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These pictures were taken on the same day, 26th February

Perry waiting for his breakfast The sheep wash or Peggy's Pool.

Cyd’s injury - he had cuts down his leg as well.  Still not sure how he did it.

February 14th/15th

Grey and windy day after a lot of rain.  In Cardiff for the opera at the Millennium Centre and Opera house.  We walked around the docks and said ‘hello’ to the Tyrannosaurus Rex… which moved!

Whitton family visit.  Short and sweet - Edward is eating chocolates - the children aren’t allowed them!  Maestro William at the piano and Bertie proving that English weather is not a problem for him!

24th February 2020

Then the weather really didn’t improve much

End of February, beginning of March

Removing surplus tiles and extraneous walling!

New foot shelf/seat for us oldies.  Nearly ready for the shower boards

Important consultation before the final construction

The finished shower boarding with OAP seat in place!

Having had the consultation, Peter checking the instructions - What? A man reading the instructions?  - for a shower?

Turns out you need instructions because the controls are the opposite way round to the old shower and it has a ‘not allowed to use too much water’ button that wasn’t even in the instructions!

New loo.  Must dump (excuse the pun) the plastic seat asap!

March 7th 2020 Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff.  The choir sang Evensong in the cathedral.  Took a coach down to arrive before lunch.  Peter showing signs of extreme cold/hayfever which started on the coach and lasted until we got home. Is this an allergic reaction to coaches or singing in Cathedrals?  He felt unable to sing in the end and had to be part of the congregation instead.  This made numbers up to about 10!

This ‘stable block’ attached to the Cathedral houses the song school and admin buildings

Martyn recounting his memories of the Cathedral being bombed during the war.  Why, I am not sure except that maybe the Germans were aiming for Cardiff Bay and hit the Cathedral instead?

I was attempting to take a picture of these statues and gargoyles in the passage taking us back to the song school when the virger (yes, that is the correct spelling) came whizzing past! He was a lovely young man; very cheerful, friendly and welcoming.

This photo was taken just before getting on the coach to come home. Such an amazing moon!

Llanfair Singers rehearsing for the service, which lasts no more than half an hour.

Sci-fi sky

April Leaks

First, the waterfall has been damaged; we think by someone or some animal climbing up it.  All the blue spots are where there are little holes in the liner.  We are having to get a new liner and line that with felt before putting the rocks and stones back.

Then…  in this current dry weather, we discovered a wet patch where there shouldn’t still be a wet patch by the seed shed.  So Peter started digging holes, working back up the drive, following the course of the water seeping through the stones.  I tried a bit of water divining, but it turns out I was really divining in the wrong place!  Eventually, we worked out that given the soil was damp around the upstand to the tap, it would be sensible to dig there before the whole driveway was excavated!

Bingo!  There was water bubbling up and when a little more soil and dirty water was removed it showed roots growing into the joint and around the nut.  Only little roots, but they are very tough!

Now all Peter has to do is get a completely new fitting as the original one is now obsolete - of course!

I am re-covering the dining chairs with something a little more cat-proof than fake leather..

And Cyd is getting some exercise at last

21st  April 2020

A few updates…

The pipe is mended and holes are now filled in and levelled

As of 13.00 hrs today, Tuesday 21/4, we have had no news of Bertha who is supposed to be travelling to Cornwall.  It is only a matter of time before we have to report a missing person sheep.

And now the pipe is mended, the digger has another role - post driving. What joy for Peter to be able to play all day in the sunshine!  Seriously though, we have a large number of very badly rubbished fences thanks to Will Davies and his rotten posts!


Jack has had to go into hospital with haemotoma ears (if there is such a thing?).  His ear flaps have started filling up with fluid.  I only found out because I was trying to groom him on Sunday.  Good news is that they will clip the rest of his dags off while he’s under anaesthetic!  More later…

March 22nd 2020

I have tried very hard to make the bathroom colour green, but have failed dismally and the walls have ended up being pale blue - again!  The paintwork is going to be green; it really is!  Not as green as I would like.

The Big ‘C’

There is no other news.  The only thing we hear about is this deadly disease which has the country on lockdown and seemingly terrified to go outside… I am not sure if this is because they are frightened of the disease or frightened of the fines or the vitriol of their neighbours?

Here at Squire Farm, we have it good.  No visitors, sunny weather, lots to do and £10,000 hand out from the Government which is already sitting in my bank account!  It may be different in 6 months time of course.

The Waterfall in Xidong garden is leaking again.  We suspect that someone or someone’s dog has climbed over the rocks of the waterfall (which were definitely not built to be climbed on) and one has punctured the liner somewhere.  It is infuriating!

The vegetables are being grown where the ruined barn used to stand.  We have to fence it off to stop the dogs digging

Peter has built a wooden frame around a trench I made in the greenhouse and I have filled it with compost, sheep’s wool daggings, grass cuttings and then old compost from the muck heap.  Yummy!  The tomatoes are still a bit small to plant yet, but the worms will have a field day in the meantime.

The hens have all got names now: Smeagle (cock), Blanche, Goldie, Rose, Noisette and Cora and Clarice, the cream legbars.  (Cora and Clarice were the mad twins from Gormanghast.)  One of them laid the huge blue egg below!

23 April 2020

Poor Jack has had his ears clipped and cut and drained and tubes sewn in to keep them draining.  

We don’t really know why his ears blew up in the first place. Possibly an allergy to something made him scratch them.

The dogs and I attempted to find the four sheep we have left.  They were somewhere in the Werns - Far or Near…

Bertha has arrived safe and sound, and none the worse for having been cooped up in a little box for a week as far as I know.

BTW. When he looks at me he reminds me of Yoda from Star Wars!

May 2020

We are well into lock down and thoroughly enjoying ourselves!  Peter has discovered a love of fencing; has rebuilt the waterfall in Xidong garden for the fourth time and in doing so has discovered the ‘mindfulness’ of watching newts.  I have made shade sails for the Martin and sewn hats, trousers, shirts and am working on a corset!!!  I feel sure I ought to muck out the cellar or tidy my office, but just can’t seem to get around to it…

Goldie hatched 11 chicks on 9th May.  They are thriving and I think that the cockerels may be distinguished by their yellow beaks and legs; or by their yellow top knots.  But we will have to wait and see.

The nest below looks like a swallow’s nest, but it is decorated with alder seeds (I think) and dried leaves.  It is in the outside toilet in the barn.

This video is long, but on full screen and sped up it is quite good!

Spring 2020