Tuesday, 23 October 2012

New family member

Her name was Lucy Fur, but having examined the rear end she is a he. Therefore he needs a manly name so he is now known as Monty (after Uncle Monty in Withnail and I). He is 8 weeks old and still a little wild and un-handled. He is here to provide company and help with the mouse problem. He has the usual fleas and worms but has a loud voice. Food has been taken at speed but he is happiest hiding behind the kitchen furniture.
I shall keep everyone updated on his progress from small scrap to hopefully efficient mouser.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Misty Mornings

We are at approx 800 metres above sea level which works very well for us. In the summer we get breezes and the air is fresh and in winter we are often above the fog line and get first go at the sunrise. Galicia is known for its mists and otherworldly atmosphere. This is the mist I looked down on this morning. Sometimes it looks like an inland sea.

The turkeys have been a delight, I ended up having three boys and one lucky lady. Which lady could resist these handsome boys.

There never seems to be enough hours in the day at the moment. We are having a period of cold days with bright sunshine and I am desperately trying to get the rest of the garlic in the ground and plant some bulbs which should produce a wonderful show in spring. I am also battling the wildlife invasion into the house. I have mice behind my kitchen cupboards and coming out of some walls in the stables and corridor. My friends have the same problem, at this time of year rodents which have been happily living outside move into buildings as the cold weather approaches. Poison is not the answer as Nosher ducks or other wildlife may devour the corpses, I had some traps but mice seemed to get partially caught and drag themselves off to die somewhere inaccessible taking the traps with them. Nosher our cat is doing his best to stop the tide but I am on the look out for a local junior mouser to assist him.
I disturbed this slow worm whilst digging but left it to go on its way.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


I am still getting used to the Galician climate. We seem to get very hot dry summers and very wet relatively mild winters (compared to the UK). I have experienced snow here and frosts and freezing water pipes are usual in winter. At the moment it is raining and has been since the weekend, the house roof leaks but luckily not over any important objects. The goats are miserable as they are in the stables this morning, when there is a brief break in the rain I let them out for a run. Ducks don't care, the ponds are full so they take full advantage. I have been cleaning and de-shucking seeds from their branches. I now have enough coriander seed for the year I hope, Dill, anise and parsley seed are jarred and labelled, and the goats are picking over the dried branches that remain. I haven't blogged recently because life has been a little more chaotic than usual. Tim finally found a job in the UK and has been working hard for a couple of weeks. It is permanent which is not ideal but as everyone knows, with the employment situation being so difficult we didn't feel we had any choice. Temporary contracts were not getting us financially ahead as we had to support ourselves during the breaks in between. We both hope that one day Tim will be able to work from home in Galicia where he belongs.

Meanwhile my winter preparations continue. I have taped plastic freezer bags over the missing panes of glass in the windows to stop the rain coming in. I have sewn a blanket over a stick which hangs from bent nails to use as a curtain. Real curtains go mouldy in the damp climate. I hope I have sown sufficient winter vegetables to provide the bulk of my needs. I have still got beans going, sorrel, chard, lettuce, herbs, cabbage, sprouts, courgettes (still going until the first frosts) broccoli, cauliflower and kale. I have also sown broad beans for spring eating but not got the garlic into the ground yet due to the rain. I have been madly saving as many seeds as I can for sowing in spring. I like to use the Real Seed Company whenever possible which I am unashamedly plugging, their new brochure is coming out in early November. The exploding cucumbers sound fabulous.