Friday, 13 July 2012
Never a dull day! I started the day crushing eggshells for the chickens. Lord Meath cracked a joke about me possibly having to sleep in the kitchens, as the lock and door handle had been removed for repair. I love encounters with him. I grabbed a bowl and headed off to the walled garden to pick raspberries. Sounds fun, doesn't it?
The trouble is that I'd already picked all the easy ones! The central row of bushes remained. It was suggested that I use a walking stick or umbrella to pull the branches towards me for picking. Great idea... if I had either of those items. Never one to let a bush get me down, I decided to go into the bushes. Again... sounds easy, right? They're as tall as me and planted really close together. I now know were to hide if I want to disappear from society! Oh... and I got my first horsefly bite today... ungrateful little beast. I was gently trying to shoo it off too. I don't swat and kill like everyone else does. Hmph!
My next task was to fill the honesty box (basket, really). I was commended for the good job I did with it yesterday - throwing in a little idle boasting, though it's really not much to boast about.
It's basically a basket with pickings from the walled garden that people can take and pay what they feel it's worth. Have I mentioned before how wonderful it is to see your 'food' through from the planting to the harvesting and cooking?
Back to our road hog... While I was busy picking beetroot for the basket, Jurgis let me know that it was time to move the pigs. They love beetroot leaves (normally) and could I pick some to help lure them. They've been in the pig 'maternity ward' up to now - the sheds - and it was time to put them back into their paddock... a separate one from where the piglets are currently frolicking. Maeve first, as she was the one most likely to give us strife. And did she give us strife?! She saw her opening and trotted off. It was just Jurgis, Sayo and myself, feebly waving our beetroot around that Maeve decided to totally ignore. Out she went... on the road to the shop, which is where the public come in for their very dignified visit to Killruddery. I freaked! I had visions of mommies with babies in prams seeing this huge tonnage of road hog advancing on them. That Maeve is friendly and is only enjoying an outing would not occur to them, I'm sure. I called for help and was told, "Don't worry. Maeve knows her way around." Only later did I learn that it wasn't her first time out. We eventually headed her off. That was after she took a roadside mud bath (try ushering a mud-coated pig along) and managed to get me shoved into a nettle patch, at which point my thoughts towards her turned as muddy as she was. We finally got her to her paddock and went to let Lisa out - this time, making sure all escape routes were secure. We were busy letting Lisa out when Maeve strolled up to see what was happening. They discovered the pile of discarded feed off to one side and nothing we did would move them until they were good 'n ready. I personally think they were just putting us in our place. *Mentally adds pigs to the list of fairly uncontrollable animals along with goats, sheep and cattle* I think that's what makes them so interesting though :)
After spending a while watching Sophie and her piglets, we went off for some lunch, which turned out to be a serving of popcorn each washed down with Coke. Uh huh... yes... healthy, I know...
I was weeding under the mustard after lunch. Now let me get it down for the record. If it were up to me, I'd buy my mustard, decently packed in a little metal tin or bottled. Them seed pods are sticky and reaching in among them did nothing for my glorious hair do - which needs help on the best of days. I was fully sporting the highland beast look by the time I was done.
Dinner tonight was a delicious concoction of fresh garden peas, fresh garden courgettes, fresh garden garlic (getting tired of the freshness yet?), onion and not-so-fresh supermarket chicken over pasta. It was yummy. I washed it down with the last of my South African wine. Now that was good!