This morning LSS and I visited some of the bramble patches which exist all over the property. Two hours or so picking blackberries, and we had just over 4kg. These will be used to make our first attempt at blackberry wine. I just need to wait for our home-brew beer to finish fermenting, then I can start the wine-making procedure.

I also took the opportunity of using some of our stock of piled-up smaller branches to burn in the brazier. This was not wasted fuel; I made some more charcoal at the same time. Yesterday I spent the afternoon with the chainsaw, cutting up one of the fallen branches from a large oak tree. There’s certainly enough wood there for the winter! And I also need to cut up an entire oak tree when I have some spare time. It was blown over by the tornado we had earlier in the year. The base of the trunk must be over one and a half metres in diameter.

This afternoon I made some more bread (yes, I make my own. I have done so for years. I do use a Kenwood breadmaker machine though).

We’d also noticed that the pump which draws water from the well had been rather slow in filling up the pressure vessel recently. I suspected that the filter on the well side of the pipe may have become clogged, so we opened the well cover to have a look. Unfortunately we discovered two drowned rats floating in the water. They’d been there a while I think, as one of them seemed to have lost all its fur. Ah-ha! That’s probably what was clogging the pipes! We fished them out with a landing net (normally used for fishing). Not a very nice discovery – not that we drink the well water of course. But I had thought our bath water had been starting to smell a bit funny. Before use, that is.

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