Young Pugsley is home from hospital, a day or two earlier than expected as his blood tests have come back clear and he’s no longer on antibiotics. I went over to see him before lunch and he was putting together some Lego I’d sent him a week ago, to cheer him up as he was feeling poorly then (little did we know…).
That wasn’t the only reason in fact, it was also because I am, presently, in an expansive mood, having finally – the date having been put off twice by a malevolent government and the years of contributions upped almost at the last, so that I had to pay several thousand pounds extra to get my full whack – reached pension age. Having talked to various friends, one who’s 4 months older than I am got hers a year and a half younger; and one who’s 3 weeks older got hers 4 months younger. Most people younger than me will have to wait until they’re at least 65 though. All the same, it’s a time to celebrate and has taken away completely my rather negative attitude to longevity. I am going to spend it all with great pleasure, or give it to charity, and not save a penny of it for my old age, because I’ve reached old age. Splendid.
One change that’s been brought about by the snowy weather is that I’ve started to make bread again. I did throughout the year after Russell died and a bit more, but I’d got out of the way of it again, apart from regular batches of naan bread, which is very easy and freezes well. I prefer it to the shop-bought stuff. Although the local shops have had bread when I’ve been there, deliveries have been erratic and I reckoned I might just as well leave it for others. It’s very little trouble and I’ll probably keep it up. By the way, I’ve finally discovered the way to make yoghurt that doesn’t give off surplus whey – just a spot more top of the milk. I use a pint of whole milk plus the top of another pint, about a third of the bottle (we’ve never given up the milkman) and it comes out perfect. Without that little extra cream, I used to drain off a fair bit of whey. There’s a local farm that sells Jersey milk – I mean, of course, milk from their own Jersey cows – and I think that would be lovely. It’s raw milk, as is Johnny’s farm milk: we’re very lucky to have brilliant dairy farmers around here. So many dairy farms have given up, it’s tough to make a profit nowadays, but those who find a niche at the right time can still be successful.
We’ve never gone so long without eggs this winter, but at last two chickens (i’ve only got four girls now) are laying. The big black hen has been very good for the last couple of weeks and the big brown hen is laying most days too now. Once Rose’s chickens start laying and one of the flock goes broody, I’ll put a few eggs under her. I’d really like to get up to a dozen or so again, and I really don’t want our lovely strain of bantams to die out, after all this time. They’re nice natured and long lived, and I rather love them.
If I also mention that the catalogue for my next auction is online, I think I’m up to date with news. Here you go, darlings.