Finally, we had a whole weekend to ourselves.
Martin arrived at 4pm on Friday afternoon, we spent the rest of the afternoon sunbathing/snoozing and then had a peaceful dinner outside in the evening for the first time in years.
Saturday morning we were up bright and early to finish off a few chores, which round here involves gardening! The lawns were mowed along with the grass verges and strip around the outside of the property that butts onto the field, and the borders and driveway have been weeded. I can see that the majority of the garden work in the spring and summer is going to be weeding and grass cutting, as most of the garden is shrubs and trees that don't need attention until the autumn and winter.
This weekend we have also had two newcomers to make welcome...our two new 18 week old pullets. The smaller of the two has immediately been named Nerys, after the character Nervous Nerys in Only Fools and Horses on account of her disproportionate nervousness about everything. The larger one is pretty chilled and doesn't seem to mind being handled. We have them in a small holding pen at the moment until we can sort out their living arrangements. They will join the flock in time but for now we want to split the pen into two areas so they can all live side by side for a while and get used to each other before we merge them.
At the back left of the property we have our own builders' merchants. As the former owners built the house and rebuilt the barns, there was a lot of building materials left over, including 3000 handmade bricks.
Some of these have been stacked against one of the barns, and ivy has taken hold so my task over the last few days and next few weeks is to move these bricks, rip down the ivy and make good any damage caused by it on the lime pointing. Lime mortar is soft and can be eroded by plants and weather, which is why you see so many tumbledown old period barns in the country.
It took me two hours to move half a pallet's worth and left me with sore shoulders.
Sunday we headed out to a car boot sale about 30 minutes away from us, supposedly one of the best in the area. Came away with a few bargains, including a number of containers for less than £3.00, (love the pottery tobacco container), a large composting caddy (destined for holding used cat litter for the compost heap), a blue crochet throw, and a pair of unworn Hush Puppies red shoes for the bargain price of £5.
Finally, work on the paddock continues; the major brush cutting has pretty much been completed so I can reach the trees to harvest them, but we're now left with a thick swarf of grass to do something with.