Crossways Farm Autumn Update

20/12/2018 It very much still feels like autumn, and I’m glad about that. I can carry on enjoying walks and garden jobs accompanied by chickens and goats without having to brace myself too often to go outdoors. I know I will warm up soon enough with activity, but that doesn’t stop me putting off going out in the cold…

Autumn seems to be the quietest B&B period. More so than winter. I think once New Year has passed, people start needing to think about their next long weekend or holiday in order to get them through till spring. I don’t mind having a quiet period: it gives me a chance to catch up on all the long overdue tasks of mending, sorting, tidying (indoors and out), admin, getting myself generally a little more organised than usual, and even decorating. And this year I actually feel as though I’ve made the most of the time available, to the extent that three years after building work was completed, I am finally getting round to decorating the animal room and finding a way to permanently rodent-proof the wattle and daub walls, which are slowly but surely being transferred to the floor by chewing chinchillas and excavating rats… I am also well on my way to having a new bathroom (the last time it was done was likely in the 1950s) along with other smaller but equally essential renewals or additions, such as paving improvements and a proper fence for my rhubarb bed that I defy even Ilo and Felicity to breach…

Rhubarb fence goatsOn the creature front, we have had more than our fair share of distressing losses this season. I suppose it never rains but it pours, as the saying goes, but it is sometimes difficult to remember that life – and particularly animal behaviour – isn’t always entirely under your control, no matter how hard you try to foresee all eventualities. Some new arrivals have made us all happy, however, and after a long wait I hope that Dusty the rabbit will fall in love immediately with Malteser, as I did, once he arrives from a rescue in Norfolk, hopefully in January…

Malteser ratties

Winnie Solo
Photos clockwise from top left: Malteser the rabbit; new rattie arrivals making themselves at home; Winnie the pigeon; Solo the chinchilla.

Music has been busy, with concerts nearly every weekend, including an exciting ‘Creating Art to Music’ event with children’s illustrator James Mayhew at the Lavenham children’s book festival in October. I reached 250 churches earlier this month and celebrated appropriately with friends at Newton church near Sudbury which, to our astonishment, boasted a four-second echo. I will find out over the next year or so if that is a record for Suffolk churches!

This year I have also finally got round to organising a proper winter solstice celebration, so autumn will be seen out in style, in the happy knowledge that the days will now get longer, even if winter has barely begun. I think I am well on my way to becoming a Pagan.