Friday, December 26, 2008


Wow! It's been a crazy few days full of mirth and joy and singing and bustling around and eating and digesting and drinking and farming and it'll take a while to explain it all!

Saturday: Had lunch at New Botton Farm after a morning of chores chores chores. I forgot to tell Valeska about the gluten thing and we had pasta. I ate a bunch and didn't puke but...I've noticed recently that my reaction to gluten has changed--now when I eat it I get really bad gas and some stomach pain. Great. I think I'd rather barf! But it was fine really. I entertained the kiddies for a bit; it's so different being in a house with children and villagers, so it was nice to get a taste of it. Andreas gave me a tour of the farm, which was really great. Their milking system is completely different than ours, and much faster and easier. We met up with Michaela and Katarina, two co-workers from the summer who left before I came. They are SO nice, and of course, also German. I freaking love Germans, and am definitely learning German in college! Anyway, we went to the coffee bar and the shop and then got a car and went to the co-op in Guisborough to get some, um, beverages for the party. Ben had arranged for us to have a party in the games room in Honey Bee Hall, and I was SO happy! For once the party was right next door to my house and I wouldn't have to stagger home at 3 AM! Well, I'd have not so far to stagger :).
So back at home I took a nap and then we had bible evening and two of Paule and Nick's friends were here and we had a lively discussion for a change. Then at 10 I went over to the hall and partied my heart out until, well, 3 AM. A bunch of staff kids were there, back on holiday from school, so I met some more people and learned new things and played a mini-concert for some people upstairs in the hall with Phil's guitar.

Sunday: Woke up at 8 to make breakfast, then after breakfast went to the hall to clean up the games room. I swept and mopped and tidied and Magda cleaned the toilets and took the very full recycling bin away. In the afternoon was the Advent Cafe, which I helped out with a bit. After supper I went to Ben's and hung out with what is now a very clearly defined clique of Lisa, Lisa, Ben, Andreas, and myself. Oh! And Madi (Paule's younger daughter) and Phillip (her boyfriend and a former co-worker) came in the afternoon. They're really cool, and Madi really does talk more than I do!

Monday: Food centre in the morning, cleaning the floor with Magda and her mother who is here visiting her and doesn't speak a word of english. Lunch at home, farm in the afternoon until 4:00 when I had rehearsal for the Christmas Eve Celebration, singing in the choir. Went to Tourmalin (where Lisa know I ought to label them Lisa 1 and Lisa 2) for supper cuz I had to be back in the hall by 7:30 to decorate the Christmas tree as part of the Foundation Course. So then we did the tree and Lisa from Rowan and I ran around singing Moulin Rouge and dancing and laughing and I think everyone thought we were totally nuts, but I'm used to that.

Tuesday: Food centre in the morning and Magda wasn't there (she was giving her mom a tour of the village) and almost all the villagers had left on holiday so it was just Katie and Magnus and I and we cleaned the drains and washed bottles and went to the coffee bar for tea break. Home for lunch, and fun filled farming in the afternoon. I rode around in the tractor with Justin the whole afternoon, first gathering greenery for decorating the byres, then we went and got apple mush from the food centre for the cows. Justin left me in the centre so I could go straight to choir rehearsal, so I went to choir smelling of farm.

Wednesday: Some workshops were still going, but we had finished in the food centre, so I spent the morning at home. Lazed around all afternoon, sometimes doing helpful little things. At 5:30 I went to the hall, and at 6:00 the Christmas Eve Celebration began! It was so beautiful. The priest read the tory of the birth of Christ while some villagers and co-workers acted it out, and we in the choir would sing the most beautiful songs at times in the story, and the four Archangels, Rafael, Gabriel, Uriel aaaand crap I forget the other one, but anyway, the four people with the best voices in the village acted as these angels and this song they sang was literally the best piece of music I have ever heard in my entire life. I got all teary and everything! There was eurethmy and the eurythmists had candles and little children in white robes and gold crowns got their candels lit and then went to the audience where a representative from each house had a lantern which was then lit by the child's candle, and then the huge tree was lit (yeah, real candles on the tree!) and then we sang together and then we came home and went to the byres and sang to the cows and then we had a lovely supper of salmon and mashed potatoes and chicory salad and green salad and fruit with cream for dessert. Then we sat around and talked and sang carols and lit our tree (with the light from the lantern) and at 10 I went back to the hall and helped put away the chairs and tidy up. Then I wandered around looking for Ben and Andreas and found Andreas sleeping at home but his mom, who is visiting for a few days, said they were going to the midnight service soon, so I hung out with her (she's so nice!) and then he woke up and we all went to the midnight service together in the church. I've only ever been to a church service one other time, when I went to mass with Liz, and the only thing i remember is when everyone got up for communion and I thought, "wait a sec, am I supposed to do that too? It's not my religion!!" I'm not gonna lie, I fell asleep big time. Church is boring! Afterwards everyone was hugging and there were "happy christmas"'s all around. I got a lift home from Marc Antoine, thank god cuz I would have fallen asleep on the path otherwise.
I'll write more later...time for a walk. Also I already wrote a huge blog entry going up until today but I stupidly deleted it. So now I have to do it all again and its I'm walking.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ut Hoy!

Tonight was the Shepherds Play!
Last night at the dress rehearsal I had a few bites of a sandwich (which I had made for myself before going to the hall at 5:30) and thought, "oh, gee I think I'm gonna be sick. Greaaaat." Kind of a bad time to get the tummy bug. There's this 24-hour vomiting bug going around the village, and, according to the newspaper, going around England and filling up hospitals. Anyway, I'm sort of used to barfing thanks to my pre-celiac-diagnosis vomitfest, so I just ran offstage, barfed, and came back on! I felt alright afterward and didn't feel like I really had the bug, but then this morning I threw up during breakfast (don't worry, I made it to the toilet), so I spent the day in bed. I slept the whole day, and every time I woke up feeling nauseas I mentally blocked it and thought, "Hell no, I am so not being sick, I have to be onstage tonight!" So when I got up at 4:30 to shower and make food and be in the hall by 5:30 I felt fine! Ah, the power of mind over matter.

The show went well, only a few hiccups here and there, but I didn't forget any lines, and I only laughed once...but during a solo, so that was a bit embarrassing. The first line of the second verse of "Lusty Trusty Shepherd Boys" is supposed to be just Daniel singing, but Phil started singing it too and then muttered "Oh bollocks," so when it was my turn to sing the second line I just choked it out through my laughter. But I basically just didn't look at Daniel the whole time so I wouldn't laugh.

After the show we had a little cast party with some goodies and tea and piano playing and dancing and laughing and merriment. Daniel gave Nastasja and I a lift home, and driving down the winding roads perhaps a bit too quickly with music blaring gave me little teenage thrills that I haven't had since beach week after graduation. It was a nice little reminder of a different time.
But now it's late and since I slept all day I'm quite awake...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Before the Snow

A while ago, on the way to work in the morning.

The Fruits of Labor

Title relating to several recent incidents.

1. No pub run last night, the plan aborted last minute. Instead became pleasantly intoxicated with Ben and Andreas in Ben's flat, drinking first wine, then amaretto with cider.

2. Magdalena was quite late to the food centre this morning, and Peter (pronounced Pay-ter), her house father and the head gardener, saw me waiting outside and revealed the hiding place of a set of spare keys. I had an intense flashback to my Westtown shiking days, thinking of how then I would have formulated plans to retrieve said keys and use them for mischevious adventures with Liz and Aimee. To be privy to such knowledge as a spare key location would have sent us into a fit of Alias references and Saturday night plans.
Magda came eventually, but then had to go to a meeting, leaving me in charge of pressing 200 kilos of apples. The press is a great green rumbling machine and I love it. I made delicious apple juice.

3. Justin popped into Bracken as I was finishing preparing breakfast to say that Sybilla had gone into labor and if I checked on her at around 8:30 I might see the miracle of birth first hand. After breakfast in my haste to get to the barn I dropped a jar a marmalade on the floor and made a mess of glass and orange bits. But I got to the barn with plenty of time, and Sybilla hadn't calved yet. In fact, by the time I lef the farm in the afternoon she still hadn't dilated fully.

4. On the farm this afternoon we harvested Swedes (haha, not the people, the plant), I looked up to see Luis standing staring off into space--a rare occurance. The thing is, Luis never stops working. He never comes to co-worker gatherings or even leaves the farm because he feels so obligated to work. And he never complains. Not once. He doesn't even have a weekend for crying out loud! He has to muck out the byres and milk! It's a tricky dynamic doesn't have to be physically or psychologically pressured into working nonstop to feel pressured. Anyway, Luis's friend from Germany, a kid he's known his whole life, was recently put in a psychiatric ward in a hospital because he did so many drugs he basically fried his brain for good. Luis really wants to go home for a week or so to see him, but he hasn't even told Justin or Tracy what happened to his friend. I mean, they can't say he can't go home...this is serious shit his friend is in. Anyway, I told him he needs a break and to go home and he absolutely must tell Justin and Tracy this.

5. I went to the Hall at 5:00 for choir/Christmas Eve rehearsal, only to find that it had been cancelled and no one told me. But Lisa (Leeza, who lives with Ben in Rowan, not to be confused with the other Lisa (also Leeza) who lives in Tourmaline and is also a good friend) was there and we got a chance to hang out and talk for a while. She's getting really stressed and starting to feel a bit like a slave or a servent. I told her what the previous co-worker from Bracken had told me (gotta love Facebook), and that is that people think their house parents will be like substitute parents, all caring and such, but it happens more often than not that one's houseparents are more like a boss, and you are their employee. We agreed that a "thank you" for our work every once in a while would mean the world to us.

6. Tomorrow is the Shepherds Play, and we had our dress rehearsal tonight and it was...not a disaster, but pretty bad. Daniel, one of my co-shepherds, looks absolutely hysterical with his fake beard, and his accent is hilarious and every time I look at him I want to laugh. Also I have to do a fake slip-and-fall and tonight I actually fell on my ass really hard, so that made me laugh through a line or two. But hopefully we can pull it off tomorrow!

7. Sauerkraut left today to go home for the holidays. I'm gonna miss that crazy chatter box. Oh, I'm talking about Emily by the way. We just call her Sauerkraut now. When it comes down to it, I love Em. She's like a little sister or a crazy parrot or something.

8. And, having nothing to do with fruits or labor, I found this blog and it is coooool.

Big Storm Picture.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mondays Really do Suck.

Especially when you get attacked by a villager twice. It's a long story, and I'm tired and trying not to dwell on it too much, but I'll give you the run-down.

Teresa is a villager who can be very violent. We, the new co-workers, were given a short lecture by her house mother about what provokes her and what to do and not to do and all that lot. Teresa also can't communicate very well at all. She repeats a few phrases (naughty girl! hit the children! meenenaquasp! be quiet!) over and over again, and says good morning and goodbye, and that's it. Also, she's really big and strong and scary looking. Emily is terrified of her. On Monday in the food centre, where Teresa works once a week, I noticed that she was sitting in the kitchen crying. I told Magda and we went in to comfort her. I admit, after hearing bad stories about her, and simply knowing that she has a history of violence, my hackles go up when I get close to her. I handed her a tissue, trying my best to exude calm energy. Magda and I sat with her for a few minutes and talked in comforting voices while she cried, and at one point Magda got up and had her back turned. I handed Teresa another tissue and she all the sudden started hitting me on my arms and chest. I got up and moved away quickly and she sat back down. Magda didn't notice a thing, it was very fast and quiet, but when we left the room I told her what had happened. She called Mickey, Teresa's house mother, who told her that one fo the villagers in her house, Peter Woods (who was on this day leaving Botton for good after being here for many years) had hit Teresa this morning. No one saw the beginning of it, but Peter is not one to hit people randomly, so the guess is that Teresa hit him first. Anyway, this is why Teresa was so upset.
She cried for a while, and Magda went in to check on her again and Teresa screamed and hit Magdalena really hard. But then a bit later she stopped crying and came over to where Magda and I were sitting sorting apples and took my hand and said, "Sorry." The she went about her day, doing the ironing. Everything was normal, though I was still a bit shaken, and then in the boot room while we were getting our coats on, it happened again! I said goodbye to Teresa and she screamed and ran at me! I tried to run away but she cornered me and hit me several times in the shoulder, saying "Hit the children!" Then she stopped and walked away. I stood there in shock for a minute, and she came back, only this time the said, "Goodbye." and "Sorry." She was so confused, and I wasn't angry with her for hitting me, really just sad for her that she can't express herself and her needs.
I went to Magda's office and told her it had happened again, and she said Teresa will probably never respect me because I look like a child to her and she hates children because they are loud and silly. And that makes me really sad. I don't want to have a reason not to like Teresa. I want to think she is a good person, but when someone randomly targets you and hits you like a punching bag, it's hard to think, "Oh, she's really very nice."

Alan Ayres, the village bicycle guy (among other things) fixed up a bike for me and dropped it off at the food centre, so I rode that home. By the time I got home the trauma of the morning had set in and I was really shaky and nauseas. I ate Katie-sized portions for lunch and downed a glass of wine (from a bottle I purchased in Middlesborough) before heading over to the farm.
So that was my Monday. And today in the food centre Ruth, a villager who is deaf and dumb grabbed my wrist and twisted it as hard as she could, attempting to hurt me. Lucky for me she's old and tiny so it didn't hurt, but it was still really confusing and upsetting because all I did was point to the clock and tap on my wrist to show her it was time to leave! I had no idea what she was doing grabbing my arm, but she was mad about something...

Oh, but on the good side of things, Andreas is back from his three-week holiday and a few of Botton's finest co-workers and I are going to the pub tomorrow. My back hurts now and I'm going to sleep. Bottling juice tomorrow morning, farm-related activities in the afternoon, and alcohol related activities in the evening.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Canst thou figure in thy pate, what makes this blog come so late?

Um, cuz of my insane life, homies. Here is the last few days in brief:
wednesday: shepherd's play rehearsal from 9:30 to 11:00, then a Foundation Course lecture from an Iranian artista fighting for womens' rights through art. I asked her if she had heard of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Infidel, the book everyone must read, and she hadn't. No volleyball, as I had received a card from the coach saying we would resume our sessions on January 18th. So I spent the night in, writing cards and sipping hot cocoa and warming myself in my chair next to the radiator in my room, while the Amelie soundtrack plink plonked away in the background.

thursday: food centre in the morning, home for lunch, then to the farm until 4:30 and then off to shepherd's play rehearsal, then I went to Hall South for supper with Marie Reine. I love going to other houses for meals because every house operates slightly differently. In Hall South, much like in Old Bototn Farm, they put the spreads in baskets on the table, and there are always teaspoons on the table as well. David Adams, the house father and husband of Marie Reine, is really funny and kind hearted, a large man with a large heart. They are such a funny looking couple, him being so large (not fat, just tall and thick), and her head barely passing my chin! After supper I went to choir, where Claire led us in many a lovely carol. The Christmas pieces are so beautiful, I will bring my camera to our next rehearsal and record a song or two.

friday: food centre in the morning, then to High Farm for lunch. Claire had to leave before lunch to fetch Joe from school. Have I mentioned Joe? He comes to all the co-worker parties, he's kind of immature sometimes but also really smart and into maths and sciences and goes to the Yarm School, a "right proper school" to which he has a big rugby/brainy scholarship. Claire was worried about driving on the roads and still very shocked from the accident on Tuesday, and then Emma Dreary showed up. Emma is one of a few villagers who can't speak and only communicates with noises and hand movements. Claire, who used to be her house mother, understands her a lot. She asked me to take charge of Emma because I can give her clear boundaries and guidence. I was sort of thinking, "oh crap, this is going to be chaos," because Sejin and I were the only co-workers in the house for lunch, I was in charge of Emma, and there was still Kathryn, John, David and Federico to look after. Oh, and Sejin's english is quite limited. It all went fine though. Emma had a few little freak outs (I think, I mean it's hard to know what a really loud squeal means coming from her) but I kept her calm and occupied and then helped her make some Barley Cup (british coffee substitute) then sent her home.
Sejin and I sat an talked over coffee for a bit. She's so nice and sweet, I really like her. She's from the middle of South Korea, and she prefers country life to the bustle of the city, and she feels ignored a lot of the time by the villagers because they know her english is not so great and that makes her very sad. In the first few weeks she cried a lot because it was so hard, but things are better now and she is developing a report with the villagers she lives and works with.

saturday: I did breakfast for Phil since he did it for me one morning, then did chores and made tea break and then made some pasta for lunch. Spent the afternoon in bed reading and watching Gossip Girl online (shout out to my girl Lindsaaaayyy) and eventually falling asleep. Being Saturday, we had Bible Evening at 7:45, but when I woke up at 7:00 I had a headache and body aches and was just generally needing to go to bed, so I asked Nick if that would be alright. Paule had been gone all day taking Alma to the theatre in Leeds and she hadn't returned yet so he was preparing the supper. I knew he could have used my help but I was just so sore and tired I slumped off to bed and was asleep by 8:00.

today: After breakfast Paule gave Phil and I a lift to our Shepherd's Play rehearsal, which went until 12:00. It's coming along, and the reheasals are hilarious. Daniel, the nurse in the health centre and house father (by himself) in Thomas Wheis House (home for elderly) is Romanian, and super over-dramatic with rolling his r's and jumping about.
After a delicious lunch of roast pork (from High Farm I believe...I think I saw him alive last Friday!) and brussel sprouts and rice with yoghurt for dessert, Nick gave me a lift to the centre where I met Ben and Magda and Liza (Leeza) and Ben's house father drove us to Middlesborough! It was lovely to be out with them, but we really had to get down to business and do our Christmas shopping. We were actually really efficient, me especially! Mom you would have been so proud of how organized I was! No dawdling, no purchasing of anything I didn't need, I didn't even LOOK at Starbucks. Here's wha I got:
Stephanie: cat calendar
Felicity: james bond calendar (daniel craig to be exact!)
David: Beatles "Love" album
Phil: Joni Mitchell "Blue"
Nick: a sciencey philosphy type book called The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdome and Philosophy to the Test of Modern Science. It sounded really interesting, and right up Nick's ally.
Emily: fancy hair band

I looked high an low for gardening gloves for Paule, but I think I'm just going to have to burn her a copy of the Amelie soundtrack. I feel funny about it now because I bought CD's for Phil and David and I'm burning her's so it wont have the liner notes or anything...
And I also still need to get things for Anthony and Katie. And I need like 25 blank CDs to make mixes for everyone else. Humph. The stores were all closing around 5:00 since it's Sunday...I thought maybe they would be open longer since it's the holiday season or whatever, but no such luck. Oh well. We got home in time for me to prepare the supper and I did the washing up afterwards since I had to leave lunch early. Then we all went to the hall to see the Fairytale, a eurethmy story performed by teh villagers. It was very colorful and cute.

Okay, now I'm tired. Think I'll polish off a glass of wine and fall to sleep.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

busy bee

that's me. the hectic times continue with shepherds play rehearsals and co-worker supper and the advent fayre on sunday that everyone put so much work into and not very many people came because of the "credit crunch" aka the failing economy and the somewhat icy roads. yesterday i ran the food centre by myself in the morning because magda was seriously ill and puking and katie neilson flipped shit over the slippery pathways that weren't actually slippery and i walked her to thomas weis house and she wimpered the whole way and dug her nails into my arm and i wanted to punch her so on my way home i had some therapuedic brittany spears time with my ipod. then this morning magda was absent again and i assumed she was still sick but i also knew that her house was going shopping in york with the south neighborhood and when as i was leaving for lunch i asked her house-father if she was feeling better and he said yes, she went to york, but there was an accident and the bus flipped over and solara went to the hospital. holy crap. the rest of the story came in bits and pieces throughout the day from various sources, but the gist of it is this: claire, my botton friend, was driving and passing someone and went off the road a bit and lost control and went into a field and the vehicle flipped onto its side. no one was injured, just scared. but then cornelia and solara tried to climb out the window (which was now facing the sky) and this made the bus flip back over and throw them on the ground. solara hurt her back and cornelia hit her head, so they both went to the hospital to be checked out. they are now home and safe and fine. also, a co-worker named miriam who is leaving soon fell on the ice and possibly broke her wrist. dangerous times! okay, time to sleep. sorry for the lack of capitalization and run-on sentences, my brain is too tired and my hands hurt too much from teaching myself Comptine d'un autre été L'après midi on the piano. i can do the hands seperately but not together, i think i'm a bit stupid. and also tired. goodnight.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Emily and Chatty at the Party

the snow!

by the time i took this picture a few inches had already melted...

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Christmas Party

Boy howdy am I exhausted. This afternoon I escorted Emily to the annual villager's christmas party, being her constant companion and supervisor from 2:00 to 7:30. The party was in the hall, an afternoon of dancing, food, games and more food and dancing! It's hosted by the hired staff like the people who work in the offices and Phil the farmer and Dennis the painter who come for lunch every week in Bracken. So basically I followed Em around for five and a half hours avoiding Teresa (a villager who hates and could possibly attack her) and dancing to Mamma Mia and Status Quo songs over and over and over again. We played "pass the parcel," in which everyone stands in a circle and passes a present around and when the music stops the person holding the gift takes of a layer of wrapping paper and then when the music starts up again they pass it on. The gifts (which eventually turned out to be chocolate) were wrapped in eight or nine layers of paper! So that was cute. There was really only one problem, and it didn't involve Em at all--two villagers (who are new housemates actually) started screaming and hitting each other. It was Beth who used to live in HBN but moved to Hall South, and Christina, who comes for lunch every Monday and is impossible to understand. Oh yeah, and Anthony was super pissed off in the beginning because Terry (a staff guy) wouldn't give him a drink. He was absolutely fuming and yelled, "It's not fair! I should just go over there and tell him to fuck off!" I was totally shocked and just attempted to placate him. He calmed down eventually.

We (Em, Steph, Anthony, Luke and Luis) walked back together and then Phil and I went to play rehearsal in HB Hall until 9:30. I could have gone to bed when we got back from the party, but cest' la vie.

So I shall go to bed now.
Nighty night.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Yeah, that's probably not a word. And I have to get up at 5:30, so I'll make this quick!

Things in my Brain:

1. Paule is the best gluten free cook in the world. My vegan GF cookies failed utterly, and, without xanthum gum, she made the most amazing cake thing with hazelnuts and dates. She said she will continue to do trial runs of GF versions of the things she always makes at Christmas time. She even labeled a tin "gluten free goodies" just for me!

2. Shepherds play rehearsal is going well but holy crap I have to memorize my lines! When? I ahve no idea. Shit. Failure approaches...

3. My back and arms hurt SO bad from"
a. slipping and falling repeatedly on ice/snow
b. milking

4. Oh. My. God. It snowed. Tons. Eight inches on the ground and drifts up to four feet deep. I went out this morning for milking and opened the door to have snow blasted into my face by the wind. At breakfast I came in ruddy faced and hungry and everyone is sitting around the table, half of them excited to see the beautiful snow, and the other half grumbling nervously about the prospect of walking in it. Nick gave us all a lift in the mini-bus, but it had summer tires on it and didn't make it up Faulkan drive. Felicity was going to Hall South, and I to the food centre, so I held her hand and we walked together and she is so small and stout and slow and cute and she slipped on a little snow pile and went down foomph! on her big bottom. For the first part of the morning Magda and I shoveled snow around the food centre, clearing paths and salting them. The snow was about a foot and a half deep there. When I came home for lunch I asked Nick how it was getting the bus unstuck from Faulkan drive and he said it took about an hour to get out! So t was a very exciting and special sort of day, like a snow day, but with work. Does that amke sense?

5. I'm keeping this blog public for another few days so people can see that I'm making it private soon and then give me their email addresses.

6. Last night I burned my hand on the steam from the kettle and it didn't hurt at all at first but now its all red and raw and I keep putting Urtica-Arnica salve on it and it's helping. I love anthrosophical medicine! It's so nice to be all-natural! Haha, that sounds funny, but I dunno, I just like the idea of using Calendula ointment instead of chemical anti-bacterial stuff for cuts.

7. tomorrow is the annual Christmas party for the villagers! I'm taking Emily, a.k.a babysitting Emily and making sure she behaves and dealing with her antics...I'm nervous! I hope she listens to me! We'll see...I think it will be fine as long as she doesn't antagonize or provoke a violent villager...which, of course, could happen. Yeesh.

8. Goodnight.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm a Bit Daft.

So...the internet is a scary thing. Luis told me today...a very complex chain of events that have prompted me to make this blog private. I'll try my best to simplify, but here it is: Tracy, Luis's house mother, heard from Kathryn Hollis, who was the former wife of Pete Stubbs, a former co-worker in Castle House who left with Kathrine Thistlethwate (who lived in Bracken for a few weeks) that someone was writing about Pete and Kathrine in a blog about Botton. And that blog, was this blog. Also he came up with some other connection about Nick possible reading it, and I do have it linked on my facebook and I'm friends with Madi on facebook and it's all very silly of me. I mean, I don't think I've said anything terrible on here that I feel guilty about or regret or wouldn't talk to someone face to face about, but if I have offended someone who may be reading this, ummm...sorry! So I'm making it private in the next few days, and if you want to keep reading it, send me your email address. (to and I'll add you to the approved list. Also you could hit up my facebook inbox, that works too.
Early to bed, early to rise. OH YEAH AND IT'S FORCAST TO SNOW 20 CM!!!! THAT'S MORE SNOW THAN I'VE EVER SEEN. And it's really rare in Yorkshire! Picture-taking galore! And also, terrifying for many villagers, so that's not good, but seriously, I can't wait to look out the window tomorrow morning! Nighty night. Tea, shower, bed by 9:00. Don't forget to give me your email!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Morning Milking

Got up at half five this morning to learn to milk the cows! It wasn't too difficult getting out of bed; my room is warm, and I went to bed at 11:00 as opposed to my usual 1:30. It was crunchy and frosty and pitch black outside, but I warmed up as Ben and I cleared the muck out from under the cows and pushed it to the sides. In the afternoons we take the cows out first and then clean the byres and then bring them back in an milk them, but to save time in the mornings we just tidy up around them. Then I gave them hay and then Justin started teaching me!I've already learned how to clean the teats, so today he showed me how to prepare the machines and turn the air on (which goes into the machine, creates a vacuum and thus, suction which makes the walls of the tubes that go on the teats move in and out, squeezing the milk into the jug below. Most people assume the milk is sucked out, and it's not really. There is some suction, but mostly the air creates the squeezing and that's how it comes out. Okay, lesson over. So I cleaned them and them and then, after Justin demonstrated, I put the machines on myself. It's not so hard really, there's just a lot of little steps to remember.

This morning I'm in the food centre, then home for lunch, and I have a doctor's appointment at three to have my heart looked at and then Shepherd's Play rehearsal at 4:15 in the school, so this morning aside, no farming for me today. Oh, and then there's co-worker supper and the last evening of foundation course stuff.

Gotta get going. Peace.