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We had a very good apple season last autumn. The very early variety called Stubborns in Dorset and Plum Viney in Devon fell in August and the cows were lucky enough to have them to eat because Malcolm was too busy with his bees at this time to make cider. Later on we made cider in our original cider cellar with a good team of helpers and equipment dating back to the middle of the 1800s.

The bad weather which started in November and seemed to continue for weeks and weeks made driving in our country lanes very hazardous. Of course the scenery was attractive with the orchards and their very old trees looking picturesque and the river with its long ferns looking quite magical

The geese got nice and fat for the festive season, which meant I hardly had any small ones to sell. Fortunately a local farmer had gritted the steep hill we had to climb to get into Bridport out of the Marshwood Vale in the very icy conditions so I was able to deliver geese to the butcher and to some private customers. Other customers braved it into the Vale to collect them.

Some of the sheep are due to lamb any day so they have been brought into the polytunnel to make it easier for everyone. They should all have twins hopefully.

A kitten mysteriously appeared in the barn from nowhere in August. We managed to catch it eventually to have the usual injections but Tiger continued to live in the barn until just after Christmas. Other local cats were stealing its food so it had to be persuaded to come into the house to live. On its first day it desperately attempted to get through any window it could find and tried to demolish my house plants! Our other cat Rhubarb has not quite accepted Tiger yet, but hopefully it will soon.

Jake the dog is now part of the family at weekends. We have not had a dog living at Crabbs Bluntshay since my father’s dog died about 15 years ago so it is good to have him around, but it will be better when all the mud has gone and he doesn’t have to washed every time he comes into the house.

We are taking enquiries and bookings already for this season on the campsite which hopefully will be as good as 2010. When the weather dries up a bit we hope to start painting the toilet and shower cabin.


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