beans, a whole bunch of tiny local carrots and some leftover new potatoes, quartered and fried with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, a crumbled dried chilli pepper, salt and garam masala.
Tomorrow, Stevo is coming over again and we’ll get some more work done. Daunting as it all is, we will plug on and never give up.