spring?

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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.

9 thoughts on “spring?

  1. jonorman says:

    Had to google what a Rhea was …. but now I know I have questions … what on earth was it doing there; what did Bill do; are you sure you believe him and did he take a photo as proof?

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    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      Bill thought it was an ostrich but talking to one of the neighbours discovered it was an escaped pet rhea. Obviously Bill just carried on driving his tractor and left someone else to sort it out! Yes, I believe him. No he didn’t take a photo because he’s got a new phone and hasn’t worked out how to use the camera.

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  2. Kathy says:

    Hi, love your blog, what a wonderful cake decoration, May I ask how you made those leaves, where they made with butter icing????? or some othere sort of sugar paste. Me to, had to google Rhea, how exciting, obviously escaped from somewhere close by. Hope it doesn’t bring it’s friends along also to ruin your crop.

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    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      I painted melted white chocolate onto the leaves and when it was set, peeled the leaves away. Bay leaves worked well but the polyanthus leaves were a bit soft and tore when I peeled them away but left really clear markings.

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  3. rusty duck says:

    I dearly hope Spring is coming, but it is freezing again today down here.
    The polyanthus leaf looks brilliant, even if fiddly. You are very creative in the kitchen Anne.

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  4. Pat Machin says:

    I just love a day on my own! After hearing about your mishap in the chicken shed I have to ask if we are related? I’m prone to that sort of mishap.

    I love the leaves. I never thought of using a real leaf as a mould.

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  5. Marisa says:

    For your sake I hope spring has arrived! Lovely descriptions and I totally sympathise living with a moody farmer. Sometimes things just never seem to go right!

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  6. Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    What an amazing encounter to find a rhea in the middle of one of your fields! Might not eat pigeons but it might see off the gas canister thieves! Birds like that are not to be messed with as far as I know! A well-aimed kick can do all sorts of drastic damage! Sorry to hear about your mishap in the chicken house – how lucky you fell into the part you’d cleaned! Hope you are OK and not too bruised. E x

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