Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Wind and snow

Wind and snow, why that must be #snowmageddon! Although we've had a day of constant snow the very strong winds are whipping it up off the fields and piling it into drifts.

Hot chocolate

When it reaches -6 outside it has to be time for hot chocolate! We are lucky to be in a lovely warm house with plenty of food.

It's cold outside

It was actually -6 when I first woke up this morning but fortunately we're nice and warm indoors, it will definitely be porridge for breakfast and then I plan to make carrot and coriander soup for lunch.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Snowmageddon sunset

Tonight we had a very dramatic sunset (hopefully not an apocalyptic one)! Temperatures here are falling fast and have already reached -3.7 by 8 o'clock (the accurate reading comes from our heat pump!)

Changeable weather

We've had so many changes today of snow and sun, it's hard to believe that the view can change so dramatically in just a few minutes.

Snowy sheep

After a particularly heavy snow flurry the sheep are huddled together with snowy backs. Fortunately it wasn't long before the sun appeared again.

Snow stops play

Well although we've had less snow than anticipated today it was enough to make it impossible for work to continue beyond lunchtime as the frozen soil wasn't amenable to going back into the trenches!

Monday, 26 February 2018

Men at work

Today saw the start of what is scheduled to be a week long project which will result in our septic tank being replaced with a state of the art sewage treatment system. This is an expensive installation but one that will provide (hopefully) a highly effective and long term solution. Unfortunately it's arrival looks as if it will co-incide with some of the worst weather of the year.

The 'beast from the east'

This weeks forecast snow arrived earlier than we'd expected! But it was also strangely still with little wind and very silent here.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

I found my lambs!

After following the sound of lambs and their mothers I found them tucked away from the worst of the wind. You'll have to check out my Twitter post @HillFarmBnB to see them in action as I've not managed to post my video here for some reason (ah the joys of technology).

Enjoying the sun

Despite the chill, it's 3 degrees here, the buds are forming on the blackthorn and a friends chickens are enjoying a spot of sunbathing as I head up the lane. I can hear bleating which is hopeful on my lamb hunt.

Out walking

It's too sunny not to be outside but the wind is really too cold to garden so instead I went walking in the hope of spotting some lambs which have just arrived at the top of the lane.


Looking out of our window this morning I spotted a small hawk, which I imagine was a kestrel, hovering above the field opposite, diving and returning to the sky.

Bird life

We have sun but also a cold wind so I laughed to see this pigeon tucked away in the ivy. Elsewhere the smaller birds each seemed to have found their own branches in the hawthorn high rise.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Just what are you eating?

I thought for one awful minute this squirrel was eating our emerging daffodils, but actually it appears that dandelion leaves are just what you fancy for breakfast at Hill Farm if you've a bushy tail!

Wednesday, 21 February 2018


Tidying up the flower bed I stopped to admire this hellebore which now looks even better as I've trimmed off its old leaves. The bulbs are starting to appear in the lawn and the birds think it's time to pair up. Unfortunately the forecast for here suggests that winter will be returning shortly.

New neighbours

Or should that be baaa-bours! Sheep have suddenly appeared in the next field (we now have them on all three sides)! I peered at them and they peered at me.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Project work

With the worst of the winter weather (hopefully) behind us it is time to return to the Hill Farm 'to do' list. The door on the back of our dairy building had gone from rustic to disintegrating and so Dave managed to fashion an impressive replacement, gouging out the rollers from the old one and using these to fix the new door so it slides shut perfectly. When the wood dries out it will get a coat of paint.


I've spent the afternoon doing some much overdue cutting back and weeding. The sun is shining so I just need to ignore the increasing wind, however with the sky turning indigo I've decided it's time to come indoors for a cup of tea!

Monday, 19 February 2018

Amazing sunset

Tonight we had the most glorious sunset here, most distracting while I was cooking supper!

Evening light

The light on the trees opposite looks very photogenic against the dark sky. It was lovely to see the sunshine but the wind is still cold.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Scots pine

The landscape around here is punctuated with the occasional Scots pine tree. Apparently they were planted to mark out drovers routes, so we planted a few by the junction between the big and the top field and it's good to see that although the dry weather last year meant we suffered some losses, others are thriving and maybe in 30 years they will be impressive!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Guest ready

I thought I'd better have red roses by the bed for our Valentine's Day guests. They are off to eat at the nearby Derbyshire 'Restaurant of the Year': The Lighthouse at Boylestone.

The scent of spring

Dave gave me these lovely narcissi for Valentine's Day, bringing a welcome touch of spring to a frosty Hill Farm.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Mercia marina

Today we made our first trip to see what's happening at Mercia Marina in Willington. Although it's been here a while it was much larger than we imagined and an interesting local spot to have a coffee and gongoozle! (definition: a person who idly watches activity on a canal!)

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Snowy dawn

This morning the sun rose on a snowy view, I took photos thinking they were real Christmas card scenes! 'Sheep in the Snow' and 'Sunrise on a Snowy Morn'.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Joe in the snow

Poor Joe picked the wrong time to wash his car and ended up out there as a blizzard came down! It's been a damp, cold and grey day. Poor 'fluffy dog' (the white blur in the background) our neighbours dog didn't feel like continuing his walk round the block and ran back up the hill towards our barn and who could blame him.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Home to snow

Woke this morning to falling, powdery snow. I think the sheep probably feel they've seen enough snow this winter and are keen for the arrival of spring.

Saturday, 3 February 2018


Sisters or Sistaz according to my baked bean can! A reminder of my week spent with Liz and the seaside.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Goodbye to the sea

I need to go home but there is just time for one more chance to sit by the sea and enjoy a coffee in the sunshine.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Making Ewenique Sheep

And now I finally get down to work helping Liz create her Ewenique flock, or at least a tiny part of it. These girls are heading to Highgrove.

The Supermoon

The Supermoon rose on the wrong side of the island for me to see it from Liz's but when I got up in the morning it was perfectly located over the sea and looked bigger in real life than in this photo taken on my phone. It was an extremely breezy but invigorating start to the day (and the month I realise) more white horses than white rabbits though!