45 weeks to go…

by Max Akroyd

Paternity leave

I’ve finally emerged unshaven and slightly sleep-deprived from a week of baby-centric living. I must have spent hours just watching his eyes turn a clear, light blue. Thanks to Emma’s maternal magnificence (yes, I’m hopelessly biased) and the continued influence of this book, it took just 24 hours for new baby to tuck in to his place in the farm’s heirarchy. Which is somewhere above big pig and me.

In that time the garden became just a dessicated and weedy memory. Helpful friends and relatives were dispatched to dig potatoes and cut cabbages for much-delayed meals – a service I miss now they’ve all packed up and gone! In the interim my hands have gone all soft and my body softer still.

But a well-adjusted baby and his poignant presence in this project, combined with a strategically placed boot up the backside courtesy of Mme A., means I’m back in business. I must ignore the fact that the survival manual for next year will have May and June missing – largely thanks to drought – and set about discovering what a fresh start in July can achieve.

In an effort to record this data and compensate for deficiencies in recent weeks, I’ll be posting a bit more regularly henceforth. Probably with a baby being burped over one shoulder…

Green fruit gallery

I got my first chance in ages to stroll around the garden on Monday evening. Keeping my eyes carefully averted from the weed-strewn soil, I noticed the fruit forming everywhere…

Some flowers are evil

With an influx of willing hands, and me temporarily promoted to caterer-in-chief, I was in the unusual position of being able to delegate some horrible garden task to any passing aunty or nephew. The weather was dreadful all last week so my fiendish plan to get all the weeding done while I hid behind the nappy bucket was foiled.

But I did manage to get the rest of the ragwort pulled. A uniquely strenuous and tedious task to remove this toxic scumbag of a plant – but my goats will have much more hay to go at next year now it’s gone. And I won’t get fined by the mayor for having too much of la jacobée. Which I’m sure is a comfort to the relatives concerned who are presently nursing strained shoulder joints.

On the way to the airport it was almost tempting to stop the car and start pulling the stuff out of the hard shoulder, but we resisted…



Delivery for Mrs Akroyd…

Look what showed up in our porch this morning:


The neighbourhood cats bring us their cast-offs from time-to-time!