It’s been a lovely week off over half term with the family. With Theo in the thick of AS exams, Maddy working in Madagascar in her gap year and Izzy full on with rowing and riding, it is starting to feel like the family is growing up and moving on. So just hanging out together in the sun, reading, eating, even watching films together all feels very precious now, even if it is pretty low key and somewhat prosaic.
This week has been time to finish up the springtime activities and ready ourselves for summer. We’ve finished lambing and moved the lambs and their mums into a fresh field. We’ve got 31 lambs with only 2 losses this year – which feels like a good year… All glossy black feisty little things, thanks to the services of the Black Welsh Mountain rams from Sarah and Nick Miller. Charlotte the llama is still nannying them for the time being, but they are an incredibly independent and robust little gang and she will come back to the paddock shortly for her daily conversations with my mum.
The cows have kindly provided two new calves – both boys – and they will keep the freezer topped up in a few years time. On the pond, we’ve discovered a family of ducklings, alongside the moorhens and kingfisher. Mummy Duck proudly popped out with eight delightful ducklings in tow last week.
We’ve cleared part of a barn ready for the hay we might cut this year – fingers crossed that we continue to get nice, predictable chunks of dry weather – but we could also do with some rain here. The garden, at last springing into life after the long hard winter, is already bone dry, and now it’s clear that we lost quite a few shrubs and trees – the bay trees, some hollies and even the fig is only coming back to life from it’s very base. Luckily, the hedges that we’ve planted around the fields in the last three years, thanks to Tir Gofal, are all getting really established.
This year we’ll be restoring the area round the ponds so that we can get round them and enjoy them more easily. Doesn’t take long for the nettles, brambles and weed trees to take hold. And we want the space back for some relaxing gatherings…
On the work front, I’m delighted to be joining Ashridge Business School as an Associate Consultant, alongside developing my own business through my consulting network. Working with Ashridge allows me to work with some great colleagues on the bigger projects with some very exciting global clients. Can’t wait!