We’ve just had two whole days of sunshine. Has spring arrived? The daffodils are blooming, the first of the primroses alongside the bridleway are flowering and I found violets nestled in the undergrowth. Maybe, just maybe, it’s spring time.

rolling Gt Forest

Over the weekend, Bill was busy on the tractor (rolling the wheat, spraying and fertiliser spreading) and everyone else was away so yesterday I had the day to myself. A little sunshine is wonderfully galvanising.

The dogs were walked though it’s not very relaxing as I’ve been dog sitting so have three extra dogs to stay; two of them run off into the distance, one keeps reasonably close and the other, Maud  a short and stout Jack Russell looking rather like Queen Victoria, walks at a snail’s pace. Then a quick clean of the chicken shed, though a contretemps with a broom handle and the nesting box as I climbed over a small partition resulted in my feet staying firmly on the ground one side of the partition while my top half carried forward. As I pivoted on my shins and headed face down to the floor, the thought that flashed through my mind was that at least I’d just cleaned that side. Brushed down, with one slightly twisted knee and thankful that nobody was looking, I decided to retreat inside for more ladylike pastimes and with no-one to roll their eyes or mutter under their breath “too much time on your hands”, I baked and played about with flowers and leaves.

spring cake

Above, a spring lemon cake with white leaves. Alas my domestic goddess frivolities were broken when Bill returned. We have problems with pigeons eating the oilseed rape and added to that, now have people driving across the fields to steal the gas cylinders from the scarers. Sometimes it all gets a little depressing and when Bill challenged me to guess what he’d found in the field, I was a little wary.  Well, he could have given me a hundred guesses and I still wouldn’t have got it right, because there was a rhea in the field! Yes, a rhea, wandering around the fields of Essex. I wonder if they eat pigeons.