Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Smallholding Presents.

Happy Christmas everybody.  I hope you all got some great Christmas presents this merry morn?  My early and endearing memory was the lumpy brown parcel with the Eire stamps on it.  I must have only been about five but I can remember the postman knocking on the door with the lumpy brown parcel tied up with string.  My Irish grandmother had sent us one of her turkeys, some brown leather boots for me and my brother, a scarf, for my mother and I think a cigar for my dad, or was it some 'boot' socks?  On top of the turkey would be a Christmas card in a envelope and a long letter all about the farm animals and how she was looking forward to hopefully seeing us again next summer.   I think it was the lumpy Christmas parcel and the summer trips to my grandparents farm in rural Ireland.  That inspired me to get an allotment and eventually live on my very own smallholding in the countryside, next to the sea.

Any road (northern English talk) I hope you got that book or spade, or cow or pig, packet of vegetable seeds, beer kit, along with the aftershave, new socks and jumper.  And that includes the women.  Eh?

Have a great Christmas and thanks for reading the blog and all your very welcome comments.  Oh yeah I forgot somebody didn't I?

"Happy birthday Jesus."

God bless and have a great Christmas.


  1. Merry Christmas.

    My turn to make dinner (again). Chicken breast fillet, chestnut & cranberry stuffing, new potatoes, brussels, carrots and parsnips; Christmas pudding & custard; port & stilton.

    No snow, just wet, overcast and quite warm.
    Raggy cat on Chesterfield throne, it's having a bit of lamb for dinner, Mrs left some from dinner last night.

  2. Merry Christmas Cumbrian,

    Your dinner sounds splendid. We are having roast ham (our own) basted with whiskey, Aberdeen Angus beef,with roast potatoes (not ours) Brussel sprouts, carrots, Christmas pudding, Gateaux, German wine, brandy, Glenmorangie whisky, Grouse whisky, Newcastle Brown bitter and a glass or two of your Jeddah gin.

    Cleaned the cattle out today and gave them all a straw bed and lots of silage and beef nuts.

    Have a great day.

  3. Roast ham sounds good, even better when it's your own, must be nice to sit down to a meal you produced yourself, don't suppose meny people can do that.

    Work continues even on Christmas day, as a farmer once told me, the animals won't know about it, they still need fed.

    A brew of Norfolk Werry was transferreed to a keg, 6 bottles left over, they should be ready to drink for New Year, the keg a week later.

    Chicken dinner went down well, assisted by a can of draft Guinness, followed by Christmas pud with custard and finished with a glass of port, no room for the Stilton, and a King Edward.

    Got out sunny this afternoon, warm even, but still feels damp.
    Raggy cat out early, hasn't come back, must be warm enough for a spot of hunting.

  4. Hi Cumbrian, Yeah the ham was excellent. You can't beat eating meat that's had a varied diet. Everything went well with no arguments or illness from over indulgence.

    The animals don't know it's Christmas, you're right. Fido came in black from her ratting duties. The lads bought her and Shakira a Christmas stocking for they dogs, which they enjoyed.

    Raining and windy here. That's one coat drying on the radiator (not that it's on). Then it's muck them out and give them more silage and straw. There's not a lot you can do in the countryside at Christmas, when it's raining.

    Number one son's log splitter works a treat. Says he's going to make a spike on wheels to pick up a silage bale and tow behind a car or tractor today. Don't know where he gets his spiffing ideas from? It's certainly not me.

    Good old Raggy cat.

  5. Yes, I saw a home-built log splitter that attached to a 3-point linkage and powered by the PTO, it worked great as well, 10/10 to No 1 son for inventivness and the ability to build a working machine. Hope his bale lifter works as well, sounds just the job for a small holding, might even be a market for it, there must be a lot of people with a pony in the paddock and a Volvo estate that would tow a bale.

    I managed to get belly-ache from the Chrismas pud & custard, serves me right I suppose.

    Not much to do here when its raining either, Asda opened today, just been, got a whole load of 10p stuff, there was pallets of last-minute goods and not a lot of people there, so a very productive outing. Wish I had a bigger freezer, I think that's on my "to do" list for next year, need to make space in the garage for a small chest freezer.

    Still raining, not cold though.
    Raggy cat been out (reluctantly) and waiting for me to return from shopping, it knows there's a bit of Mrs chicken left for its tea, back in front of fire now. Good life that cat has.

  6. Yes Cumbrian, your description of the log splitter is exactly the same. Harry Ferguson was a genius when he invented the 3 point linkage, wasn't he?

    Number one son saw a similar bale lifter advertised in a farming newspaper and he decided that he would make one. He hits hits the welds with a sledge hammer to see if they break. He says:

    "If they don't break, they are strong enough."

    You can knock the logic.

    We have two freezers in the hall. They are always full with veg and meat these days. Jean bought a load of carrots from Aldi the other day for 20 cents a bag, so she blanched them and froze them. There's nowt wrong with them. Bracken got 2 bags of them also.

    The bloke who sold us the freezer said you have to fill them with food or fill them with newspaper to make them truly efficient.

    Domino also got a 'cat' stocking yesterday full of feline goodie treats. Yes we are mad aren't we?

    Raggy cat isn't daft.



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