You get weeks where everything you attempt falls around your ears and you get weeks where you seem to have the Midas touch. Both of these seven day stretches leave you emotionally, and often physically, exhausted but, for all that, they also provide excellent post topics. They are, in a nutshell, Blog Fodder.
This has not been one of those weeks (please accept our apologies in advance).
Maybe we’re just feeling a bit deflated as both Farm Girl and The Renovator skipped off to their respective educational institutions after two weeks term break with barely a backwards glance. It wouldn’t have been so hurtful if they hadn’t been observed high-fiving each other in celebration of missing Homestead all-in housework day, but at least it meant that The Milk Maid and Goat Herd got milkier coffee when ten o’clock rolled around.
You see, Geraldine is resolutely holding on to all but 100 mls of the contents of her fabled moon-hopper udder. We’re trying not fret too much. It’s true that, not that long ago, our two Goat Girls were wringing their hands, reporting back to the tea table committee meeting they had grave misgivings of even getting the chance to milk feisty Geraldine. Now the contrary lady skips onto the milking stand with nary a hint of hesitation, allows the udder washing with resigned acceptance, and positively revels in the anointment of the Milkeeze. This in itself has the rosy glow of a visit from good old King Midas and, if we’re being honest, we know that it won’t be long before we’re standing in the kitchen, bug-eyed with sleep deprivation, draining yet another batch of feta. We’re all just a little impatient.
This same impatience was making The Renovator a little less than his normal sunny self these holidays. On the home straight after three years of learning how to be a teacher, he was finally at the point where he could start applying to do just that, in front of real, live children. A great deal of midnight oil was burnt in the preparation and personalising of the contents of a teetering stack of crisp, white envelopes. Time passed. More time passed; in quiet moments, shoulders sagged and the rest of us sent fervently positive thoughts into the ether. Then, like the sun emerging, golden, from behind a cloud, a phone call requesting an interview was received. “One interview down,” we all rejoiced, “good practice,” we stated. But it was more than that. Good old Midas! The Renovator will begin the 2015 school year with his very own group of eager minds at a school situated a bare five kilometres from the Homestead gates. It would seem everything’s coming up…roses?
But in the garden, it is all still on the brink. The broad beans are cropping, but still only in as much as providing a scattering of deliciousness in a salad or quiche rather than a saucepanful of buttery, parsley bedecked ambrosia. We do have an abundance of gorgeously squeaky-leaved chard, but we like to keep a weather eye on our oxalic acid ingestion so tend to share our crop with the livestock. But what’s that gleaming on the horizon? The tulips bulbs, gifted to bolster the flagging spirits of us New Brighton residents by a local radio personality, Chris Lynch (whom we never listen to on account of talk back radio making us throw things, but who is apparently a jolly nice fellow) appear to have been subjected to the Midas touch.
In Spring again, we bring again, Tulips from…Union Homestead
The good king has also visited the glasshouse, where some of the seedlings were found to be all but climbing out of their pots and shuffling towards the raised beds in their haste to be planted out. The first wave of the spring planting has now been completed and the word is that our intentions for the front garden are both clear and approved of. Having a bus stop at our front fence allows for many critics but, as the Homestead shopping cavalcade wandered its way through New Brighton this morning, all comments received were of a positive nature.
The front garden begins to take shape, receiving the nod of approval from users of the No. 5, Southshore to Hornby.
Arriving home still basking in the glory of our critic’s kind words, we were brought very swiftly back to earth by our welcoming committee. Roosting on the coir mat at our backdoor was one of the chickens, the lighter of the Delias to be exact. No, this was not an “Awww, cute” moment. This chicken was definitely on the wrong side of the fence, namely the side housing the beginnings of a great many dinners of which chickens receive only the outer leaves and off-cuts. At the paddock gate, Leia’s vexed maa-ing (those that could be heard over the delighted quacks and clucks, that is) indicated things were not going as they should down the far end of the veggie garden either. Yesterday, The Milk Maid planted the excess broccoli seedlings in what we call The Chicken Coop Garden.
On the positive side, they left the beans and blackcurrants alone and we really did have too many broccoli plants .
In retrospect, it’s actually been a royally-blessed week and to round it all off, we have the first in a run of family birthdays: that of cousin Linter Section.
This only-just-twelve year old delights in word-play; when hanging around the Homestead, he insists on “quacking” us up with his “egg-ceptionally” bad “yolks”…you get the picture. So, it’s fish and chips and frivolity with the family tonight…