The Ham’s All Gone!

With the ingestion of the last morsel of the traditional ham-on-the-bone yesterday, Christmas is now officially over but, one way or another, we’ve made the most of this final week.

Once Farm Girl got over the absence of her through-the-fence playmates (the Ezekiel Tigerlilys are currently on a camping holiday), she has filled her week with learning to juggle, conquering Greensleeves on the recorder, hanging out with The Farmer and Princess Nikita, helping out around the Homestead and (it has just been discovered)

taking the odd selfie (and we accentuate the odd).

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In the paddock, Geraldine has made it clear that her off-spring need to cut the apron strings and so Ulrika and Ulrich (we’re up to U in the naming register) are now listed on Trade Me. Apparently we have 5 people watching our listing but, as none of them have made their intentions clear to us, the early morning air is still punctuated by the ker-thump of Geraldine once again butting her children away from the food bowl. Mother of the Year? Not likely! 


Leia, in contrast, will need to be persuaded to let her babies go (a battle we are not looking forward to) and Sylvia has taken a leaf out of her book, turning out to be everything maternal a new chick on the block could wish for. So far she has taught her charges to drink and eat from a bowl and forage; dust bathing was today’s lesson. She has also put their safety as priority number one, making replenishing the food supply if not life threatening, certainly a dangerous task to undertake in anything less than a suit of armour. No, we don’t own one and, even if we did, the obligatory seasonal feasting would render it a couple of sizes too small.

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                    “What are YOU looking at?”


The Farmer and Princess Nikita were talked into taking this week as annual leave and have added a bit of sparkle to the Homestead with a) their presence and b) their adventures.  First up was a weekend away in Arthurs Pass where they explored the many alpine walks, made dams in the rather fresh river, took selfies,

Arthurs Pass selfie

and, if their photos are anything to go by, did a great deal of train spotting. That the Princess’s parents thought to shout them the trip home aboard the TranzAlpine was simply the icing on the cake


as you can tell by the size of The Farmer’s smile. His favourite person and a train? Life doesn’t get any better!


Life hasn’t stood still on the Homestead,either. Inside, The Renovator started work on the last room needing redecoration: the living room. As I type this, he is slapping on artfully applying the top coat of ceiling white with the intention of having the entire room repainted within the fortnight.


Outside, a rejig of the chicken coop was in order. Future plans for this patch of land include a sleepout (already colloquially known as Little House in the Backyard) surrounded by luscious and bountiful raised garden beds. It was while discussing this dream and trying to work out just how to go about demolishing the dilapidated-but-still-stubbornly-upright garage to make way for a chicken and duck resort of epic proportions that we realised a small error in current layout: the compost bins (and thus richest soil) was destined to end up under the Little House. 


The new layout will also make re-grassing a little easier come autumn.


And through it all, The Bean Counter has been plodding through another week at the coal face but it hasn’t been without it’s perks: first up gets to be behind the wheel of the newest Homestead Mobile.


14 thoughts on “The Ham’s All Gone!

  1. How busy you all are. Your post brought back memories of two trips over Arthur’s Pass and a journey on the TranzAlpine given to me by a friend. I wish so much I was younger and could continue visiting NZ but at least reading your blog helps.

    • We’re very happy to have you join us (albeit virtually) as we bumble along, especially as you are such a gracious tour guide yourself who shares our belief that all adventures should include a refreshing cafe interlude 😊

  2. I love this post! How busy you all are and what progress you have made inside and out! Amazed at FG’s new skills learnt in just one week! Hope you get a buyer/buyers for your kids very soon.

  3. Ha! I beg to differ – the hams are all doing quite well in the photos :).
    Envious of the travelling duo – I thoroughly enjoyed my morning on the Tranzalpine to Arthur’s Pass from Christchurch and would happily do it again. Did they stay in one of those school houses you told me about, or go camping?
    While Little House obviously brings to mind Laura Ingalls, there is another famous Little House – the one that was given to the Queen (and her sister) when she was Farm Girl’s age – Y Bwthyn Bach: I realize that thatch isn’t so prevalent in NZ, but otherwise, what do you think? I totally wanted my playhouse to look like that, but my Dad wasn’t up for it – mine was conveniently the size of four full sheets of plywood bolted together at the corners…So where WILL you put it, then? You realize you’ll have to do a map at some point – I get lost in your back 40 sometimes.

    • I’ve been meaning to answer this for ages but big decisions requiring the burning of much grey matter and the midnight oil has meant it got sidelined. Huge apologies.
      Yes, two of the hams you alluded to stayed in one of the old school houses and had a wonderful time.
      Imagine a little house like THAT in the backyard..we’re hoping for something that falls between the Queen’s playhouse and yours 🙂 The Goat Herd has spent a great deal of time researching, scheming and drawing up plans.
      At the moment the blogosphere is packed full of lovely pencil drawings of peoples backyards…I promise to map it all out but don’t expect that level of artistry 🙂

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