I think I mentioned last time that we had murdered the Wisteria and were intending to repair and repaint the house, leisurely ! The repairs and preparations have been completed and the painter is starting ‘soon’………but the Wisteria is far from dead! What was eight inches of regrowth ( last Blog ) is now six feet (two metres !) and increasing daily, on a par with the eponymous ‘Triffids’. Trace’ has started painting the house and I have already pruned and attached the new shoots to the wall. If Oscar, the painter, gets delayed by inclement weather, he could be out of a job. It is gratifying to think that the Wisteria is missing us as much we miss it and hopefully by next year we will have leaves and flowers creeping rapidly across the house again. I expect the squirrels will be cheering, also!

Rosie, our very spoilt one-eyed Patterdale X Jack Russell terrier, doesn’t realise yet, but she is getting ‘married’ soon. As in ‘next week’ ! She did meet Ted, her ‘fiancé, briefly, about six months ago, and they seemed to like each other. Due to her current, hormonal state, Ted will be coming to ‘visit’ for a few days next week and if all goes well terrier puppies will be arriving at the end of August. That all sounds nice and organised, doesn’t it……not! We are supposed to be going away with the grandchildren for a few days Yurting next week – now we are having a ‘shotgun wedding’ for the dog. We are supposed to be getting two Beagle puppies for the Summer the day we return with the grandchildren – now they can’t be here when/if Rosie is due to whelp at the end of August. We were hoping to go on holiday in October – now we will be selling terrier puppies instead! …..Oh! What fun….. But this is all obviously presumptuous. Rosie might take one look at Ted and say ”if you think I’m…………with him you’re having a laugh”. Ted might be gay…..! Anything could happen.

Yes, we are ‘walking’ a ‘couple’ of beagle puppies for the local Harriers again. We haven’t had any for the last two years, for various reasons, but many of our returning guests will remember the hours of fun had by the children in previous years. Oddly enough, Tracey is quite keen as well! It is strange how we all seem to remember the good things in life and try to forget the worst – I suppose it’s a form of optimism. I recall her howling with fury when previous puppies destroyed valuable deliveries that were left in the garage, or chewed plants to ribbons around the yard, or stole one or both of her shoes from outside the door and buried them in the garden, or ran off with the trowel that she momentarily put on the floor! We generally keep them until either we can’t cope with them any more or the gamekeeper comes in and ‘suggests’ that it is time they went back to the kennels! This time, if Rosie performs accordingly, they will have to go home a few days before she is due to whelp, which is all very organised. Anyway, they are coming soon and we are really looking forward to it…..!

The weather has been fabulous for the last month. We were originally planning to go away for a week in the sun at the beginning of June, but had to cancel because Dot, our house sitter, was going away herself that week, to Portugal. We had a week at home, sitting by the pool, in glorious sunshine. Dot had ten days in Portugal, shopping for warm clothes and umbrellas! Phew, that was lucky for us then……sorry, Dot!

Everything seems to be in order on the farm. My ancient muck spreader has survived its annual bout of exercise. Our grass is still struggling with the dry weather and hard ground but is just about in front of the sheep and horses. That means I have been able to get rid of last years nicely rotted dung, clean out the sheep shed and field shelters and build this years dung-heap, which is now quietly steaming away in the back yard. The sheep-shed can now be converted into the table-tennis and straw-pit areas for the Summer. The geese are relatively happy, despite the fact that the crows that nest in the bottom of their field managed to steal Hilda’s final egg. The moorhen and two chicks are still on the pond, which is now not much more than a muddy puddle due to the lack of rain. Even the stream that supplies the duck ponds is now nearly dry. It could be a long, hot, dry Summer……..

This month we have hosted another professional Blogging family. Karen @ourtinydiaries, her husband Chris @ourtinydaddiaries and their two boys Jonah and Winter came to stay. We are waiting to read their review. In the meantime the review that Anna @thepopithatwins wrote last month has just been featured in Britmums Summer accommodation round-up. The  winner of our Instagram holiday giveaway in conjunction with tootsamacginty is booked in to come and stay in September. So that is it for Bloggers for this year. Now we will wait and see if this new form of advertising works for us.

We have limited availability for weekend and short breaks, which finish at the end of June, if you wanted to cash in on the glorious weather. I must go now……  the Wisteria needs tying up again !

Bye for now, Farmer Chris.