Friday, 25 January 2013

BBC News

Had a great day yesterday filming with BBC News on our land.  The piece was due to go out on the 6 O'clock news, but because of our donkey-slow broadband, they couldn't sent it back in time, so a short version went out on the 10 O'clock news.

However, they did put it up in full on their website that links to facebook.  Here it is:

Snowed in on Exmoor

Friday, 18 January 2013

It's a snowing!

Yep, we might have had a green Christmas, but we're having a white January, and here on Exmoor we're getting it bad.

Actually we had plenty of warning so i had the chance to bed everything down really well, so much so that when i went to see if the pigs were okay yesterday, I couldn't see them they were so snuggled in under the straw.

My only worry, my only kind of concern, is Georgie, my horse.  She's a chestnut mare; a fiery red headed female with permanent PMT - lovely to look at, but scary as hell to be around when she's pissed off.  And yesterday, she was pissed off, mainly because she couldn't go out and had to stay safe and warm in her stable.

I thought i was doing the right thing.  She, on the other hand, thought i was being wicked and cruel not letting her out to play, and the crazy thing is, if i had let her out all she'd have done is hang about by the gate waiting to come back in.  Honestly, there's just no pleasing some people.

Solly, however, did go out and had his first experience of snow - Opinion: it's not as edible as you might think, you know. 

One clue to the weather being particularly bad is when my neighbours phone and say, "um, I seem to have only cheap nasty bread in the house - don't know how that happened - and i can't get to the shops because it's horrible out there.  Any chance you could make me a loaf?"

When it's cold out there is nothing like the smell of fresh baking bread (really quick and easy bread recipe is in an earlier post - you've got to try it!)

Podcast of the moment
Last week i thought I'd try this new feature, mainly because i listen to so many podcasts and some of them are fantastic.

This week it's got to be:

  It's life according to Daniele Bolellie, and while i don't agree with everything he says, it's still a brilliant listen.  Here's the link   If you have a podcast recomendation, please do let me know.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

F1 pigs and The Voice FM

Formula One pigs
It’s a quiet time on the smallholding. And soggy. Really, really soggy. Bloody rain.

Pigs hate the rain nearly as much as me. They get grumpy and fed up. So do I.

Last night I was down there, hunkered over, shambling forwards against the weather like an old man executing a really long follow through on a bowling green. In my hand I carried a bucket full of feed. The yellow bucket is a beacon to hungry pigs. Dinner is the highlight to their day and they build themselves up to it.

I’m shambling, they’re screeching and screaming in what clearly translates to, “For Christ’s sake get a sodding move on, we’re bloody starving over here!” And the weather is pouring. Absolutely pouring. If it rained any harder I’d be handing out porcine cagoules (now there’s an idea for Dragon’s Den).

As I make my way closer to their area, I can hear them, but I can’t see them. Where the hell are they? Usually they’re there waiting for me, but there’s not an oinker in sight – until I look up at their house. The little darlings are all inside, looking out and screeching from the dry.

Nice one, I’m out here, soaked to the skin, looking like I’ve jumped in a lake while struggling to bring their food to them while they’re all nice and dry. I thought this was one for all and all for one. Pigs and man together.

Clearly not.

I clamber over the fence into their enclosure and still they don’t venture out. Bloody lightweights! “You bloody lightweights,” I yell at them.

The split second I make it to their trough, tip the bucket and the very first morsel of feed falls, they pounce. It’s like being in the pits of a formula one race. I’m Lewis Hamilton (minus the snazzy car. Oh, and the talent. The money. Good looks… Other than that you could hardly tell us apart), and suddenly I’m surrounded by my pit crew, all jostling and bustling around me. Even with icy rain running down my back and splashing into my face, it made me laugh.

The Voice FM
So I’ve made a decision for 2013. It’s not exactly a resolution, but it’s not a million miles away from one either.

The thing is, my life is quite isolated. I’m either writing on the computer or working on the land. Neither are spectator sports, so I tend to spend a lot of time on my own (most of it listing to podcasts).

There are lots of things I could do to get out once in a while, but I wanted something fun and exciting, something that would really get my blood pumping, so I’ve joined the local radio station. Good plan!

The Voice FM is based in North Devon but they are online so there’s no excuse for not listening to them if you’re out of the area (you’d be amazed how good it is).

The Voice FM

Quick bit of housework - Advertising with them is crazy cheap (sorry guys, but it is) £99 for 99 adverts! If you want to advertise, and why wouldn’t you, contact me and I’ll put you in touch.

Anyway, it’s early days, but still very exciting. As things evolve I’ll post on it again.

Podcast of the moment
Even if you’re not a writer, check this out.  It's three American guys talking about writing and marketing their work.  It’s funny and fully of ideas: The Self Publishing Podcast