|Chicks flaked out on the concrete. It amazes me that they can cope with the heat given the amount of rushing about they do|
|Someone's been fighting and has a sore leg. He's OK now though|
So there was not much done outside. The goats feel the heat and hate the flies but although they are better off inside, they are far too nosey! They have to be shut in when they (especially Milly) would rather be looking out for Dave. They are slowly destroying the plants in the pen as expected, most of the sunflowers have been stripped of leaves and toppled, much to the annoyance of the ducks who loved the shade they gave. There is plenty of other shade available.
|Going to work on the sunflowers|
They seem to have settled in well. Milly tried to be cheeky and have her own way, and they both got under the fence where we had left it a few inches off the ground for the chickens and ducks to squeeze under to get to the dust bathroom. So the fence electricity goes on periodically to remind them of borders and that we would like them to respect them. Milking is getting easier and faster, I no longer need to hold Milly as she can now be clipped by her collar to the wall. Dave is a lot quicker so we rarely lose milk because of a restless foot going in the bowl. We have more than enough at over two litres a day. A new routines means that the milk will be quickly cooled and frozen till there is enough to do a large batch of cheese.
|New hay rack for the goats|
I've moved on from ricotta to halloumi, one of my favourite cheeses, just a half batch as that is how much non-goaty milk I had and anyway I didn't want to waste too much if it didn't work. It sort of did, but on the final cook I put it into a fresh pan with the whey and it was a tall and narrow one, so the delicate blocks of hot cheese broke as I struggled to get them out...lesson learned. I'm sure it will be just fine. There is a lot of hanging about stirring though (I thought it would be something to do while I made bread) so my 'day off' did not really happen. But that was today.
Tuesday we went to cash and carry to try to get a preserving pan as the one I have is narrow(see above) and things catch if I fill it too full. They didn't have one but I got something that will do, and loads more jars (thinking of all those currants)
Wednesday was a busy one, Dave took the neighbours to the market, then we went off to do some shopping and to get some wax and frames for the bee hive, had a salad lunch. It was too hot to do much. So I made some pastry ready to make salmon quiche next day and did some more chutney.
|The second super is filling up fast so another has been added to make sure there is enough room for lots of honey.We might have rather more than we need|
On thursday I did the quiche and some creme caramel, cooked a chicken and dug beets and potatoes ready for our holidaying friends who were keen to see something of the area. It was too hot to be stuck in the car so we chatted...and chatted in the kitchen with two fans going. Lunch was mostly home grown/made as we showed off what we can do with eggs, (quiche. puds, mayo) and home made simple cheese (garlic and herb) After touring the garden in the eat we decided to have a trip around to see if we could show them what to look for in villages, as shops are not always easy to spot. We had a detour to photograph some wildlife (not me, I forgot my camera, talking too much!) and when we got back. all hot and sweaty, nine cubic metres of wood was deliverd. Our visitors did offer to help us to move it but it could wait, it was far too hot and anyway, we didn't want them to be put off Bulgaria all together. Moving that amount of would might just do that!
On Friday we were up early again to go fruit picking. This time gooseberries, and it is such a bumper year we were done in no time, getting on for 18 kg of the things. There was a lovely breeze being higher up. It was much drier picking this time too and I helped myslf (wit permission) to a couple of bulbs of fennel which seems to grow well here and a few more redcurrannts for summer pudding. The rest of the day we made cards and topped and tailed gooseberries.
|Combined harvesters in the fields...followed by flocks of storks|
|Our friends' geese coming home|
|Lucky to have a stream close to the gate|
|Redcurrants came with 'extras', caterpillars and snails|
Saturday we got out early hoping to move at least some of the wood before it got too hot...and before the neighbours realised what we were doing. But although we made sure the wheelbarrows didn't squeak they were not fooled and I had only stacked a couple of rows before I had the company of Jordan helping me, while Venka filled three barrows and Dave charged up and down the garden with them. We were finished in no time and they even managed to get on with the dogs being out, Venka says Bella is her friend (with reservations) The afternoon and evening was spent making cakes and finishing cards and putting up orders for the car boot sale on Sunday. Meanwhile Dave went next door for beer and came back saying that they were amazed at how I can chuck that wood about and stack properly. I can do that...I just can't walk! It was hot and the pool was well used, cooled with fresh water. And we did more gooseberries....
|....and after. Worst job done|
|The chooks took advantage of the open gate to fettle by the bee hive|
|But the goats had to sulk indoors after going straight under the fence|
|Large spider with very strong web|
|This hitched a ride on the logs, huge|
Sunday it was up early to pack the car with car boot stuff before Milly was milked and we set off in the cool at about 6.45 We had our busiest day yet, many more varieties of chutney and jam....but still I got asked for two I didn't have which I had had before. Friends were appreciative of the cakes and it was another warm day. Home to finish the gooseberries and get them into the freezer for another day and water the garden And pick neglected veggies.We were exhausted...but could I sleep? No, of course not.
|At the car boot...or is that cart boot?|
|First of the sweetcorn..not the best we have had|
|Not sure when this lot will get used|
We agreed we would have an easier week this week. So all I've done today is make three batches of bread and the cheese, helped to bath the dogs who are itchy with heat and now I must get round to opening two parcels of summer clothes ordered from George at Asda. I ache.
|Enough summer clothes for a lifetime|
But of course, nothing is that simple and now we have a problem with a blocked pipe under the tiles so I will be having an enforced rest as can't use the sink so can't cook.
A few pics from the garden just because