I’ve literally eaten five hundred truckles’ worth of stilton this festive season, so although I was reluctant to say goodbye to the Christmas break it was wonderful to be back outside doing a little physical activity at the farm.
My drive down the track this morning was brightened by those other creatures embracing a crisp, drizzle-free dawn; a hare bounded across flint stones buried deep in the rapeseed field, and as we paused to open the gate a kestrel watched us judgementally from the hazel trees. The copse that runs along the track brims with goldfinches flittering and chortling together in the sun, and as we bundled past in my ‘vintage’ Ford Focus, they gathered together and hurtled away through the bright air.
The goats are much happier now they’ve been freed from their piggery prison, as we were forced to shut them in over the Christmas break due to excessive rain waterlogging their paddock. Upon their release they spent two hours leaping blissfully around in the green, and this afternoon I fed them the shell from my cantaloupe. Perhaps the strangest sensation of this mild winter was hearing the song thrush tinkling his refrains. At first I couldn’t detect anything beneath the brash blast of robin song, but later I eavesdropped on a vibrant conversation between two thrushes in the conifer trees. I couldn’t quite make out the topic of their chat, but I imagine it revolved around gym membership deals and leftover figgy puddings.