Update 1: Applewood, Somerset, UK

Well, here we are nearly two weeks after arriving back in the UK. It took a week to re-orientate and now doing the walk feels like a distant memory. Fortunately, the weather has been pretty good which has helped (and pretty awful in Spain too) so some consolation.

We are very lucky that we have some space here which also means there is a lot to occupy us during lockdown. Our storage shed had got very damp and Tom knew before we went away that it would need a lot of work to fix. In our absence, the goats managed to get inside. We had removed some of the more important things before we left but they saved us the trouble of sorting out the rest – it was trashed. Bless!

We had also decided to fence off a bit of the orchard to save the few remaining trees. Having the goats has been brilliant for keeping the brambles down and the hedge around the field trimmed. Sadly, they have also killed off many of the original cider apple trees by barking them so this will keep them out (I can hear other goat owners howling with laughter!) We can but try! We will plant some other small fruit bushes in there too.

Back in October, we took on a couple of rescue ponies. The moment they arrived it started raining and within days the ground was almost impossible to negotiate because it was so churned up. Now it has almost dried out so yesterday we took the truck up there and drove it backwards and forwards to flatten it down. Tedious, especially avoiding dogs and goats, but effective!

The spring flowers are out, especially the primroses, which grow like weeds here and really cheer us up on grey days. The magnolias are in bloom too and the cherry is blossoming! I’ve been at work in the vegetable garden which has been shamefully neglected the last couple of years, but no excuse now. Hoping to start planting this weekend – in the meantime there is no shortage of rhubarb!

The dogs, of course, are very happy back on their familiar territory and, though disappointed, we are happy too now we are used to the idea. It’s not a bad place to be holed up! We send all our best wishes to our readers and fervently hope you are all safe and well. Don’t forget the dogs need our help more than ever so if you are able, please send the coffee/beer money you are saving. Details here

Gerald and Merlin are really good mates and love this game.

Published by gilliwolfe

Tom's partner and Chica's mum. And support team (with the other two dogs) for the trip.

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