Sunday, November 08, 2015

Closing up for winter

Winter is well and truly making herself known this week, if not for the temperature, then certainly for the change in the garden and the darkening days.

I love Autumn. It is one of my most favourite times of year. I love the rich colours (reminds me of our time living in New England) and I love the fact that there is so much to do to prepare. There is some strange attraction to feeling the need to store and tuck away - not sure if that's my inner bear wanting to go into hibernation, or just a throwback from our time in the snowy winters in Connecticut  (and Edinburgh one year!) where we could, on occasion, be snowed in for a day or two.

We brought our pig back from the butcher last weekend, so I've spent all my evenings this week dry curing some of the belly, ready for smoking. As you can see, it's now happily hanging in the smoker. I say 'our pig' as if we reared it. We don't have the space, which I'm a little sad about and we're continually looking, but we buy into a scheme where someone else rears him and we then pick up the cuts. This year we're trying an Oxford and Sandy Black.

The wines, cider and perry are bubbling away in our brewery (well, the downstairs shower room!) and outside we're getting started on new projects.
The structure with the plastic on the roof is going to be a covered area that will house the smoker, barbecue and pizza oven. The idea is that it becomes an outdoor kitchen of sorts that we can use year round. It looks great, certainly better than the mouldy trampoline that used to live there!
In the front garden I've begun to pull up the old decking. I don't suppose I'll get much further than this before the spring as we have chock full calendars up to Christmas, but it always worries me in the this wet weather as it gets slimy and slippery. I figured that it'd probably be better off up, than down for one more winter and come spring, we'll do away with the old rotten boards, move the rest of the chopped firewood, finish chopping the stuff that can be used on the fires and get the summer shed dismantled.

In its place I have plans for a much smaller shed/tool store, a couple of espalier or cordon apples and then a living willow arch leading through in to the orchard area. I love being in my head...the ideas are always free's the follow through that's sometimes harder to complete!!

Finally, I have been quite intermittent in recent months with my blog. I started it back in 2005 when we were relocated to New England. It was initially set up as a way of staying in touch with the folks back home. It rapidly evolved to become a document of the lives of my young children and our Montessori adventures, a way for me to write and create a sort of diary.

My children are 10 years older than they were then. We are in a new stage in our lives. I'm working, they're embarking on GCSE's and secondary school and whilst we still try to use Montessorian principals in our daily lives, we have gently meandered into our own individual paths. My children have their own social lives and don't really want me writing about them now, understandably, although they love reading about their antics as toddlers! So, I think, a decade on, it is now the time to bring this blog to a close too. Time is so precious, even more so I think because we're all so busy. I want to have the time I DO have, being present for my family and not writing on the blog. I am therefore going to move over to Instagram to document some of our homesteading or I can be found as Thornhill House on Facebook. I find these alternative methods less time consuming.

Thank you for reading this and staying with us in our adventures and maybe we'll see you elsewhere.

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