Jan 10 2019

January 2019 Arrives!

January 2019 arrives………….

……………….and the Boxing Day snowdrops did not disappoint!

White camellias, delicate winter cherry blossom, tiny hellebores all swiftly followed, each opening coyly beneath a leaden sky; surely a sign that spring will return once more. As I trudged through the December mud, head down in the relentless rain, I was in danger of losing the faith! But just as the New Year has dawned so the rain has stopped. The sun returns, the hillside slowly drains, grass begins to grow and gradually the daylight hours lengthen minute by minute.

The ewes graze quietly on the hilltop, Dartmoor misty in the distance, the River Dart drifting by quietly beneath them. We hope young Hercules has done his duty and in time strong, healthy lambs will be greeted by spring sunshine.

Meanwhile right now the yearlings, feisty youngsters, are intent on eating anything just out of reach through their boundary fence, despite having plenty of grass in their own field.  Sweet blackberry leaves seem favourite. Time after time, in the last two days, Milly and I have found a little girl with her head firmly stuck through the stock wire as she tries to reach that tasty morsel.  Panicking as she finds herself trapped, she pushes back and forth dancing manically.  We must look a funny sight as I straddle her back in an effort to hold her still between my knees, then push her nose up and tip her head back through the wire to freedom. She gives herself a big shake then bounces back to her pals as I stand panting looking round for Milly. I spot her a few yards away sitting very still watching me intently with her head on one side in that particular Labrador pose which seems to say “What’s up?”  “It’s OK, Mill,” I gasp as I stagger on across the fields!

This New Year brings with it other things too, global anxieties, uncertainty across the world. Here in the UK we are totally consumed with Brexit and our future relationship with Europe. We all have our view; we are all bombarded by Press speculation and opinion. But none of us can do anything but wait for our politicians to stop squabbling and come to some sort of consensus that is truly in our countries interest with, hopefully, Europe in support of their decision. Meanwhile Mrs May soldiers on. We, the public, seem strangely powerless within our own democracy.

Across the ocean Mr Trump is intent on having his own way too, shutting down the US government as he demands funding for his Wall and withdrawing troops needed to promote peace across the world: all is turmoil and chaos.

Feeling helpless in this global mayhem we walk across the hills with our dogs, tend our sheep, enjoy dear funny donkeys.

We prepare for lambing, sweep the yard, mend fences, cut hedges, clean out sheds, service tractors. We plant seed, take cuttings, make plans for the charity summer garden openings. We prune and tidy, sweep and clean.

We rejoice in our dear family and many , many friends and try to hold the faith that some sort of world sanity will eventually return!

Let us hope 2019 will be better than we fear!

Happy New Year from Christos & Tiny Freddy

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