After time away from the Homestead, we had this week mapped out. The list was compiled, daily tasks identified, we would make up for lost time; we were ready to hit the ground running. Instead, one of us just hit the ground.
But back to the beginning; let’s have a little context.
After a full on Housework Monday, during which just a little too long was spent over morning coffee, the diary had been consulted, problem areas identified and objectives set. We had a couple of diarised commitments to negotiate but it was, we concurred, definitely in the Totally Achievable basket.
If, we decided, we trimmed one hoof, per goat, per day, by Thursday Geraldine and Leia would be less one man band with full hoof squeak/click percussion section and more light footed, gorgeous goaties up to the task, in the case of Ms G at least, of facing the milking stand. By Friday, we could be share milking! With careful planning and an weather eye on milk consumption it could be bye bye Fonterra, at least for a while.
Otis works on his fancy footwork.
If we hauled out all the seedlings, raised beds, pots, poles, plant paraphernalia and general detritus that unerringly accumulates in the winter glasshouse, dug the soil over and chucked in a couple of ducks for half an hour maybe we’d get on top of the snail problem once and for all. Then, with clever use of the stockpiled permaculture resources, obligatory binder twine and a handful of long nails we could set about constructing a set of hanging shelves to outwit the most persistent of plant-inhaling gastropods. Or at least give the emerging seedlings an outside chance of survival.
Seedlings take up temporary residence in The Farmer’s half finished bedroom
If we spent all Tuesday afternoon in the kitchen we could produce enough goodies to keep the lunchboxes stocked for the foreseeable future, ensure we looked half organised when company called and call a halt to that grumbling-tummy-inspired dash to the dairy for “just a little something sweet”.
Monday evening we were feeling pretty smug. Not only had we crossed all allocated Monday tasks off the list, we’d also started on the glasshouse clearance. We had this in the bag!
Desnailing the glasshouse
Tuesday dawned a little more fraught. Farm Girl was to guide The Milk Maid and Goat Herd through a Discovery Journey at The Kingdom of Nova. These regular events allow the students to ‘teach’ someone from home three predetermined lessons they have recently mastered and, although there was ample opportunity to attend, Farm Girl was rather keen to see her prospective students arrive as close to kick off as possible. Thus, all stops were pulled out. Unfortunately, The Milk Maid has never been a great one for the whole More Haste, Less Speed kerfuffle. Hell bent on getting those two loads of washing out on the line asap she flew out the back door, flung on the gumboots and snatched up the towering basket. You can see where this is heading, can’t you? Pity she couldn’t.
No one is quite sure what happened. Farm Girl was busy taking care of oral hygiene and The Goat Herd was clearing the table; The Milk Maid’s mind was already down at the washing line. Whatever, however, somehow, our harried washer woman ended up measuring her length on the concrete path, face-down in the chamomile garden, amid a scattering of less-than-clean-now laundry. And she didn’t move.
It didn’t take long for her absence to be noted and assistance to arrive. Still conscious but hurting more than a snit, she was slowly coaxed onto her feet, guided up the three steps she had no recollection of negotiating a moment earlier, and inside where the seriousness was assessed. This, it was decided, was not good. Very not good. Yes, you have to go to the Doctors. No, you will not be fine. Come on, we’re going NOW!
Thankfully nothing was broken, smashed or permanently altered; not even on the young, well meaning registrar who felt that saying “Naww, you poor old thing,” scrunching up her nose and tutting, and addressing the injured party (to the delight of her entourage) as “Sweetheart’. The bruising is now beginning to show, the swelling is down and this morning she could move freely enough to get her boots on by herself. There’s been no bike riding this week, but nothing keeps a good person down for long and there was the new butcher shop (the shop had lain empty since the February 2011 quake) to check out. The show must go on, the cupboards must be filled and Crema lunch must be partaken of.
As for all those jobs: The Goat Herd has made great inroads in the glasshouse. The goats have presentable feet again but the milk in the fridge is courtesy of a global, co operatived owned company. When the Homestead was graced by the presence of a very special Tasmanian dignitary, The Hon Lady Brenda, there was no plate of goodies to accompany the cup of Brighton Up but, to be fair, the amount of frenetic catch up chatter left little time for snacking.
All in all, it’s been a sedate week. One of us has been forced to literally stop and smell, if not the roses, the plum blossom. Handcraft tasks have been conquered, books read and ideas pondered.
As for the never ending lists…Ah well, there’s always next week.