Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Back to our Blog at last!

It has been weeks (actually months) since my last posting.  And I can hardly believe how this year is flying by already.  Since December we seem to have been on the go constantly.
Our darling granddaughter, Emily, spent part of January with us before she and her Dad and Mom and little brother left for Montreal, Canada. She had such fun ‘on the farm’.  She particularly enjoyed the chickens plus going with Grandpa in the bakkie, swimming, playing with the kids next door, playing at the river, baking with Granny, swinging and so much more. She and young Hayden Bitcon from Bahrain had a ball swinging on a tyre swing as can be seen below. It made me realize how much there is for young people to do on farms – I wish more children had the chance to experience getting out and about with no need for the constantly attached cell phone and couch potato TV  time most common during holidays.  Once they get involved with helping with the chickens, going into the veldt in the bakkie and breathing the fresh air while looking at fascinating rocks and stones I often hear “this is so cool!”

During February we were involved in preparing for Kate and Ruaan’s wedding in March.  There was a pool to be installed plus other garden improvements which were long overdue and are a welcome addition.  A garden is never finished, thank goodness, and work goes on as and when time allows. My Granny was an avid gardener on the farm next door and I have this clear picture of her with her old straw hat on going about her job of continually increasing and improving her garden.  If I have just a small bit of her in me, I am lucky.  Mind you, my mother wasn’t known as ‘Stella Blom’ for nothing – always snaffling slips wherever she went and still does to this day, much to my father’s irritation!  And why not?! – it is a joy to have bits and pieces in one’s garden which remind you of where they came from and the people who so generously gave them to you.  Makes a garden so much more special.
The wedding was a very special day – farmy and down to earth.  It rained for two days solidly before the big day much to my horror.  But thankfully, the sun shone on the bride and groom for the afternoon and everyone had a good time.  The speeches were the best and funniest I had heard at a wedding in a very long time.  And the help we had from our family and friends was quite something to behold.  It is just fantastic being part of this close community – something which not many townies may ever experience!
cradock farm wedding

And now more chicken news as always. Young  guests, Cameron and Luke from Johannesburg, had the full benefit of our darling new baby chicks and were a great help putting them to bed and giving them big dollops of love.  We have two lots of babies – one of twelve and another of seven.  All surviving and thriving – but enough now!  We started with six laying hens and six bantams eighteen months ago and have had a few losses to creatures that prowl in the night but our gains have been enormous – currently we are up to thirty two of all ages, sizes and colours!  So now, we need to find homes for the cockerels as there are currently six which compete before sunrise and I imagine our guests could start demanding chicken pie on a regular basis!

 Our 'little' lamb which is now called Lambie was introduced in a previous blog.  He has grown into a lovable, mielie munching teenager who loves Kate as his own mother.  Mind you, when he sees me he comes running - always hoping for a tasty morsel or two.  He has taken to headbutting our gardener Michael and I watched with great mirth one evening as we were putting the chicks to bed.  He had one stick to herd the chickens and one to fight off Lambie.

Next blog, I will give you a recipe for Macaroni Cheese which is a favourite in our family.