I thought I had my Christmas fortnight organised: finish work in Oxford a week earlier and return to the farm to start decorating the bnb. I had rushed around during the first half of December to fulfil all my mistletoe orders as well as purchase all my gifts so things were looking pretty good but I didn’t count on snow, or should I say so much of it! We didn’t just have a sprinkling. Oh no, it had to snow so much that not only did it almost come over my wellies but I was stuck in Oxford for two days as well!
On the third day I decided it was time to take the plunge and join the masses of commuters who were partaking in what some people consider non-urgent journeys. Having packed a spade, duvet, wellies, hot water bottle (empty), flask with hot water, chocolate, mobile phone charger I braved the gridlocked A34 and M40 and I eventually reached the farm four and a half hours later but none of it mattered because I was home!
Three days later and still no decorating has been done. I cannot stay indoors when I spend half my life indoors sat at a desk and especially when there is snow outside. It maybe a nuisance when you want to travel but it sure is picturesque when you don’t have to go anywhere. Having said that, the main reason I haven’t been decorating is because I feel slightly guilty doing so when there is so much work to do outside with the animals which is taking twice as long due to the cold temperatures. So I’ve been giving a hand. Yesterday started with my brother’s 4×4 getting stuck so I had to rescue him on the quad bike with the collie dog for company. This was promptly followed by the animal feed lorry turning up a day late which was just in time as we had run out of food the day before so it was great timing. However, having managed to get to us in the snow he needed help getting out; we had to use our telescopic tractor with a bale of silage on the front to push him out of the yard and up the drive.
Having seen the animal feed lorry on its way it was time to visit the in-lamb ewes that are away from home and take some food to them. They were so pleased to see us that they ran to the tractor and trailer with hay on. However, the snow was so slippery and the field quite steep in places that the tractor was slipping and sliding all over the place; it was quite frightening but we eventually managed to get home safely.
It’s amazing how resilient animals are; the sheep are literally out in all weathers but their woolly coats keep them warm. However, as the lambing season draws closer the expectant mothers will be brought inside for shelter ready to have their baby lambs.
There are some animals that seem to be enjoying the snow: the ducks have managed to keep a part of the pond permanently unfrozen this winter and continue to quack loudly as ever; I’m sure the self-service animal feed in the barn has something to do with their good spirits.
And Simon and Lucy continue to wander around the farm as if they own the place. However, we’ve noticed that they have taken to sleeping in the barn instead of returning to the field with the other sheep in the evenings as it is obviously warmer – they say sheep are stupid but I can assure you that these two aren’t. At the moment, when you wake and look out the window in the mornings you can see where they have been that morning from their tracks in the snow!
My new year resolution is to start updating my blog weekly but until then, I wish you a Merry Christmas with lots of fun, love and laughter.