How to stop your dog from stealing eggs

Its week five already! Lots of work done around the house and ploughing/cultivating/harrowing done too getting ready to plant seed. Thank goodness we have fantastic neighbours and friends who help us. There's no way we could do this by ourselves. We had our soil tested by an agronomist and the results were better than we expected. The land is in pretty good shape. Basalt soil is rich and moist at the moment. All we need is a little fertiliser with the right mix of nutrients and we're away!

Fat pup
Our pup, Flossie has been caught carrying eggs in her mouth lately, slinking off to a quiet corner where she can indulge her little ill-gotten treat. Apart from her enormous belly and it not being too good for her we wanted the eggs for ourselves!

So we had to redo the hen house. An ingenious way to recycle is to use lawn mower catchers as nesting boxes. We have the previous owners to thank for that idea! Found another in a skip so now we have enough for the five hens to leave their precious gifts for us. We moved them up out of Flossie's reach. Easy!

Today I wandered down to the western boundary through an area that was previously too overgrown and dangerous with snakes. Our neighbours have loaned us their Black Angus cows and calves. They've trodden down the bracken and nasty stuff effectively, although we have yet to teach them to pull out Scotch Thistles for us... They've eaten lots of the taller plants the sheep wouldn't eat. It's amazing what you can now see under all that mess that was there. Hidden dams for instance.

We discovered another small dam, a stream, a lush gully and a copse of alder trees recently all down in the lower half of the 100 acres. It's like Time Team!

On a sad and very personal note, we had to put to sleep our lovely cat, Abby this week. He was a stray who adopted us ten years ago. The vet told us he was about 14 years old in 2012... He was very healthy, but had a condition cats get - Megabowel, which then became herniated bowel. It reaches a point where you know that the stress for you and the pain for your pet is too much.

As my writing buddy and constant companion at home he leaves a huge hole in my life. Grief at losing pet is no small thing to live with.

He went by many nicknames, such was our affection for him. So farewell Mister Pussy, Boss of the House, Little Man, Abble Kadabble, Abs, Pestus Domesticus. He was very patient with children and had the dogs under his paw, that's for sure! He even allowed me to make him look utterly ridiculous by putting this headband on his head. Lesser males, unsure of their masculinity would have protested vehemently, but not my boy.

He is missed so deeply this evening as we sit in front of the fire. His favourite spot.