Early spring - or is it late winter? - on the farm

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We are almost ready for lambing. The big shed opposite the house is fenced in with big bales for warmth and security, and the floor of the yard strawed out for comfort.

Pens have been set up around the inside of this inner courtyard with buckets and ricks for water and hay inside each one. All mod cons for our maternity ward.

I wonder if the weather will stay as warm and dry as it is today. Perfect lambing weather currently but it is still early spring, or is it late winter, and there may yet be gusts of snow and torrential rain.

The countryside around us certainly looks springlike. Daffodils and snowdrops in flower, buds on the trees, hens laying like fun.

They have been very upset by all the change round. We discovered three hidden nests as bales were shifted to create the inner walls of the lambing yard.

It resulted in a cacophony of cackling as the hens realised their secret spots had been rumbled and that they might have to lay their eggs in official nest boxes in the hen house.

But so far one of them has laid her eggs in the baler and another on top of the bulls’ hay manger. They just will not conform.

Added to the hens making a fuss, we also have a bunch of calves vociferously demanding to be returned to their Mums. These calves, all born late last summer, have been weaned today.

The cows are not bothered at all . They are all back in calf and probably fancy a bit of peace and quiet before the next offspring arrives.

So all in all there is a bit of ill will directed towards John and me in the yards today.

In fact I sensed the shiver you feel when someone “walks” over your grave. But in my case, my son in law Matthew, has predicted death by kitchen appliance for me and I am afraid he may have a point.

It must be admitted I do have a serious weakness for kitchen gadgets.

Currently I am in the throes of despair because the unbreakable polycarbonate jug for my blender has cracked and so is leaking any liquid mixture all over the worktop. I love this particular gadget.

It makes sauces and soups, scrambled eggs and batter mixes with consummate ease. I do not know what has happened, but it is a tragedy and I have managed to almost permanently attach myself to both the blender and the worktop in an effort to seal the cracks with superglue.

My demise Matthew predicts will be along these lines.

Serious blood loss from the mincer attachment for my big mixer or blades of my food processor. Maybe compression injuries from the pasta maker or juicer or coffee grinder.

Alternatively boiled to death in the rice cooker or deep fried in the deep fat fryer. Then finally cremated in the halogen cooker and cryogenically preserved in my ice cream maker.

At least my blender will be blameless.