This was probably the shortest summer in the Finnish history. I know it's probably not the case but it certainly feels that way.
We had snowstorms in May and now the cool air is back in the middle of August. Mind-numbingly cold fingers and toes in an official summer month is not on! Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My aren't so fussed about cool days as they are already sporting this autumn’s wooly jumpers. Ebba the dog loves all weather, if we are outside enjoying it. It's the hens and me that grumble and jump up and down, to stay warm. Our dear chicks are struggling to stay upright while the first autumn winds twirl in the fields, but find the suggestion of them spending some time in the henhouse preposterous, to say the least. They are as curious as their older relatives, so they feel that being tossed around and turned over a bit, is a small price to pay for being where the action is. Hens should all live in the town center where they could sit and do their life spotting while eating a healthy lunch together.
Our enormous flock of cockerels are roaming high and low for food, fun and adventures. They are a funny bunch as all but one are copies of their father. It's like seeing double over and over again. One of the stars is turning black and has a temper to go with his colouring. He is not my favorite, I must admit, but he is nice and polite to me so we plod along. Our hens are getting fed up with our boy choir. They are loud! But as my dear sister so rightly put it "Its not everyone that can enjoy such a beautiful sight as they make when they all turn up." And that's true... They do make an almighty mess in the stable, though.
Everyone has their own way of preparing for the winter to come. The forest is chock-a-block with berry pickers and that sentence is wrong in so many ways, come to think of it... I seem to try to mix the nautical and the wood land world to no avail so will try again.
The forest around where we live seems to be full of people gathering berries and mushrooms for the winter to come. Bilberries, lingonberries and chanterelles are leaving the village in huge buckets and you must wonder about the size of freezers awaiting it all. We pick berries as often as we have time, Ebba and I, but we end up eating the lot. We will just have to buy more during the winter. Our dear sheep prepare for winter by eating berries and love the Rowan berries. It's my work to gather them. I love to do it and it works as my morning stretching, I'm trying to get in to that - hear my deep sigh.
A dear friend of ours gets ready for colder days by buying lovely, long woolly socks. This, she does every year and every time I see the new pair I decide to learn to knit more varied patterns. Maybe this is the winter I get stuck into that. I know the basic hearts, stars, boy, girl, dog patterns but anything more complicated makes me very confused. Most things do that to me, I fear.
I start cleaning. Not indoors where it would make sense but outdoors. I put stuff away, I clear away weeds around buildings and clear the roads of branches and suchlike. I also clear out and clean the hay barn. This is actually important as you can't fill it with new stuff on last year's dirt and dust.
This time I knew it would be extra fun as the bat families have had a good season with lots of babies. Lots of bats equals plenty to clean. I have to admit, after a day of bat poo, I have gone off them for a while. It will pass and soon I'll be back on the lawn in the evenings, cheering them on when they do their "flyby show." For now they have to manage without my support.
Our wedding anniversary day came and went.
Lovely, dear husband started the day by playing Our Song for me. It was the song the hotel where we had our wedding lunch chose to play for us three times, three different versions of the blasted song. Hence our song is Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks though they are here to stay, oh ..... and on to describe half the man and so forth.... Oh joy!
I read "Darling buds of May " again this summer, which I do most years and yes, I do believe in home-made traditions. After reading all the stories about the Larkin family, while hens and sheep kept me company, I commented on wanting to see the tv series one day. Dear husband got me the whole box set as a present and we have started watching it. All I can say is that it's lovely and I'm a very lucky wife.
Life is a funny old thing and tends to throw this and that our way. It's not always fun, it's certainly not always easy but we still have to stop and count our blessings, at times. We do get good stuff too and when life calls for it, I do believe in dancing in the sunrise. Just a short home-made ballet performance on the lawn, a morning greeting to the world out there. And having written this, I just realised that I probably scare away the sun and am creating all the rain we are having. Blast....
Do take care and have a safe week. Last week of August, time flies.
Sadly, next week's blog is going to be the last one, at least for now.
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.