The farmer has just returned from his shooting day - early as it happens. It is a 'raw' day here, overcast with a bit of sleety rain in the breeze and gradually getting colder; not a particularly nice day to be out. When the shooters got as far as our fields the farmer came home and is just in the process of lighting the wood-burner and getting us snug and warm. Then he can carry on with the jig saw puzzle we started yesterday - one designed by his niece, which we are enjoying doing very much.
Friend W and I spent the morning in one of our local cafes drinking cappucinos - I only got back in at just before mid-day. Then I had to remove from the Aga the ham shank with vegetables which had been slowly cooking all morning. Now the whole house smells of it. It is not something I really care for, but the farmer loves it. Tomorrow I shall strip the meat from the bone (once it is completely cold and the fat has been removed from the stock) and add red lentils, thus making a good, hearty soup for cold winter's days.
Everything seems to eat more when the weather is cold. The wild birds come to the feeders and eat the seeds very early in the day. We always put out mixed seed in one feeder, niger seed in another and sunflower hearts in a third. In addition there is a cage of peanuts, a cage of fat balls, a scattering of suet and of dried meal worms on the bird table and poultry wheat (for the pheasants who more or less live here) on the floor.
The cattle in the loose housing had plenty of silage to eat when the farmer went off on the shoot at 10am but by the time he came back a short time ago they had eaten up.
The only thing that doesn't seem to eat 'with the weather' is the sheep. who just keep eating at the grass all day, whatever the temperature. The farmer scatters 'sheep nuts' every morning for them but only a few of them bother to eat them - the crows and rooks get the better part. The sheep will only turn to them in earnest if we should have a fall of snow (fingers crossed we don't).
I shall now return to the Times crossword - not doing too badly today so I shall persevere. Have a nice weekend.