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  • Writer's pictureBarbara

Looking Back on 2022 Newsletter

Greetings and welcome to my look back on this is this year's season.

The summer was a joy here with the release of the restrictions of the last couple of years. It was the ducks and chickens this time who suffered with a longer than usual lock-in against bird flu; 6 months, but they coped very well indeed, not even sure on freedom-day about stepping out over the threshold!


After the busy, busy times of the last two years, we saw a return to a gentler pace this year, with it great as always to see returning families and to welcome first time guests.



It was exciting, over the last winter, to be able to make the cottages even more comfortable and easy to enjoy; all now have at least a king size bed - 4 having super king 6’ beds (Barry is enthusiastically re-purposing the pine beds). Heated towel rails have been fitted, with more to follow shortly and colours being introduced along with more wall lights!

The swimming pool has been very much appreciated, both for joint and private sessions. The weather even made it possible to open a little earlier and to keep it open it for longer than usual.


The birds this year were kept indoors until April! This did give them the chance to establish a good laying pattern in their house. 15 hens eggs a day we were getting for a good many weeks before the hens wandered further afield to lay. The shortening hours of daylight has gradually brought them out of lay. One or none a day now!

The chicks and ducklings hatched this year have again been from our own eggs, as no markets were open. Keeping these then, plus those we had to keep from last year, mean that we have had a lot of birds!


It’s not just birds that have bred well; guinea pigs, rabbits and mice have had a good year too! The chicken houses enjoy this stunning view....


The summer was a joy here with the release of the restrictions of the last couple of years. It was the ducks and chickens this time who suffered with a longer than usual lock-in against bird flu; 6 months, but they coped very well indeed, not even sure on freedom-day about stepping out over the threshold!


This year's kittens have been exceptionally colourful, pale sable with dark eyelashes and vibrant patches of black and orange on white, greys too with white and orange.

The guinea pigs too have also surprised us with youngsters of unusual colouring, some with various shades of grey, and others who could be a colour chart for all chocolate types.

April’s piglets, well grown on for their age, were a fantastic pair, full of enthusiasm and delight, they left us in August when tiny piglets arrived.


It was exciting, over last winter, to be able to make the cottages even more comfortable and easy to enjoy; all now have at least a king size bed - 4 having super king 6’ beds (Barry is enthusiastically re-purposing the pine beds). Heated towel rails have been fitted, with more to follow shortly and colours being introduced along with more wall lights!


We have again been thrilled to have the support of veterinary students on placement and of course are very grateful to our holidaymakers who join in helping with the animals.

The weather has been kind this year, even though it leached the colour from the grass! By September though it had pretty much recovered, helped by showers and some rain (mainly at night of course 😊). The wheat and barley had been harvested much earlier than usual with plenty of golden straw to store. The hay was jolly good too; my concern that it would suffer in the dry proved groundless. There was a second fodder cut in September, mostly silage I guess. A trip to the feed merchants after the recent storm, was brilliant. The sun brought out the neat and colourful fields and the panoramic backdrop of Dartmoor as we passed both tractors hedging the banks and sheep in the fields. Cattle have now been brought indoors now, and happily I hear that barns have fodder for the winter months.

Apples have been amazing this year, hedgerow blackberries, cucumbers did well, less so much else, including Barry’s grapevines! They’ve settled in and look good, but nothing to write home about at the moment! All in all harvest celebrations went well though we remembered, with deep sadness, the difficulties many are facing.

Now in our "winter quiet time", we are missing everyone, but looking back with gratitude to all who have stayed and wishing all our readers much happiness in the year ahead.



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