This week has seen the weather improve. We have had gloriously sunny days, about 20ºC, perfect outside working weather. Mum has even been sitting outside in the warm sunshine. We have had a week of it with Mum. The middle of last week was her 75th birthday. I made her a big chocolate cake that she loved. We had a really good day. Lots of people rang her and she was busy all day. The day after we paid for the break in routine, mum refused to take her pills. I have managed to get round this by putting the liquid in her jam on her toast, but the folic acid she should take I haven't got her to take yet. I have researched naturally occurring folic acid in foods and we are just making sure we are eating lots of them everyday.

Last weekend, our friend the shepherd brought us a whole sheep. Monday Kev spent chopping it up and preparing it for the freezer. There was lots of internal fat. We chop this up as it is natural suet fat. We freeze it and then use it in dumplings or suet puddings. It was a massive sheep and our freezers are now full again.

The bacon that I had been brining was also ready for slicing last week. It has all been sliced, bagged and is now also in the freezer. We try not to waste anything here and the left over brine can be used again, so we put the belly cut of the sheep in it. That will be ready in a few days and we eat it as a roast.

Work outside in the garden has continued. I am slowly working my way around all the trees and mulching them. I have managed to plant garlic and daffodils in most of the circles as I have gone along. Kev came home one day with 30 asparagus roots he had seen in the local tree shop (as we call it) These too will be planted on the edge of the circles. I got a delivery of seeds too this week. I now cannot wait to get planting.

I have pruned the grape vines for the first time ever. Out on my walks I have noticed the farmers have done theirs. I went to investigate how they prune and have tried the same on one of our vines. The cuttings that I have taken off I have prepared and planted hoping that we will get new plants this coming season. Together Kev and me pruned the bay tree and the pomegranate. We had lots of suckers around the bases so they have been cut off and the trees have been shaped for ease of picking. I now need to mulch them.