Thursday 31 August 2023

No Frugal Round Up This Month.

 As there there were no big extra expenses this month I decided it would be a good month to sort out a new settee and armchair. The family have been nagging me for several years as both are old and saggy. There's a replacement bit of foam on the settee that moves forward and back cushions that have pillows behind them to prop them up and the huge patchwork throw over the bare fabric underneath is also so old that it's starting to fall to bits. My armchair has 4 cushions under it's throw on top of the actual chair cushion and another at the back to make it sit-able. Yes - they really are old and saggy!

There is a family run furniture shop in Diss that is easy to get to with a really good choice so that's where I went, first for a look a few months ago and then for choosing design, fabric and colour. I'm very excited and looking forward to delivery in a few weeks. - And that's why there are no frugal notes because I've paid half so it was a very un-frugal month!

There was another expense for August that I'd forgotten - the half year bills for water and sewer, but now I have a meter they are much more manageable.

Of course I have carried on with all the normal penny-pinching things and savers - one big one being having enough veg from the garden so that only pence were spent on vegetables this month (carrots and that £1 worth of red peppers for the freezer).
 And talking about peppers............. I mentioned  a mystery something damaging the peppers and causing them to rot, but after removing all the plants - except the one that looked OK - from the greenhouse, I've had no more problems and have 5 big pointy sweet peppers slowing turning red. I reckon it was slugs - active at night so I didn't see them and in the pot soil during the day.

September is another month without any big extra expenses so I'll probably be ordering some heating oil - not sure if it will be 500 litres or 750 as the watchman remote measuring thingy seems not to have changed for a while - which in one way is good but on the other hand makes me wonder if it's actually working........and I hate having to climb a stepladder and dip the tank.

Back Tomorrow with a First-Day-of-the-Month post, then taking a few days off.


Wednesday 30 August 2023

The Oxburgh Estate.

 A few weeks ago I had a day out across the border into Norfolk so I could visit Oxburgh Manor House while I had my NT membership.

I say 'day out' but actually I was only there a couple of hours as there's not really much to see. Once you've seen one lot of Estate Parkland you've seen them all I reckon!

The house is still a home so only a few rooms are open to the public, but it's the outside that's probably the most impressive thing about the place.

Here's some information about it's history copied from the website

Built by the Bedingfeld family in 1482 as a statement of power, Oxburgh and the family have endured turbulent times. Through religious persecution, Civil War devastation, near dereliction and threatened demolition, Oxburgh’s story is one of survival.

Step inside to discover the legacy of the 6th Baronet who created much of what you see today, from the Victorian Gothic interiors to the ornate architectural additions that reflect a romantic view of Oxburgh's medieval past.

The rise and fall of the Bedingfelds

The Bedingfelds’ unshakable Catholic faith and commitment to preserving their history are a potent combination, expressed throughout this remarkable place in its architecture, collections and landscape. Add to this the family’s strong royal connections and a powerful story unfolds.

But when Henry VIII became head of the Church of England, little could the Bedingfelds have foreseen how their religious beliefs could have consequences for successive generations.

The entrance is through this archway into the inner courtyard

I didn't take many photos inside as the rooms are kept shaded to protect the old furnishings.

The library has a hidden door into the next room. There was a room steward standing by the door to open it for everyone to see, so I couldn't take a photo of the real thing. I bought a postcard and took a photo of that instead.

Below are embossed and coloured leather panels covering the walls of one room

Three photos below of ongoing work to restore the Parterre

Below are part of the walled gardens with some veg growing.  There was a big fruit cage full of raspberry canes that were absolutely loaded with ripe raspberries. Why on earth had no one picked them? What a waste!

I found the second hand book shop in the Potting Shed and just bought one small book which I'll write about another day.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 29 August 2023

The Flowers and Books at Crowfield Church

 As mentioned on Saturday I went to the flower festival at Crowfield church mainly for the bookstall 😃

The theme of the Flower Festival this year was Children's Nursery Rhymes and Poems and I took some photos because I'm always impressed by flower arranging which is something I've never learned to do. (Didn't photograph all the arrangements as there were 30+ around this small church.)

The guide leaflet had the history of some of the rhymes which was interesting.

Hickory Dickory Dock below, was first found published in 1744. It might have been based on a clock in Exeter Cathedral 

Old MacDonald had a Farm, below. The earliest version dates from 1706 in an opera called "The Kingdom of the Birds or Wonders of the Sun"

The Owl and The Pussy Cat, below, is one of Edward Lear's nonsense poems from 1871.

Ten Green Bottles, below, is a very old counting song going back as far as the C14. (We sang this endlessly at Primary School!)

Hey Diddle Diddle, The Cat and the Fiddle, below, is thought to date back to at least C16 and gave rise to many Cat and Fiddle pub names.

Ring-a-ring of Roses, below, probably composed in the late C17 and may refer to the Plague with the roses being a red rash and the sneezing being an symptom.

And each side of the porch a Teddy Bears Picnic was happening. The melody was composed in 1907 and lyrics added in 1932.

Outside they had a tombola and plant stalls and of course the big gazebo full of  second-hand books. Not as many books as they sometimes have, although they'd got lots in boxes under the table which they said they would put out later when they had room - which always seems an odd thing to me as they can't sell books unless people can see them!
Anyway, I picked up four for 50p each =  a Persephone - Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski, another of Alexander McCall Smith's stand alone books - My Italian Bulldozer (what a curious title!), H.E Bates -Fair Stood The Wind For France and a children's book just because I liked the picture on the front cover. The book is a bit tatty so after it's been read I'll probably add that cover picture to my scrapbook.

The Church is open everyday so I will go back for a proper Church visit and then I'll carry on through the back road to Coddenham because Crowfield was a Chapel of Ease to Coddenham well into the 20th Century.

A chapel of ease (or chapel-of-ease) is a church building other than the parish church, built within the bounds of a parish for the attendance of those who cannot reach the parish church conveniently, generally due to distance away. Often a chapel of ease is deliberately built as such, being more accessible to some parishioners than the main church.

Back Tomorrow

Monday 28 August 2023

208th out of 208

 Ann Cleeves has a new book in her Matthew Venn Devon crime series due out on the 31st of this month and I only discovered yesterday. 

I quickly reserved it and that's when I found I was 208th on the waiting list.

So................ it's published Thursday, Suffolk libraries have 50 copies on order, it takes a couple of weeks for them to get the copies in and start distributing around the waiting list. Each reader needs to go into their library and collect their book which they can have for up to 3 weeks (or 8 weeks on the mobiles) without going overdue. Some people will have the book for less than 3 weeks.

So can you do the Maths with some sort of algebraic formula to work out in which month I will be able to collect my copy from the library van which only comes once every 4 weeks??

I guess December or January.

We'll see!


(I'm having annoying problems with my lap top since new virus protection was installed, so if I disappear that will be why)

Saturday 26 August 2023

The Last Bank Holiday Weekend Before Christmas!

 Sorry about that title, but it's the frightening truth!

It's the weekend when they have the flower festival in the little church at Crowfield - I think I've been most years since finding out about it, not because of the flowers but because they have a rather good amount of second hand books for sale. Discovered Crowfield hasn't been "done" as a proper church visit although it gets mentioned every year. Must rectify that.

The Athletics World Championships have been good to watch on TV this week although I puzzled at the decision of the GB Athletics Association to only take people who had could get into a final. It meant there were several events with no representative from here which seemed a shame.  

Haven't had flowers for a while but spotted these for sale for £2 on a roadside stall near where we have the Keep Moving group. Gorgeous colours.

After my shelf shifting there's no room now for much of a seasonal display on the smaller shelves in the living room. But the room seems to be looking bigger without the other big pine shelf unit which is what I was hoping for. The books that are not used so often, which were on the bigger shelves, are now in my bedroom waiting to see if they are really needed any more.
That Roberts Radio was a charity shop bargain while we were on holiday in Somerset many, many, years ago - £4 I think because it had no electric lead but we had one at home and it can use batteries too which is useful in a power cut. Come to think of it everything there is second-hand except the flowers and the plate stand! 

More garden clearing this week including one Huge courgette plant which had finished - I'm still eating courgettes several times a week and thought it was nearly the end but after removing the one plant I discovered the second plant has put out new growth and there are still babies appearing - more fritters/courgette pesto pasta/courgette crumble next week I think. I've had 2 handfuls of Runner Beans so far and I'm hoping for more, the plants have gone up to the top of the canes and are now coming down again with more flowers than they had before. 
My garden waste bin had settled a bit so I managed to shove everything in and it will be emptied next week ready for me to fill up again when I cut back the Buddleia that's smothering the sweetcorn plants. I'm trying to think of a way to squeeze in another compost bin of my own, I have two - one to fill - which is full-  and one rotting down. The rotting down one could be emptied onto the garden now but there's not a spare patch of soil to empty it onto......I'll puzzle it out somehow.

Have a good weekend.
I'll be back Monday or Tuesday

Friday 25 August 2023

The August Library Book Photo and..........

 .......................the books I read while waiting for them to arrive.

 Some of my reservations went AWOL last month so I ran out of books to read (Ha! There's enough here for a year or more) I nipped into Stowmarket library and came out with these from the crime shelves.

and read these from my own shelves.

I've written notes about all those on the Books Read 2023 page as well as last months library books.

And here's what I collected from the van yesterday. 

Seems to be a lot of crime fiction again - no surprise there then! A couple are Large Print as they often have no waiting lists. There are two by new-to-me authors and a random cookery book to peruse.

My missing books from a month ago were still missing so "just" twelve to collect. I said "don't worry about looking up where the missing books are I'll just look in my History bit on the Library Dashboard and reorder them" and when I did I discovered that 4 of the 5 were on the Mobile Library shelves. So somehow they'd got missed from the pile with my name and been shelved.
Not that it matters, as 12 books should last me a while and there will be another heap in 4 weeks time.

Back Tomorrow


Thursday 24 August 2023

More About Parsley

 I wrote about growing parsley from a bought pot of parsley from the supermarket earlier this year HERE and said it was much simpler than sowing from seed and cheaper too. Parsley seeds are notoriously difficult to get going, tradition is that they go down to the devil and don't always come back!

 I planned to buy another pot in Spring and divide, which I did and these are the small portions of seedlings that I put in a big pot and a small pot in the green house. The bigger pot full grew rather well! The clump I planted outside is buried under the courgette leaves at the moment hopefully will survive and recover when the courgettes are cleared away.

With such a huge pot full  I had enough to try this recipe which I've wanted to have a go at since finding it in the small book "The Shirley Goode Kitchen", a BBC book published in 1986. Shirley did a TV programme about frugal cooking and managing on a tight budget. (I see it's still available cheaply on Amazon) My copy is looking very tatty now but it will see me out. 

The recipe  sounds improbable  - turning parsley, water and sugar into honey?
Anyway I gave it a try.

Parsley Honey
4oz Parsley (leaves and stalks)
1lb Granulated sugar
1 heaped tablespoon thick honey
Wash the parsley and put in a big pan with 1½ pints water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a measuring jug and if necessary add more water to make 1 pint. Return liquid to pan. Add the sugar and bring to boil stirring all the time, then leave at a rolling boil for 20 minutes. Add the honey and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat and pot into small, hot, sterilised jars.

I presumed it was supposed to set or thicken a little - it didn't look as if it would so I put the jars in the fridge.

When it was cold I poured some -  it was still just a liquid - onto a piece of toast. It tastes like honey. Or maybe just sugar/water flavoured with honey! But even after days in the fridge it's still just really thin. Had I have thought about it more I could have used some jam sugar containing pectin which might have helped.
I have an idea that it might be good poured over a plain cake like you do with a Lemon Drizzle cake and it would certainly be nice in hot water for a winter drink but it will have to stay in the fridge taking up space until then as it goes straight through toast!.

According to the book "The Garden Apothecary" there are other uses for parsley apart from the well known. The Romans used it as a breath freshener after a meal rather than in the meal and it was grown as a fodder for horses and only became a culinary herb in the Middle Ages.

Culpepper the C17 herbalist said
The leaves of parsley laid to the eyes that are inflamed with heat, or swollen, doth much help them, if it be used with bread or meal and being fried with butter, and applied to woman's breasts that are hard through the curdling of their milk, it abates the hardness quickly, and also takes away black and blue marks coming of bruises or falls.


 I'm glad I finally got to try Shirley Goode's frugal recipe but wish it had worked a bit better.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 23 August 2023

My Sunday Fruit 'Ration' *

Many thanks for comments over the last couple of days - apologies for not replying - I had to do a bit of Nanna duty.

 On Sunday I checked for more figs and yes, two more were ready and then a small splash of orange caught my eye high up above the fence between me and next door neighbour so I went for a closer look and yes,

 it was a passion fruit on the climber. I mentioned this passion flower plant a week or so ago when the first lovely flower appeared and now there's a fruit - just one - I'm not tempted to get a step ladder out to reach it even if it is edible.

But a much  more edible find was a few raspberries right on the tips of the canes that were here when I moved in. I still can't work out exactly what variety they are as some fruited back in early summer and the canes are all squashed together in a muddle in the narrow border.

* I also had an apple as part of my three-a-day portions of fruit, which seemed a bit boring after figs and late raspberries!

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 22 August 2023

St. Mary's Church, Combs

 Combs is a village divided into two parts. Combs Ford is huge - with large older and even bigger new housing estates and is now usually thought of as a suburb of Stowmarket, Upper Combs is the older part of the village a couple of miles away. The Church is halfway in between, out on it's own down a little narrow lane. That's why I found it locked when I went to look a few months ago, so when I noticed on the local facebook page that they were having a coffee morning it seemed a good opportunity to look inside.

The only downside is I felt like I had a half a dozen pairs of eyes on me wondering why I wanted photos! I joined them for a coffee and explained about my blog - not sure anyone knew what a blog was.

The last time I was in the church was for one of Colin's cousin's weddings in the mid 80's and before that in 1980 Eldest Daughter was Christened here at the same time as a friend who lived in Combs had her son Christened. We lived just over the 'border' in Stowmarket and didn't go to church but that wasn't a problem back then.

The church is now entered through the North porch but years ago the entrance was at the back through the large red brick South porch dating from C15. (Should have asked about the chimney)

The west end of the church is right against the boundary fence so the tower has doors on either side to allow for medieval processions circling the church to stay on consecrated ground

View down the Nave. The church is very light due the clerestory windows and many of the nave windows are plain glass.

One of the stained glass windows is made up of fragments collected up after the 1871 explosion at the gun-cotton factory in Stowmarket in 1871 shattered all the windows in the town and for miles around. Info on that HERE

One of the features in the church are the bench ends - so many different animals, birds and people some  dating back to C15, some Victorian. The Suffolk Churches website (link at the end of the post) has photos of many, many more. 

The font is nicely decorated.

Carvings on the roof beams

The altar and seats for the priests in the sanctuary

Always interesting to see paintings or photos of past views of the church

One of the few people having a coffee in the church was the man who used to drive the Mobile Library Van up until a couple of years ago. So that was a nice catch up - he's a church warden there I discovered.

Many more photos HERE on Simon Knott's Suffolk Churches website.

Thank you to everyone for comments yesterday on my 2,000th post, and I love writing so will keep going. So 3,000 posts here I come!

Back Tomorrow

Monday 21 August 2023

2,000th Post

This is post number 2,000 published on this we say in Suffolk "That's quite a few!"

 2,000 since we moved back to Mid Suffolk in  March 2017, and there were 1,068 on the old blog covering 2013 to 2017 when we were at the smallholding in Knodishall and our year in Ipswich.

 3,068 posts. What on earth have I found to write about?

Thank you to everyone - new readers and those who've stuck with it since the beginning - I'll keep writing if you keep reading.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 19 August 2023

Saturday Again

I was out the front one day this week when a man wearing hi-viz orange appeared in a truck and started putting barriers around the water stop tap in the path. He told me they had 3,000 to do as all water use  measuring and billing was "going smart" and they were preparing every house to have a meter that could be read remotely. I then found an email telling me the same thing - so I needn't have bothered to have a meter put in last year (although it didn't cost me anything) and blow-me-down I've recently had letters to say BT are going all digital in this area  too - no more home phone plugged into the wall - it will have to be plugged into the broadband home-hub. So no electric = no phone. Whatever are older people without broadband or a mobile phone going to do? 


 Eldest Daughter and the Surrey boys should have been here for a few days but they had to cancel due to illness which is a shame but hopefully they'll be able to reorganise. They have such a hectic life with Son in Law often working away overseas, and Daughter working nearly full time as well as running Children's Craft Parties - I know I wouldn't have been able to cope with all that even though I was much younger when my lot were born. H. is now 43 with a 7 year old and a 2 year old and when I was 43 she was 18, son 17 and even youngest daughter was 11, "having them when young" now seems like it was a good idea! (Houses/mortgages were cheaper then too so we could manage on one wage.)

It was odd having 3 days that would have been busy, suddenly empty. I gave the car a much needed wash and  got some extra gardening done. I cut back this years fruiting canes on my row of raspberries and wove the new canes between the wires to keep them upright. With more cutting back of the wilderness down the side of the bungalow my garden waste bin is full yet again.

Mmmmmm Figs # 3 and 4! Eaten on Thursday. 

Fig number 5 was eaten on Friday and fig 6 I discovered hidden at the back low down and over ripe and when I picked it it shot out of my hand landing on the patio with a squelch.- Annoying . Fig 7 looks ready for today.

Looking for ideas for things to do on my now empty weekend I discovered one of the churches that I'd found locked when visiting have a coffee morning so that would be an opportunity to get in and take some photos and the weather looks OK for the normal boot sale visits.

You (can't remember who) were right. It's now 8 months - almost -  since Christmas - when I had the lovely navy blue towels for my new en-suite shower room. They are STILL leaving a layer of blue dust on top of the cistern, on the shower base, on the window sill and in the washbasin. They've been washed plenty of times and tumble dried more than I normally would just to see if I can stop them shedding, but under the towel rail where they hang I can mop up a thick layer of blue fluff/dust every. single. day.
 I give up, I've ordered two large WHITE bath towels.

Back on Monday

Friday 18 August 2023

Our Goat Keeping Days Part 2

Continued from yesterday more about our goats at the smallholding in Knodishall near the Suffolk coast.

Four of our goats enjoying some fresh grass on the campsite - winter 1998. 

Below are 3 of the girls trimming the new willow hedge around the campsite in 2001. Goats are really browsers rather than grazers although they do eat grass and need hay all the time they'd much prefer a nice hedge or tree!
 That is Molly in the middle - we didn't keep her long she was the nastiest little goat we ever owned. I'd spotted an ad in the newspaper for someone giving away goats and as it was local we went to look. We really should have turned round and headed home as soon as we arrived because the place was a tip. There were goats and rubbish everywhere and a very elderly man hobbling around using 2 muck forks as walking sticks. The goats had obviously been fed and watered but left to run wild and breed any old how but little Molly was a Tog and I'd missed having Toggenbergs since Daisy "left us" due to old age a few years previously, so we took her home. I'm afraid she went off to be put down not long after she'd nearly knocked me over several times.

I think almost the last goats we bought was another Saanen called Rose and her kid Tilly. We travelled up to Norfolk to collect them. Rose had been mated with a Golden Guernsey so little Tilly was a lovely   Golden Guernsey/Saanen cross. 

A very strange coincidence happened  two years later when someone we'd never met - who I'd been writing to as a penfriend for a year - came to stay on the campsite. We'd become penfriends through a small magazine called The Penny Pincher Paper. I knew she'd got a goat but after she looked hard at Tilly and asked where we'd got her it turned out that her goat Milly was Tilly's twin who had already been sold when we collected Rose and Tilly from Norfolk. My penfriend and her family had been up to Norfolk from Essex to collect Milly just a few days before we collected our girls. - Very odd coincidence. 

Below is Tilly with her kid in 2003- we'd used a friends Boer goat billy for this mating because they had room to keep Tilly for 5 days.  Back at the beginning it was easy to move goats for mating - that was before movement books and ear tags and Much Hassle. You could  spot her being in season, load her into a trailer, take her to a billy and a hour or so later take her home again. It gradually got more difficult after foot and mouth disease  as moving an animal on and off the holding on the same day wasn't allowed. 

A few  years later we were able to mate Tilly with a decent male goat and I registered her kid with the British Goat Society  - Noddishall Izzy. Something I'd always wanted to do - just so I could have a herd name and see a goat listed in the BGS yearbook!  We were never interested in showing goats or milk recording so didn't really need to have them registered.

Why did we give up in 2010?
There were several reasons. Around then we were thinking about moving to Wales, our neighbour who milked for us when we were on holiday had started to get arthritis in her hands and with the children moved out we didn't need as much milk. 
Goats are a real tie, it's easy to ask someone to feed chickens and collect eggs but not so simple to find a goat milker. Even a long day out needed someone to come and check them.

We advertised the goats in the Suffolk Smallholders Newsletter but the first person who planned to buy our goats then backed out. We gave up the moving plan when we searched for a house and found that everyone selling was English, moving back to England, had bought when prices were high, and wanted daft amounts for their houses,  and then to cap it all I wasn't well for a while and as Colin had never been able to milk - his thumbs were double jointed and would never bend the right way for milking so I had to carry on milking even when quite poorly. By the time I was better  a new enthusiastic buyer had appeared on the scene. So we went ahead and sold the two girls we still had - an elderly Tilly and the younger Izzy. 

It was a sensible decision but a sad one. They are such lovely animals to keep, loads of character and it was good having fresh milk everyday without needing to go the the shop. For nearly 20 years we rarely bought milk, I taught lots of people how to milk and care for goats and surprised dozens of people when they tasted what fresh clean goats milk should taste like. Happy memories.


I found this little framed print on line, sorry it won't enlarge enough to see the breeds - I would have loved to have had this when I was goat keeping

Someone asked if they were pets or livestock. On our smallholding everything had to have a purpose so although they were much loved and enjoyed we never had a problem sending them off when they got too old or sending the billy kids for meat. I met lots of smallholders who wouldn't have dreamed of doing either but it was the same for us for our sheep and laying hens and the pigs we raised for meat. They were all looked after properly and had a good life on the holding  and the breeding adults given names but lambs and pigs had a purpose and chickens too old for egg laying were soon dispatched.

I quite expect follow numbers to suddenly drop after saying that! but on a farm things that don't pay their way can't be kept. 

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 17 August 2023

Our Goat Keeping Days Part 1

 Weeks ago someone said they would love to know more about the years we kept goats at the smallholding.

Keeping goats for milk was something I really wanted to do (Not sure anyone else in the family was as keen as I was!)and moving to the smallholding in 1992 at last gave us the space. I'd been reading books about goat keeping for years so knew a little of the theory - what to feed them, never to keep one on its own, how their feet needed trimming, how they  could give milk for one or two years after kidding and keeping a billy goat or goats with horns was NOT a good idea - lot's of theory without any practical!

We were very lucky when moving to Knodishall as our only neighbour had been keeping goats for several years. She kept Angora goats and had a small business with people knitting up the mohair wool from the goats. She also had a few milking goats and gave us Daisy, who she'd been given and got her in kid to one of her male Angoras, plus an elderly goat Annie to keep her company until Daisy kidded. This gave us the chance to learn about keeping goats  and when Daisy kidded she taught me how to milk her.

There are seven main dairy breeds of goat in the UK: Saanen, British Saanen, Toggenburg, British Toggenburg, British Alpine, Anglo-Nubian and Golden Guernsey. Additionally the British Goat Society (BGS) recognises the British Guernsey and the British goat

 Daisy was a British Toggenburg and they were always my favourite with really cheeky characters. The goats we had for a few years at the beginning were usually being given away or very cheap as we couldn't afford a pedigree milker. We had a loppy eared Anglo Nubian called Shilling for a while but she didn't give much milk, and a rescued small Toggenburg who had been bred too young and had a really bad temper. The only breed we never owned was the British Alpine the biggest of British breeds and usually black with white.

.At first we kept the goats tethered on a swivel stake and chain which was OK except for when they got tangled or pulled the stake out of the ground and it did mean moving them a couple of times each day and fetching them in if it rained.....goats are not weatherproof like cows are and they hate getting wet.

 Soon Colin put up some post and rail and wire netting fencing just outside the end of the big shed where we had them in pens we made inside. He put doors in the side of the shed so they could go in and out. We fenced another paddock on the field and I used to walk them across to this other paddock every few days for a change of grass.

By the time we needed to mate Daisy for the third time our neighbour had given up goat keeping but there was a man in the next village who kept an odd assortment of goats including a Billy and we took Daisy there.

Daisy and her two kids 1997

The goat below is a Saanen named Heather, I can't remember where she came from but I do know that sadly we lost her just before kidding the next year. Something goats and sheep can get is a deficiency during pregnancy and just like sheep, goats have a "death wish!" They go down hill very quickly and even after a vet visit and injection she became very poorly and I sat with her and had just popped down to the house for something and came back and found her dead. It was our worst loss. Losing a lamb or a kid had happened before but losing a fully grown goat just before kidding was awful.

There's a saying that every farmer with livestock knows " If you have livestock, you'll get deadstock!"

After having a few cheap but useless goats to keep Daisy company we travelled right down to Essex to buy a young goat in kid from a well know breeder but when she kidded I found her teats much too small for me for milking and the breeder agreed to take her back. Had I been more experienced I would have kept her and got her in kid again in the next Autumn when her teats might have been bigger from raising the kids.

Three girls in their paddock

 Continued Tomorrow

(The things with that very long list of ingredients were doughnuts which I thought were just ordinary jam but turned out to have a revolting chocolate sauce in them. As I said - shouldn't go shopping without breakfast! I ate them- not all at once I hasten to add - as I don't like waste but they were NOT nice!)