Thaw (507)

by Max Akroyd

Sunday is a day off here, a family day.

From a gardening perspective, it’s a bit annoying that the other days so far this year have been like this, but that’s down to some extraordinary weather of course. Apart from the animal feeding and cleaning rituals, an expedition to the supermarket and an afternoon filling the polytunnel wth snow, we’ve been pretty much housebound in 2010. But slowly, almost imperceptibly, the deep snow is starting to melt and trickle away, the drifts are slumping off the roof of the house and we’re moving out into the world again…


Free at last!


The day certainly started in this emergent family mode: on my rounds of the animals this morning I was greeted by a posse of piglets. Hitherto, they’ve been an amorphous mass of eyes and pink snouts buried in their bedding, but now their characters are shining out: the same one is the first out of the straw when I arrive with mum’s porridge, closely followed by ten tumbling siblings jostling each other and generally messing about.


Piglets at play

Their survival and continued good health has been a golden thread of hope in the dark, heavy fabric of the farm so far this year.