Sunday, May 16, 2010


Thing 1: The crescent moon.
In the sky: huge and low on the horizon, a little sketch of a moon with an attendant star which may well be Venus.
On the lane: husband, walking his brave hunting dog Chester, chats with our farmer's son who is fencing in the gloaming:

'Nice evening - looks good for tomorrow?'

'Course t'is - moon's on its back - it's not going to let any water out.'

Ah - well there you have it....and there we were thinking farmers had special farmers' weather forecasts from the Met office. Nope it's all down to the way the moon sits in the sky.  Things their fathers told them. We'll see.

Thing 2: Hen bedtime
Just how long does it - or should it - take to persuade 4 Rhode Island Red hens that the place to roost is inside the hut rather than outside on the roof? In the 20 minutes I've been standing in the pen alternately waving a stick and cajoling them to go through the door I've decided that the resident cockerel needs a pinch of bromide in his tea. They are definitely waiting until he's put his head under his wing before going in and hopping onto the marital perch.

Thing 3: The creeping buttercup
'One year's seeding means seven year's weeding'.  How damn true that is. (And Gill, if you're reading this I think of you every time I spot a weed I could have dealt with before it seeded. You were are wise beyond your years.) Have spent the day bent double with my new Burgon & Ball hand fork hoicking out creeping buttercups - the weed that is intent on world domination. Bastards every one of them. 5 mega bags full.  Ever so slightly pleased to find out that bending double in touch-yr-toes mode is no problem at all. It's only the nettles that hurt - and that's another story.

Thing 4: The Incubator on the desk.
It's try again time. After the last attempt which ended with abject failure I've fired up the RCOM Suro incubator again. I have put 12 RIR and 8 Maran eggs in and countdown starts today.....

Thing 5: We have a book.
The car must stand outside because in the garage there is a cubic metre of books. I'm told they weigh a ton. I'm also told - with some surprise - that our book 'looks like a proper book'. The local history project that my co-author Doreen and I have been working on for nearly 4 years is now a reality. We have a book - 220 pages of real book, pages and pictures, maps and charts, acknowledgments and indexes. We have an ISBN number too. It's called 'Marton the story of a Shropshire village'. We have 850 copies in need of good home. This surely deserves a post of its own........


Friko said...

yes, probably Venus. I've just taken a dozen photos of the spectacle from downstairs, leaning against the doorpost, from the skylight, leaning on the window frame, just through a window, trying to hold the camera still in my hands. No, nothing worked. I need to get a tripod.

Sounds like you've been having a very exciting time with hens, farmers, weeds, etc. Creeping buttercup comes second in nuisance value to celandine; at least you don't have to wriggle tiny little bulbils out of the ground. I hate them with a passion and there are still people who tell me how pretty they are.

elizabethm said...

Ok then. How do we buy? A real book now, that's exciting!

rachel said...

I'm with elizabethm - but this is my second time of asking. Get marketing, mountainear!

Pondside said...

I'm feeling the effects of buttercup eradication too. Were they always here, or like Scotch Broom, did some lonely colonist bring it over from home? It's a pestilence.
Last night the hens and I put on a show for anyone driving up the road - me waving, cajoling and throwing corn into the coop while the hens took their good old time, running then hiding. It was 9 pm.

her at home said...

Very real congrats on real book! Sympoathy over buttercup, please post photo as we ahve a plant here adn I have no idea what its name is, looks like what my mother used to call creeper to me but it is self sown and pops up every where unasked.As for agricultural waehter forecasts the whole population of Brittany seems to work on that sort of intuitive ancient system reinforced by short ditties re the weather!

Kirsty.a said...

Congratulations on the book. Lovely to see the word 'gloaming' - much underused, I feel

Wipso said...

You have lots to share today. Good luck with the eggs [do show and tell], hope you conquer the buttercups and of course I wish you all the very best with the book launch.
A x

Chris Stovell said...

I love that story about the moon on its back. Beautiful post as ever and many congratulations on the real book. Are you going to give us some details?

Twiglet said...

We defo need a full blog on that book and purchasing details!!

Anonymous said...

asawtuI do enjoy reading this blog - most of the time. However, as one whose family has lived in Trelystan for generations I sometimes find the witty little digs at our traditions and way of life a little irksome. It sadly serves to remind me why we are often suspicious of incomers who enjoy mocking us, albeit gently, just to beef out their own self importance.

MBNAD woman said...

Well done on the book.

I made the roasted rhubarb tart last weekend. Yum. Diolch yn fawr.

Mad x

mountainear said...

Hello anonymous - thank you for your comment. I'm glad you enjoy reading 'most of the time' but a little saddened that you think that some of my observations and comments are 'digs' and mocking in tone.

Being mocking, hurtful or condescending is not on my agenda.

Yes, I'm an incomer - and moving here to this very special place and living amongst some of the finest people one can find, I deem as a privilege.

Next time you're hereabouts, call in - I expect you know exactly where we are. I'd very much like to hear about the Trelystan you know and have known for generations.

hand-knitted muesli said...

Ha I may be 'wise beyond my years' but there are still weeds in my new garden, including one particularly evil weed that I will have to 'bag' before digging out!