We have had a mystery up at the Hall as one of our signs that marks the entrance went missing a while ago, so we commissioned Hughie to make us a new one and also a spare in case! These ones are prettier than the previous ones and really enhance the entrances, as well as telling people where we are.
We still have our defences against the Beast from the East in place. The cold winds and snow that we had penetrated every crevice of the front of the house. We retaliated by keeping the shutters fastened, doubling the draft excluders and putting up makeshift curtains in doorways. Snow still managed to blow into the front porch, however. Thank goodness for the warmer weather and sunshine that we’ve recently had. Did someone mention snow at Easter though?
The new sign at the Hall
The draught excluders at the front door
Replacing soft fabrics in the hall is not really an option at the moment, so Jacqui, our Housekeeper, got out her sewing kit and has been repairing the tie backs and curtains. It is very much the ‘make do and mend’ spirit!
Much of the scaffolding has come down around the Hall now. The builders have finished repairing the roofs and have put up the mushrooms on top of the chimneys. The painting of the guttering and pipes has now begun, and Russ has been getting rid of the planter in the kitchen garden.
Jacqui sewing the curtains and tie backs
Russ taking down the planter in the kitchen garden
We have had a digger come to dig out the troughs for the cattle water stations. Unfortunately, it dug right-through the telephone line which left some of the tenants without communication. Luckily, the telephone engineers were able to come out and reconnect the line on the same day!
We are keeping an eye on our nesting boxes as we come into Spring. It would be great to have some occupied this year and have chicks born on the Estate, especially if we had owls nesting and breeding!
The digger getting the troughs ready
One of the Estate chickens in the laying box
Our chickens have also started to lay again now the warmer weather is arriving. At first, we thought this was not happening, but Craig, our Hall Steward, found nine eggs in a pile of hay in the corner. We have installed lighting in their sheds that comes on at 4am and goes off at 6.30am to encourage them further. The lights are not on at other times as it is important to get the chickens to roost at nightfall. They are now laying in their nesting boxes. It is really nice to have fresh eggs in time for Easter – as well as chocolate ones!