Hello again and Happy New Year to anyone who might be reading this.Hopefully you all survived the festive season in more or less one piece. Commiserations if you now have Aussie flu. It is now the middle of January and we have just returned from a great week of skiing in the Italian Dolomites.

l have just re-read my last missive, from November, entitled ‘Squirrel problem sorted’. Unfortunately, that wasn’t entirely true, as it turns out. Having dispatched three more insurgents since then, we still have unwanted guests in our quite extensive loft. Squirrels, presumably………?!

Phew! November at last. No more guests for four months. Now don’t get me wrong, we love having families to stay and sharing our rural lifestyle with them.

At last, the school holidays are over and life has slowed down slightly. We still have guests with younger children staying, and our routine has changed again. We are now doing weekends and short breaks, until the end of October, which means changeovers on any day of the week.

July has been a bit all over the place from the weather perspective. Glastonbury came and went without the usual Midsummer deluge and now Wimbledon has finished on time with very few weather related delays.

Wow! Glorious June and a heat wave, at last. Now I hate to be a grumpy old curmudgeon but it is to hot for my liking. When I made my weekly excursion to South Molton this morning the Tarmac was melting on the main road!

Apparently there is a heat wave coming. About time too. I set up the solar-heating on the swimming pool about three weeks ago and haven’t had it on yet. Whitsun is nearly here so I expect it will be blisteringly hot at the weekend which means my favourite job of the year will suddenly need […]

Last month I wrote about the new-born lambs wading around in the mud and struggling with the wet and windy weather. Now, the swimming-pool is open and the guests have been lounging around like seals on the beach. What a difference a month makes!

It’s now the middle of March and we have nearly finished lambing. One rather stubborn old lady is determined to hang on to her progeny for as long as possible and I have to be honest, we are both getting a bit fed up with going to check on her every couple of hours. Three weeks of broken sleep and not going anywhere for more than a couple of hours is now becoming a chore.