On Friday it was Robert’s birthday. I love September; a golden, mellow, honeyed-quince month. Robert’s not so keen…on September (the days are drawing in) or on birthdays (why celebrate one’s demise?).

Even so (the above’s just a man-flu grouch) we were planning a bit of a celebration. A lazy breakfast opening presents and cards, maybe lunch out, followed by a walk; and a festive supper in the evening with the family.
Things didn’t go exactly to plan.

At eight am the phone went…
Paula, we’re just tipping the lime up the top. The spreader’s left Merton, should be here within the hour. Can you be sure to give him a map so he knows the right fields to spread?
It was Mark, our lime-spreading contractor.
Following the poor pH, phosphate (P) and potassium (K) results from our soil analysis I have the Soil Association’s approval to go ahead and spread the appropriate inputs. I want this done before the dung goes out. So I was happy to get his call, just a shame it was ‘that’ day.
I had to do a quick half hour of moving stock out of fields to be spread while Robert went off to attack various low hanging branches and overgrown gateways making them accessible for the huge tractors and gear.


lime spreading

It looked unlikely we would be going out so I thought I’d get ahead of myself and make the meringues for supper.
‘Mum’ it was Olly ‘ the water’s not that hot and the Aga’s low
I’d been noticing this, but thought it was the sudden influx of family and babies needing more heat, water, energy etc.
We stared, poked and pushed. This Aga never goes wrong. Rang the man. Did some more pushing and poking…to no avail. It stayed low and was failing.
Not to worry, as long as there was some heat, it’d do: I’ll slow roast the beef.
The cake was made, so we could have that for pudding if the worst came to the worst.
The worst did come to the worst – my Aga valiantly tried, but died…and they can’t come to resurrect it ‘till Wednesday.

We did manage a walk – later that afternoon around the farm.


Skye and Devil’s Bit Scabeous

We did have a celebration supper – of sorts.

But we’ve turned cold – the Aga really is the heart of this home and the little Baby Belling (new and boxed, though made twenty years ago), purchased today from a gloriously eccentric, ancient electrical store in Holsworthy, doesn’t do quite the same!