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Where did the time go?

♥Oct. 25th, 2016 // 11:34 am
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I've been very crap at updating recently, probably a sign that I've not been doing anything very exciting!

There's been a fair bit of gardening going on, mostly weeding but also taking the finished plants out of the vegetable patch. There are still some tomatoes, peppers and aubergines in pots in the conservatory, but I don't think they'll be productive for much longer. Mike managed to mow the back lawn, for the first time since before our BBQ: it was in a bit of a state! I must get my sweetpeas started for next year, and think about the practicalities of my plan to turn the bee garden into a polytunnel for the tomatoes. The tomatoes did terribly this year, as in we've already finished the passata that I made (last year, it lasted until April!).

We've had our first, very slight, frost of the year, the elctric blanket's back on the bed, and the trees are starting to look very pretty. We've also had our first (and second, third and fourth) mice in the barn traps, which I'm treating as a good thing because we didn't get so many last autumn when the rat was in residence. Still to come: first fire of the year, which I'm looking forward to!

In the house, I continue to be impressed with Freddie's Flowers (my second batch was cabbages and white roses, but I also still have a vase with some of the first batch in!). I've been making jelly and sewing various things that are mostly going to be Christmas gifts for people who read this, so no pictures of those, or aren't yet finished (this isn't like me, but the Christmas stuff jumped the queue). Mike's been busy at work, so it's just been me and the pooch more than usual, but we did have a house full of visitors at the weekend, which included going to the beach, looking at old churches, and seeing the Oysterband in Canterbury.

We were expecting the hunt this morning, but didn't see any sign of them (we did hear the hounds, off in the distance). The boys seemed entirely unconcerned about the noise, but we were quite glad that we'd already finished riding by that time!

We're having some issues with their hay this year, annoyingly: back when we first started using this year's batch, they refused to eat three of the first six bales, but then it didn't happen again so we thought maybe it was still a bit green. Over the weekend, though, they turned their noses up at two more bales, so I gave the hay lady a call. She says the culprit is false oat grass, which she's got in the corner of one of her fields (although though the internet seems to think it is palatable), so next year we'll be sure to take our hay from the other field (which is where we've previously had it from, which is why we've not had a problem before). She did say that later in the year (when there's less grass) they might be happier with it, which I'd also vaguely though, but I doubt GB will eat it.
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♥Oct. 8th, 2016 // 08:10 pm
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This afternoon, while walking Jo, Mike and I came across a length of dark green cord, really quite hard to see in the grey, that someone had tied across the path at chest height.

We boggled slightly about why anyone would do that, untied it, and it was only as I was coiling it up to take away with us (annoyingly, or I'd have taken photos) that I made the connection to the fact that the hunt was out this morning (several miles away, as it happened, but I guess that the sabs had the wrong information).

It was just at the end of a lovely long canter - up a short hill and then a nice wide, open forestry road along the flat - and I dread to think what would have happened if someone had ridden into it.

Whether you agree with hunting or not, I really can't imagine the mindset that would do that. Lots of people ride, and cycle, in those woods, not just the hunt. A couple of years ago, I used to regularly bomb along there on GB.

I sent the hunt, and the Forestry lady, an email about it, and one of the masters just called to say he was going to speak to the police so that at least they'd have it logged. I'm seriously boggled.
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♥Oct. 28th, 2015 // 03:11 pm
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The hunt are around and about, today. We knew they were coming (having finally managed to get on their phone call list, after lots of polite requests and one very angry one), and TWWOTV mentioned that they were going to be going up across the field behind our house at some point as well (although, oddly, the hunt person who called didn't mention it when he said where they were going to be).

While I was at Pilates, Mike heard them up in the woods in front of the house (and The Horse Next Door was charging about his field like mad). When I got back, there was a rider stationed at the end of our road*, which made me think that they were coming down the valley shortly, but it seems not to have happened yet.

* When she saw me driving down the hill, she politely moved off the main road. And into ours. She then proceeded to sit there looking in the opposite direction, as I turned my indicator on and waited.... Fortunately, she did eventually turn to look before I got annoyed enough to have to beep my horn at her.

I eventually decided to risk it and took Jo out for what turned out to be a short walk: they crossed our path, heading towards home, so I decided to turn around and head back in case they either cut us off or were going down the valley while we were going down The Horse Next Door's field, which would be potentially risky if he had a Moment.

We deliberately came back through Mrs Top Of The Hill's bit of the woods, because she doesn't allow riding in there, not even the hunt. Which is a memo that at least some of the hunt apparently didn't get: they've knocked down the fence that separates her land from the Forestry, and ridden right along the length of it (not surprising that The Horse Next Door was agitated, they were right by his field), churning it up horribly. I suspect she'll be thrilled. (Actually, she might well be: that fence needed replacing, and now someone else is going to have to pay for it!)

As it turns out, they've still not showed up at home. We had been going to ride this afternoon, but I think we'll have to forget about it: if they *are* coming down the valley, I really don't want to have Bugs in the school while they do! He's just about back to where he was before The Cow Incident, and I don't want him upset again if I can avoid it.
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