Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Last week I stupidly forgot to switch a small tractor light off. I only realised when I came to use the tractor again yesterday and found the battery completely drained. A real nuisance, but I wasn't too down about it as I had come with a clever plan; drive the van across the field and after a bit of tricky positioning, jump the tractor from the van. All went well and the tractor chugged into life. But then I couldn't get the van out. What a plonker. So we ended up towing the van with the tractor. In spite of this minor achievement we were no further forward, none of the other important tasks had been done and the morning was almost up. And don't get me started on the wood chipper, on which I seem to spend more time unclearing blockages than actually chipping. Progress is slow.

Need a tow?

We have been toiling on the overgrown orchard. The pruning team arrived last week. At a spritely 75 and 73, my father and mother worked incredibly hard, removing a lot of the growth that should have been pruned years ago. Fallen rotting apples and strimmed grass were raked, apple tree limbs were sawn and tree supports were fashioned out of pruned limbs. It was a tough week but the end result is starting to look like a proper apple orchard and the work hugely rewarding. As my father put it in a casual email to me a couple of days later, " Much driving and irritating Classic FM ads, mostly about holidaying in Abu Dhabi. What artificial nonsense would one get up to there? But this week was real, even if it was very hard work."

It certainly is real as is the realisation of not having a steady income anymore. It's all very well having your own eggs and apples but we need a bit more than that. As self employed i was used to not having a salary but at least we had some sort of regular income. Now we have nothing firm. So it is with great relief that Alexa has managed to pick up a part time teaching job at the local Primary School in Duns. Hopefully that will ease some of the financial pressure.

But at least the hens continuing to provide us with lovely fresh eggs and we have started to compile our seed list for this season - and are finding that's another world again. I think this is all called a steep learning curve. A little too steep for me sometimes. But it's fun. So too is a new arrival. A wee dog called Mattie.

He's been a good wee soul so far and the kids are really enjoying the added layer of chaos. And with four walks a day it's not a bad life for him. Although it is just like a third child ; no attention span and frequent disruption and destruction. If it's not Harriet it's Mattie and if not the dog then Oscar. It drives us insane sometimes. But a dose of fresh air, a bit of grafting or a good walk in the fields and all is put back in perspective. I shall leave you with a fortnight in pictures; crisp weather, big skies and lovely lighting.

Until next time.


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