Friday, 18 November 2011

Puppy Training or Owner Training?

The pups are nearly 5 months old now and are turning from cute pups eager to please...onto larger hooligans eager to please. They do try awfully hard but enthusiasm often gets the better of them. Cleaning my used dishes on the worktop when my back is turned results in a large smashed pyrex dish and a puzzled dog (how did that happen?)
They adore eating poo of all kinds and there is a large choice here.
Mice caught in the mouse traps are great toys that last until they disintegrate and my recycling bin is a regular source of toys that can be ripped apart and redistributed.

Flora is on the left and Scrumpy on the right. Both sisters from the local dog rescue. I am still trying to figure out who is training who....

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Late Autumn Weather

Well the weather is very mixed but not really cold yet. All of our fields are full of parasol mushrooms which are delicious fried with garlic. I have dried some to preserve them and now I am picking them as required as they don't store well. The wild saffron crocuses continue to bloom and the leaf colours are wonderful.
Everyone is busily cutting wood for fires (next winter) which leaves me feeling rather inadequate. We don't have many trees on our land and so it is looking as though we will have to buy some again to lay down for next year. Although I am surrounded by woods, they all belong to someone and every farmer knows his wood resources intimately. It has often been said..."A Galician would rather you took his wife than his wood". At some point Tim and I want to grow wood for coppicing but the area needs fencing off first, which we can't currently afford.

Tim is slowly settling into life in Amsterdam but going back to a city after idyllic life in rural Galicia must be very hard. My puppy training is progressing slowly, they are still difficult at times but there are moments of joy as well and Scrumpy is developing a reassuring bark that keeps the bogey men at bay after it gets dark. It is rather wonderful to be so aware of the passing seasons here. I eat vegetables from local markets and therefore I eat seasonally which makes you appreciate everything. I am outdoors so much more than I used to be in the UK and starting to feel part of the landscape. Planning for next years vegetables is very exciting as well. I expect that the fantasy veg patch is much better than the reality but dreaming is what keeps us going when the evenings are dark and cold.

Monday, 7 November 2011


Sorry all for the lack of posts. Tim stopped blogging as he lost his job and we have spent several months trying to stay out here by finding other employment.

Finally I can say that Tim is working permanently as a website developer in Amsterdam and I have stayed behind in Galicia to keep the home fires burning and the various animals fed. Not the way we wanted it to be but sometimes you have to do these things.Going back to the UK was always going to be a last resort and we have managed to stave it off for the moment.

It has been an eventful time, we have raised and home slaughtered two pigs which now sit nicely in our freezer. We are now regularly killing home raised chickens for meat and have home raised and killed geese also in the freezer (its a big freezer).

Its not all killing however, we have two mad puppies from the local dog rescue, Scrumpy and Flora. Our chickens have bred so we have some new hens, all ruled over  by Rocky the Rooster who remains king of all he surveys. There is also Alpha Drake, a muscovie with his two ducky women who are laying eggs in unknown places.

Its hard to believe how much we have learnt and changed in a few months. The sight of Tim, an ex vegetarian covered in blood and feathers with his hand in a gooses bottom will stay with me for many a year.

Now I have time on my hands I hope to keep the blog going for a bit longer this time. We even have a camera so I hope to add pictures.