Thursday, 26 December 2013


Christmas Day dawned brightish and fairish after the storms, wailing winds and ferocious rain of the last few days.

Chickens fed and goats milked, we headed for church, then came back to the preparation of our pasture reared turkey - we reared two this year as a trial run, we hope to produce a few for sale next year.

Neil went off to cart hay around to sundry spots where various livestock lives, and came back in a state of shock, having had a call from his brother - his mum, who was spending Christmas with them, had come home from church and collapsed with a heart attack.

He waited for news through a critical hour or so, while we managed to feed him Christmas Dinner, and then set off for the John Radcliffe Hospital and did not see home again until after 2am.

It was a near run thing a few times, but happily and with half our local town in prayer for them, she pulled through and although far from safe yet, he has now just set off to visit once again, late afternoon on Boxing Day.

In between times, falling over from exhaustion, we moved hay, checked the field - where our swale is holding water, but it seems like it is not quite deep enough, and we do need to complete the off-contour drop into the bourne, because unfortunately, the field below the swale is also holding a lot of water.  It is wet. Again.

IMG-20131226-00836back home, I got to play with my very favourite Christmas present - a brand new and very sharp pruning saw.

I may have got a teeny little bit carried away. I took down quite a lot of tree. It is awesome. I now have to cart the lot to the veg garden where I'm building a dead hedge.

Oh but the field speaks to me as well. We are in the direst of dire straits,  and yet I do know I should stop now, stop everything, and work that land. And somehow it will come right.

The native hedge we planted needs laying, the brash needs clearing, the old bits of wood and rubbish need burning, the old pen where Aaron kept his chickens needs mending and reinhabiting.

The fences need mending, the ditches need digging ...

I need to mend the land. Which will mend us. Which will make it all alright.