Denise: There’s a major clear-out underway. Jonathan and I have been having a bit of a clear out: things we no longer need, never needed, or have ‘grown out of’: My Open University books; Hiking equipment; nearly five years of cover cds from Jonathan’ subscription to The Word magazine (all stored on hard disk, and a backup too, and no space to store the CDs themselves); engineering text books. Ebay, charity shop (the Thrift Shop in Daliburgh), or in the end just the wheelie bins. And daughter Catherine in Navarre, on the phone, is up for it too. She’s been living there 5 years now and by now if she hasn’t missed it she doesn’t need it. So that’s a guitar for sale, tent, Film Studies text books, travel guides, and all the cases for all the DVDs and CDs that we posted to her three or more years ago. (But there’s still about 150 CDs to post to her now, again without cases and inlays.) Selling on ebay never raises much money – hardly enough to justify the time spent laboriously listing the items, but it eases the conscience to know the item is going to someone who wants it.
Jonathan: A beatifully bright and cheerful day today, if a cold breeze. More work on the electric fencing in the sheep field. I’m trying to make it so that the sheep can’t just quickly slip under it. There’s three strands already and that ought to be enough – it’s a great deal of work to add yet another, so instead I’ve been dismantling a line of fence leading to the fank, and using the posts to reinforce the main boundaries. The idea is to have fewer lines, but less easy to get through without getting a very unpleasant electric shock. However not enough fittings to complete the job! So that means buying more stuff. I’m concerned about the accumulating expense on what is just a borrowed field, and on sheep that don’t yield much of a profit! This time next year I want to have a proper field on my own croft with new permanent fencing. I’ll have to see if I can get a grant towards it. At least that would add to the value of the croft, whereas electric fencing does not.
Jonathan: This is the time of year for culling livestock. In the past the meat would have been salted, dried, smoked … All a lot of work – so thank heavens for freezers! Today I’ve been plucking and jointing cockerels, some younger Buff Orpingtons we raised for meat, and the first of three Welsumer cockerels from the croft that must make way for some youngsters.