Well, I think I over did it... one wheelbarrow full of stones too many.. and got a nasty bug which put me in bed for a few days. But I have started building the wall, the stone foundation for the studio. I decided to use lime mortar and it's not hard at all to mix. I still need lots more stones. But for now I am just letting it all wait.
Before the wall
Mixing the lime and sand.
Meanwhile, the good news is that the water tank that R made so lovingly last summer is now working. No leaks! It will hold 9 cubic meters, which is a lot! We can now take water from the roof (rain) and take it down to the big tank via the 'elephant' tank. It is connected to the mains and the garden so it is multifunctional, for fire fighting or gardening, or eventually, household use.
Another piece of good news is the 'Alascan mill' (a way of cutting boards from felled trees in situ) works. The chainsaw is only just strong enough but R made some fine sturdy planks from the pine tree he felled last year. It was far too heavy to move and also at the bottom of the very steep hill. Taking it up in slices is much easier! This also means that we may have chestnut planks sometime, too.
Of the two chicks that finally hatched, one turned out to be a cock. He just started to try and crow the other day and big daddy cock sent him out of the flock. Nature is quite adamant about some things. So I did a swap with Gail, who was short of a cockerel. In exchange we now have another red hen. It was fun trying to catch him. I did it with grain and a piece of string tied with a slip knot. That was the first time. Then he escaped and so I had to be very cunning and watch his moves for a while. Eventually Big Daddy cock helped me by scaring the living daylights out of it. It almost jumped into the sack!
In the garden we have favas and peas ready to eat. And lamb's lettuce is nearly over. So tasty. Carrots and onions coming up and cabbages ready to eat. Some cabbage seedlings which I planted on the site of an old compost heap are doing so well it tells me just how fertile I need to get this ground. A lot more than it is. The Fig trees are just coming into leaf and the red kiwis which I moved to grow under the fig have come to life and looking really healthy. I moved them this winter as they were doing nothing. They are beside some cumfrey which is a great companion plant. The garden is full of flowers. Freesias ,Gerber daisies, teatree bush, poppies, blue daisies, and other stuff. It looks colourful.
Bonnie has been coming up from the cistus patch with various bones, of a dead sheep, we thought. Until yesterday. I was sitting looking at an old jaw bone she had been chewing away on for weeks and I suddenly realised that it couldn't be a sheep... wrong kind of teeth. Hmmm... Dog? Oh my God... could that be Ginger?!! That was a rather shocking realisation. I took the jaw bone away and buried it (in the compost, of course) and thought about my old faithful friend. These life cycles. Dog eat dog?