Well, there is never a dull moment around here. Yesterday the first duckling hatched out in the incubator. Unfortunately, Pongo decided to give her a helping hand, which is actually the wrong thing to do, and brought her out of the shell before she was ready. She was very weak and feeble for several hours, and we honestly didn't think she was going to make it. I was upset all morning, but went back in at lunch time and she was sitting up and chirping away. Missis had been dripping water into her beak every ten minutes, and it seemed to do the trick. Now she looks like this:
How cute is she?!
There is a heat lamp above her, which you can't see.
The boys have named her Abigail. I have had a sleepless night, wondering if she would make it, but she is thriving. Then half an hour ago, Jemima arrived. We left her completely alone and she has come out much stronger and alert. We've taken her out of the incubator (it's very small) and put her under the heat lamp with Abigail and she's drinking and waddling about. Abigail keeps pecking at her. The third one is cheeping away in the incubator but not out of her shell yet. Jemima is so new she makes Abigail look positively grown up. They are both eating and drinking well. So exciting.
Equally exciting for me is that I've been on the quad bike and levelled the manege. We've taken the pole off the chain harrow and just attached that to the quad and it's perfect. Bearing in mind I don't even drive a car, I was quite nervous at first, but soon got the hang of the gears. The steering is a bit weird, as the wheels don't go where the top of the quad goes, like driving a tractor, but it seemed quite natural. This is brilliant because it means I can level the manege whenever I need to and don't need to wait and get Pongo or Missis to do it. I was as high as a kite by the time I got in.
The other really good thing is that as the lemon curd cooled down, and has been in the fridge over night, it's really set properly. I had some for breakfast and it's superb, as though the flavour has developed over night. I'm not sure how long it will last in the fridge, as it's not a 'preserve', is it? I really wanted to make about eight jars, but now I'm glad it only made two jars worth, as I can eat it and then make some more. I might even bake a cake and use some in the middle - mmm!
I think what we're building towards is me making loads of cards and cross stitch and other stuff and having a stall somewhere this time next year so that I can sell everything in one go. This is because Missis gave me a catalogue called Yellow Moon which is full of brilliant things for children to make, like little photo frames and plant pots and things, but I am going to order some for myself, and if they're any good, I'll sell them all at some event next year. Watch this space.
Right, I am off to set up some jumps in the school, as Mr O wants to jump Zak tonight. I am stuck with riding Barnaby in his double bridle as I rode him out on Tuesday and when I got back Barnaby's mouth was bright orange where the sweet iron on his bit is rotting away! Yuk. So I've thrown it away and ordered a new one as he takes a six inch bit, which is big, and it won't arrive for another week. I did school him in a pelham but wasn't very keen on it, so I'm stuck with a double bridle. I always feel like I have a fistful of leather, as his reins are quite chunky, so we'll see how we get on.
Lemon curd on toast, anyone?
Have a great weekend, whatever you are up to, and let's hope the sun shines as we are fence judging on Sunday.