New Lambs and Naughty Rams

Lamb news
After the first two seasons as newbie farmers, we decided to plan the matings of our ewes to avoid the catastrophic births into mud puddles in the freezing cold rain. So we grouped the girls according to previous matings and relationships to current rams. We meticulously wrote it all down in the ledger. We sold the rams and wethers we weren't going to need.
And THEN...
Brothers Tom and Fred pushed through fences to get to the girls while they were still all together and got loads of them pregnant! ARGH!!!!
So now we have 37 early lambs. 
Alex, at 3 weeks of age.
On a positive note, the lambs this season are big, boofy, chunky cuddle-boffins! Born without that characteristic hollowed tummy. And lots of them have the furry kind of wool we've noticed in offspring of our old ram Cecil. (For all those Footrot Flats fans). At 4 weeks of age our first lamb, Alex, weighed 13 kgs.
Horse news

We finally found a paddock buddy for our Palomino princess Kelly. His name is Billy and he is…

Homemade pies, bottling pears & the best autumn ever on the farm

Things have been VERY BUSY on the farm during isolation. The weather has been absolutely glorious! We got a lot done outside, that's for sure. So here's a quick recap:
We homeschooled our daughter, which was challenging for us all to get used to! But we settled into a rhythm and she said she actually enjoyed being able to go for walks and enjoy the farm more.we had 2 German backpackers, Jonas and Marc, helping us with fencing out the wallabies, in some of the steepest most rugged terrain on our property.I made the most of Jonas and Marc and had them do landscaping for me! In two days we'd completed a wide set of steps between two big garden beds (my mini forest of silver birches). We used materials we had on the farm to keep costs down and it worked fine!Harry has begun going for longer walks up the road, sometimes in his special backpack. We dropped in on my neighbour for a cuppa one day. He hid behind the sofa for a while but eventually fell asleep beside me on the sofa.…

Rain, rain, rain! Green paddocks and happy sheep

So, I know it's been MONTHS since I last wrote a blog entry. In my defence, I have done a lot of instagram, both on my writer account and my new gardening account.
We've had a lot of rain in June and particularly July, when more rain fell here in one month than a whole year in Hobart. Click on the link above to see a video I took June 17.

We've also had plummeting night temps of  -2 celsius lately, so the Aga-driven radiator system has worked pretty hard and we've hauled loads of firewood to feed its hungry mouth!

Here are the various bits and pieces that have happened here at Crumbleton Manor Farm:

Snow on the nearest mountain, Black Blufffire in the valley as the Rural Fire Service completed hazard reduction burnsStunning fiery autumn colours on our newly planted Acer treesI found three proper cast iron chairs at the tip shop - awesome!My new big flower bed was enormously successfulTh…

Steam Punk, Steam Engines, Victoriana and friendship

I was so lucky to have my BFF come for a visit recently for three nights (with her hubby) and we visited the Sheffield Steamfest. Had a blast! We share a love of this amazing genre called Steam Punk, which has become so popular in the last five years or so. I have blogged about it before, especially about the ingenuity, artistry and craftsmanship, such as 'steampowered' computers and motorbikes. See my photos of incredibly talented works here.

For a regional show Steamfest is quite magnificent. Tasmanians love their country shows and love their steam engines too, lovingly restored.

Here are some videos I took on the day.
steam engines, big and small

The Light Horse display was awesome too. Participants take such care in having exact replica uniforms and saddlery made, not to mention their amazing horsemanship skills!

See more of my Lighthorse photos from the day here: Lighthorse at Steamfest

Rain at last! Tomato relish and a Swiss chalet studio

It's been ages. Sorry about that. We've had three lots of visitors since mid-January. It's been fabulous! And I finally have a place to work. After much research and grinding of facts and figures I decided upon a cabin kit from Cabin Kits Galore which is actually a New South Wales company. I didn't want to give Hubby yet another job so I made sure the kit came with two blokes to put it up. Thanks guys! And they did a magnificent job. Took 12 hours. Yes, 12 hours from start to finish. It looks a bit like a Swiss chalet, doesn't it? The wood is Beech and comes from Lithuania. It's beautiful. The smell of it is fabulous, but to protect it I have to paint. The outside will be a creamy yellow, to go with the 'Deep Ocean' tin roof.

I have spent two weeks painting and finishing the inside, adding skirting boards etc and began moving stuff in and setting up my vision wall for my latest novel.
This consists of photos and sketches of characters and places and a …

How we saved three baby Bandicoots

So, a surprise one morning - hubby found three Eastern Barred Bandicoot babies on the lawn. All by themselves. (the mother was later located, dead, nearby). They were very soft, very young and pretty healthy.

Fortunately, we live very near to a wildlife park, so we took them there straight away. We were informed that they were all female and on the endangered animal list. I had seen little diggings in the garden and knew we had bandicoots. We don't mind of course! But to hold one of these tiny, soft creatures was mesmerising.

You can see a video here: baby Eastern Barred Bandicoots

At first we mistakenly thought they were Bilbies, which are also rare, because their ears were so long. A week later we visited the girls at he wildlife park and were so happy to see them healthy and together.

Here is a short video of them moving around and having a drink: Baby Bandicoots a week later

Life is precious!

Our First Tasmanian Christmas

It's Our First Christmas!
It's always strange, to me at least, celebrating Christmas in summer. I was born in England and spent a good deal of my childhood in England and Norway, where Christmas is extra special if there's a dusting of snow! (Or a lot, as it is in Lillehammer, Norway.) So our first Tassie Christmas was going to be interesting because the weather can be so changeable down here.

We had cool, rainy days leading up to Christmas and then Christmas Eve was quite warm and sunny - 24 degrees. Christmas Day was perfect. Light breeze, 22 degrees and we had a proper English lunch with roast vegies and beef, Yorkshire puddings and Christmas pud with brandy caramel sauce for dessert. In Perth, Western Australia, they sweltered inside with the aircon blaring all day, or risked sunburn going for a swim.

We watched The Polar Express, which was quite a decadent thing to do in the middle of the afternoon, as every bit of daylight is usually spent working, on the farm or in …