Listening to: Four Winds (Levellers)
Weather: Broken cloud, fresh breeze
Drinking: Holsten Pils
For every bad day, there are several good ones. I got myself into quite a tizz about Spike's attack on Ernie, but we're all moving on and there are real signs of progress.
Most important, Ernie appears to be recovering well. The swelling is going down and, while he still can't walk on it, he's clearly feeling better. There's not a lot wrong with anyone who can eat as many spuds as he does. Reminds me of my grandad.
Then there's the veg garden. Phase one is nearing completion. I've dug out three decent-sized beds and have made a start on tackling the nettles that are threatening to swamp the ancient fruit bushes. That involves carefully digging around each bush and pulling out the thick yellow nettle roots. I imagine I will have to do it more than once. As with most weeds it's a case of hanging in there and hoping they give up before you do.
The bottom half of the pig shed is just about clear of the 20-year-old chicken manure which is partly bagged up and partly on the afore-mentioned veg beds.
Two pallets of concrete blocks were delivered this afternoon along with a dozen bags of cement, a load of concrete chips (gravel), and the sand will arrive tomorrow. That means I can get on with converting one of the cattle byres into a stable for Mrs Trainee Pig Farmer's horse Xena and then building two more pig pens in the shed.
It feels like things are happening again, which is great for morale.
So was the walk I and the dogs took on Taft End beach. Owen dived in and out of the water, chasing stones I threw in for him. He never catches one, but that doesn't dim his enthusiasm in the slightest. Spike - on two long leads for obvious reasons - strained to chase rabbits and birds, while I marvelled at the amount of seaweed washed onto the shore by last week's gales and at the thousands of tiny orange jellyfish scattered all over the sand.
I've never seen so many and, being neither marine expert nor photographer (it was getting dark anyway) I can't give an exact idea of what they were like, although they ranged in size from a 50p piece to a cricket ball, quite unlike the larger, clear, pink creatures you see in Wales and the South West.
So we're back on course, sort of. . . until the next time.