A month on and the little wheat reed thatch at Tatworth is done, and what a finish it was. The customers had bought us each some lovely gifts: My very own bee suit! A beautiful travel mug and a book about apples for Daisy, and chocolates to share. Probably the best bit of our job is getting to know the people we work for. Every one has their own stories, their own take on life, and we are lucky to spend enough time with them to hear a good chunk of that.
We have however now ground to a complete halt.
On phoning my reed supplier to book delivery of the water reed for the fairly huge re-thatch in Honiton, I was told that there wasn’t a single straw to be had in the place as the reed is stuck on route. I phoned another and he promised me some of his…in the nick of time as he then had 5 others phone desperate for reed. Promised it may be, but that hasn’t arrived yet either, so it’s been two weeks now of seeing customers to explain the delays, repairing and sheeting those that needed it and mentally twiddling my thumbs. Daisy’s barn has seen the benefit as any extra time has been spent fixing up the stockboard and yorkshire boarding, so that’s looking more barn-like with every passing day. We’ve fetched the heifer back from the Dartmoor dating agency, so it’s fingers crossed for another calf next year. This year’s calf, named Benny by the girls, still hasn’t quite forgiven us and keeps his back to us while we check over the others. He looks well tho’ so his Ma is feeding him well. The pigs are shiny as washed pebbles as I’ve got them dowsed in pig oil to keep the lice at bay. Any timber at pig rubbing height is rapidly achieving the high gloss of French polish.
The hardest part of the month came from the Kraken, my little black yard cat. He’d not been back to eat his tea for a few days, so Tom and I went out looking for him and found him laid out dead on the verge up near Curtis’ old yard. Now I’m not much of a cat fan, but having saved the wild little thing from dying at the loss of his mother and getting used to his company at the yard, it turns out I was pretty attached to him. I’ll be honest it didn’t do me a lot of good for a couple of days, and I’m probably only just beginning to get used to him not being there now.
Speaking of people not being there, Daisy is off on a mission to sell cider at Farmers markets throughout Devon….Exeter and Dartmouth last weekend, Tavistock and over the border to Plymouth this weekend, probably just as well the thatching is delayed!