Sunday, 17 June 2012
My new header
Thanks for the kind comments and words of encouragement after I was unable to leave comments on anybody's blog. I have defragmented this afternoon (my computer, not me) - whatever that means - and as a result the machine is working much faster. The bad news is that at present there are no blogs at all on my side bar! So I am putting on a new blog and hoping all is well when I return to my site.
I'm glad you like the new header. I have been saving it up for a few weeks. For those who don't know about such things, here are a few bits of information. The cattle are Limousine heifers, all in calf. The yellow ear tags are compulsory as all cattle have to be registered and have a passport - done through the Cattle Movement Service of Defra. They are registered, and issued with a passport and an ear tag, at birth. This information stays with them throughout their lives. And - no - I don't think it hurts them particularly when the tag is put into the ear. I suppose it is a bit like us having our ears pierced - it is over before you notice the pain.
Today is June 17th and the farmer and I have just realised that (only four days before the Summer Solstice) we have had our wood-burning stove working every night of the year so far.
It is cold and showery and certainly not warm enough to be without any heat source.
And yet everything in nature has gone on as usual. The trees are in full leaf and looking as beautiful as they always do before wind and rain begin to sully them; all the wild flowers are out at their allotted time; vegetables in the garden are growing at their usual pace; the birds are nesting and already there are young sitting on the tree branches outside the kitchen window demanding to be fed. We have siskins this year and the young are off the nest. A young one hit the dining room window full pelt shortly after lunch today and lay on its back under the window. I went out to look at it and by the time I got there it had turned over onto its stomach. It lay there for an hour or so and then when I looked again it had gone, so I presume it had recovered - I certainly hope so.
In the fields the rabbits are well, breeding like rabbits. Tess caught a young one this morning and brought it to the farmer, saying "Look at me, dad, aren't I clever." We will draw a veil over what the farmer did next.
Among our fields is one field which does not belong to the farm and this year it has been totally neglected and the grass is high. When we walked past a couple of days ago a roe deer stood up in the grass at our passing. Now we are wondering if she has dropped her fawn there.
Now that our Dutch friends have gone - they went over on the Hull to Rotterdam ferry last night and will be home by now - we are feeling quite sad. Isn't it strange? Some visitors one tolerates as being a necessity, some one enjoys seeing now and again and others feel like a part of the family. Well our Dutch friends fall into the latter category - we were delighted to see them, we had a lovely time while they were here and we were really sorry to see them go.
We did, however, feel that it was a great strain on them having to struggle to speak English all the time they were here. Both of them have excellent English but I am ashamed to say that neither the farmer nor I have made the slightest effort to learn the Dutch language.
At the top of this post I have put two photographs of Studley Royal Water Gardens. They are very beautiful and also very peaceful. Together with our friends we had a lovely walk round them after our visit to Fountains Abbey (they are next door).
In one photograph you will see a 'temple' in the background. In the other photograph our friend is coming out of the door of that temple having just tested the acoustic by singing part of an aria and a bit of Gregorian Chant - and beautiful they sounded too.