Monday and Tuesday 20/21 April
More wood sawing and finally the pile of reclaimed wood is gone. It’s great – lovely clear area and more wood to burn.
When we get back to the farm we try and clean the mares hooves up to their fetlocks where mud is dried and matted with their hairs and causing sores on their legs.
Monday night Lotte arrives. She’s a young girl from Finland and she’s here for about 3 weeks. In fact it’s her 19th birthday on Tuesday and Christina cooks a nice chocolate cake for us all.
Daz and I have started to build the new chicken coop. Christina wants them out of the barn as they make too much mess and she wants the space for storing straw bales. So that’s our new project, Daz is very excited to be building again.
Wednesday / Thursday / Friday
We paint the joists for the floor of the chicken house, find suitable planks for the floor and fill in large holes that Christina’s ex dug behind the barn as foundations. The planks are about 40cm wide by 18 feet long and heavy, we have to use the tractor trailer to help move them. We also clear the mares field of broken branches that litter the ground because Christina says they could easily cause injury when the horses gallop up and down the field. I also finish painting the bridge in the training ring.
Friday night we go to Floby gastis which is open for drinks, buffet and music quiz. They only open once a month, so we thought we’d give it a go! It’s quite busy and we start chatting to Anders, Hu and Lily. Anders is a Swede and a linguist pathologist, Hu is Chinese but has lived in sweden for 12 years. He’s a lecturer in Gothenburg teaching Chinese and also he’s doing research into learning a foreign language from a language that’s not your native tongue. And Lily is an exchange student here for a semester from China. They are a lovely people and very interesting. The music quiz starts but no one’s that interested and Anders invites us back to his house.
So we spend the evening drinking red wine and chatting. Anders also cooks up some snacks, wild field mushrooms and sauted seeds, they are really nice. Some time later we decide we need to cycle the 6km home. Once the cold air hits us we’re done for. I fall into a ditch and it takes me half an hour to climb out. The ditch is like the north face of the Eiger. I get so far and then roll back into the bottom. Daz is trying to help but actually I think he was just laughing himself silly whilst recording my inability to get out of a ditch. Finally I’m out (we suspect this took at least half an hour to include hysteria and napping) and cycling resumes but it takes us ages to get home. The chain keeps coming off my bike and I crash again giving myself gravel rash across my face.
Saturday 25th April
We’re a bit worse for wear this morning but manage to put the horses out and muck them out. Then the 4 of us go to Falkoping for a car show. To be honest it’s pretty rubbish and we don’t stay long but we do take Lotte and Ion to the cheese factory.
The rest of the day is spent lying on the couch waiting for Daz’s hangover to abate.
Sunday 26th April
Christina gives us a lift to Falkoping and we do 2 geocache series in the woods surrounding Falkoping. Spring is coming. Everything is in bud and the wood floor is covered in white wood anemone. Beautiful small white flowers. After geocaching we go to AroyThai, the number 1 restaurant in Falkoping and have a fantastic Thai meal and then we retire to O’Learys for a few pints. Then we get the train home (once again without paying the fare) and walk home and Daz finds a shortcut through the forest which is a fraction of the usual distance.
Monday 27th April
This morning we all do a ‘litter’ sweep of the lawns. The grass needs to be cut this week and there’s stones, large pieces of wood and all sorts of other detritus that will cause problems for the mower. Then Daz and I decide which planks will make the best floor for the chicken coop. This takes us about 2 hours – swapping their position for the best fit. Once that’s finalised we paint their underneath and then they need to dry so we start the framework for one wall.
Fortunately we’re using 2 existing walls – the tool shed and the tractor garage so that should make life easier. In the afternoon a new volunteer arrives. Her name is Manon and she’s Dutch and intends to be here 6 months. She’s 23 and she’s also done workaway on a husky farm. She studied graphic design but she doesn’t want to pursue this but wants to work in Sweden and is going to use her stay here to learn the language.
Tuesday 28th April
The farrier comes today to do the hooves of 5 horses and Daz and I continue work on the new chicken coop. The floor is laid and nailed down and we have the framework complete for 2 walls including 2 windows and a door. Today I get to use the small hand held circular saw and I’m even allowed to measure and cut some joists we need. It seems to be going well.
The vet is visiting today to check Peanut’s pregnancy. She’s a month overdue and Christina is really worried.