Sue Woodcock: TV visit and a change in the weather

I have been out and about quite a bit this week. I hadn't planned to be but that's how things worked out. With slightly better weather interspersed with the occasional snow shower I needed to do some outside jobs.

Dora has gone to a new home for a trial. I didn't want to lose her but she's needed by an elderly chap. He wanted company and she's such a loving little dog. We will see if it works out.

The BBC camera crew returned to film spring. Of course, it had snowed the night before but as the day progressed it warmed up.

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The reporter helped me hold one of the goats while I treated a lame foot, then we did a bit of walling, repairing a gap that had appeared after the bitter cold spell. He was charming and helped me drag some fencing to reinforce a bit of wall. As the ground was still frozen solid that was as far as the fencing went. We checked out the new chickens, which are rapidly sprouting new feathers. By the end of the day I was really tired and missed out on the evening rehearsal for the Buckden Singers. I enjoy singing with them and felt really guilty because they are so short of voices. In fact, we are appealing for more male singers. It is such a friendly group and great fun.

The next day I was popping down to the village when I saw a friend and together we ventured as far afield as Keighley to pick up some things she had ordered.

I seldom get to look round the shops so I checked out a new bed but it wasn't what I am looking for. I need a cabin or bunk bed, the upper layer for me and the lower one for the dogs. When I find what I am seeking I will know it, but I am in no rush.

On Saturday I went during the evening to see what Skipton's Street Angels do. The camera crew came too and filmed what we did. I was very impressed with the positive attitude and reception we met with. I was in the company of interesting people and enjoyed watching and meeting lots of young revellers. Of course some of them played up for the cameras but there was no trouble and we managed to retrieve and bin lots of bottles and return a few glasses to the pubs on our rounds. I have been accepted for training with the Angels. I think it is a worthwhile thing to volunteer for and do.

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I got my blue wheelie bin this week. I shall have to be careful I put the right things in it. I use and re-use a lot of what I consume so about all I have to chuck out is dog food tins and the very occasional bottle. Our dustmen are great and so helpful. So are our postmen. A lovely lady from Hartlepool sent me some dog food after losing her much-loved bassett hound recently. She had sensibly decided that she cannot have another dog due to her age so wanted the food to be used. The postman delivered it and as I unpacked the dogs were fascinated, telling me they liked that and that and could they eat it all now?

One of the Jacob ewes has produced two tiny tup lambs. I was worried they were too small to survive but they are doing fine. She is very timid and turning into a good mother. I was given some ducks and two new goats, both of them pygmy goats. The nanny is heavily pregnant and very tame. The billy goat is very magnificent. He is black with enormous horns and immediately they worked out that the place to go was the warm shippon and that I was the provider of food. I have called them Edna and Bob.

The ducks, eight in all, are Aylesbury and White, well they will be when they have managed to clean themselves up a bit. Among them is a White Indian Runner and they have been exploring. They sleep in a corner of the barn and venture out to check round the buildings when the sun comes up.

Monday was a glorious day and the sun was positively warm. I took the opportunity to clear up the farmyard. The chickens thought it was great fun but it is not easy when they insist on getting under your feet to peck. They sit on or get under the gripe and then perch on my feet as I try to move round them. Wheeling the wheelbarrow round with several chickens sitting on the top of it is tricky. Having exposed several areas of uneaten corn there was a rush to clean it up. There is a particularly beautiful cock pheasant around and he was first in the queue. His feathers almost glow with gold and bronze shades and green and red and blue. Then the jackdaws turned up. Soon the ground was pecked clean.

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Just as I was finishing I got a call from our local and wonderful dog warden to ask if I could foster a young and very beautiful stray dog.

She spent the night asleep on my head. If the owners have abandoned her I think I may have a home for her with a friend.

As it was getting dark I heard a lamb bleating and went off to see what the problem was. The two little lambs had got on the wrong side of the fence and couldn't get to their mum. I managed to reunite them. While I was busy outside the dogs were very active inside. I had been given an old eiderdown which I had put in the dog bed in the front room. The dogs decided to redecorate the room with the feathers from inside it.

They knew they had got it wrong and suddenly there was a dearth of dogs until I had calmed down a bit. They can make do with an old blanket now. I buy toys for them and they de-stuff them often enough. They get plenty of exercise and food and cuddles. They are crashed out in front of the fire with feathers all over their coats. I'll groom them tomorrow. A couple of them could do with a bath too. There is something about a muddy patch that is like a magnet to them. Then they head for my duvet!

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