Sounds of summer (yes, really) and Christmas dinner!

Thursday lunchtime the first swift was seen swooping across a brilliant blue sky, I'm not sure what was more welcome the clear blue sky or the swift!  either way the swift stayed with us longer and by early evening was part of a small squadron of five swooping and screaming across the now grey sky.  Oh, well close your eyes and listen and you can pretend summer's here.

AW writes about the latest arrivals on their small holding.
My husband had placed 4 goose eggs under a clocker (possible Yorkshire term, may just be a Green End one!) in the caravan, our make shift shed 28 ish days ago. On Friday morning three had hatched and dried off and the hen was starting to lift up and wanting to be off. So for the sake of three healthy goslings they and their mum were moved to the rearing shed.  The last egg which must have been a few days older than the other three and therefore took longer to hatch was chipping and the gosling was cheeping but mum would not have stayed on the nest much longer so a dilemma of what to do with the emerging gosling. Luckily we have a Rayburn with a warming oven at the bottom so the gosling within shell was placed in the oven so to speak. Over the day we kept peeling a bit of shell off but the membrane within the shell was bleeding which means the gosling is not quite ready to come. In this state you can cause them to bleed to death if you just pull all the shell off. So gently does it. My husband who in years gone by would have insisted on leaving it and moralising that if they can’t manage to get out of the shell on their own they are not destined to live has now gone a bit soft and with me badgering kept peeling a bit more of the shell off. It was laying at the wrong end of the shell, normally they come out of the air sac end of the shell but this was the other way round. We have two small people under 3 so there was much opening of the oven door (which wasn’t tight shut I hasten to add) and gasping and pointing and trying to poke and every time we did this there was the little cheep cheep so we knew baby gos gos was still with us. Finally by the end of the day gos gos was out of the shell but too weak to go out with mum so would spend a night in the Rayburn. I only cuddled it once which is quite restrained for me and went to bed hoping to see it stronger in the morning.
The next morning there was plenty of cheeping and looking around so I thought I would try and put it out with mum, but it hadn’t had anything to eat so wasn’t strong enough to push back in the warmth under mum and was left out in the cold. I brought it back inside and fed it some bread, milk and sugar using a toothpick and warmed it up in the oven. The fire was obviously a little hotter than the previous day because at one point the gosling was panting (oops). A couple of hours later I put it back out with mum where it then stayed and you can’t now tell which one it was. Success. We’ll now be able to eat it in 7 months time!!!

Thinking of Christmas,  the light levels have been so odd that the Christmas cactus is smothered in buds again.

Back in the office it's been busy again with plenty of jobs being posted online this past week although the news has been a little quieter. Which means this week's edition is a little smaller at 13 pages including eleven adverts for volunteers and 56 for paid posts plus some for training courses and information on how you maybe eligible for funding for training courses.  It's all now printing and will live online for digital readers soon.
We're going to go and sit by the woodstove nursing mugs of hot chocolate whilst we watch the walkers muffled up in hats and gloves on this gloriously soggy day in May.