Priorities: I am not superwoman!

It has been a rough few days……

A combination of influenza and norovirus infected us both and wiped my daughter and I off our feet completely for several days. A slow recovery, tainted by dizziness and nausea meant that essential jobs often got neglected. An every growing list of tasks that NEEDED to be done immediately built up and worried me, gnawed at my conscience and ate away at my inner organised self. It was torture. The list included a goat shed that had to be made ready for kidding time, field shelters that need emptying, paddocks that needed cleaning, electric fencing that needed mending, straw and hay deliveries to arrange and wood to saw and chop for the fire BUT…and I say this tentatively, we are finally on the mend and I am at last catching up with all the stuff that didn’t get done last week, when I was only leaving my bed to feed and water animals before crashing out under the duvet again. I have caught up with paddock clearing. Three piled up wheel barrow loads of pure manure shifted and piled up on the muck heap. I have dug out the goat shed, all 20 barrow loads of it. I have burnt the billy tainted bedding, disinfected the concrete floors and walls and laid a clean bed in readiness for Tansy kidding (if she is in fact pregnant).
If last week has taught me anything is it that I need to be more mentally prepared for times like this. I need to forgive myself for not having the energy to crack on with all my usual chores when I am ill and caring for a poorly ten year old. I need to relax about it all. I need to go with the flow and do my best and stop worrying, stop trying to get everything done. Hard when you have high standards and livestock that rely on you. But I need to prioritise and do the essentials and only worry about the rest when I am well again. I need to stop feeling guilty about not getting any online sales listed. Being ill is not easy when you run a micro holding on your own! Being ill is no fun even when you do not have goats, hens, quail, ponies, geese, ducks, cats, dogs and a veg garden to care for wood to cut and fetch in for the fire everyday…yet alone a poorly child who cannot stop being sick. I don’t have time to be ill, but illness takes no notice of this situation!

I was blessed to receive an emergency parcel from my family during the week, a box left outside for me with a note attached, so as to prevent those delivering it from being infected by our nasty germs. Infectious illness is a lonely affair but the note and goodies raised a smile when we were feeling very low indeed. Emergency items included bottles of drinking water, as during this time our mains water just happened to be disconnected for essential work and we were left with no running water for large parts of the week. Not ideal when dealing with norovirus! For the bottled water and other items we were very grateful! x

To top it all off my woodstove/chimney decided today would be a good day to become blocked and smoke out the cottage. This meant that I had to have all the windows wide open at 7 am this morning to try to rid the cottage of the acrid thick smoke that was choking us and I have had to cope with no heating on at a time when my daughter and I are still coughing and struggling to keep warm even with the fire lit. It certainly tested our resolve. I cannot say there were no tears. We have a builder arriving tomorrow to solve the problem.

Like true troopers, we decided to go for a walk to warm-up, take stock of the situation and get away from the smoke…..and whilst out walking with the dogs, we saw a cluster of pure white snowdrops on the field path, they brightened our day and made us smile. Thank you snowdrops x

When we got home we dug out the old paraffin stove, dusted it off and lit that and put the kettle on as only us English do in emergencies. Normal service will be resumed shortly no doubt. So for now we are warm and we have tea, so all is well at Riverside.

There are smiles again 🙂


Oh and we have a new family member. Meet Peaches, the latest rescue to come and live here with us.


12 comments on “Priorities: I am not superwoman!

  1. PJ says:

    What a horrible time! Get well soon x

  2. Tony says:

    Wow what a week you have had, glad your both on the mend. Peaches looks very settled and peacefull there. How does she get on with all your other animals?

    • Ma Larkin says:

      She has settled straight in. We seem to have some kind of animal magic going on in this cottage, as everyone gets on with everyone. We often have a chick or duckling or two indoors, under a heat lamp and the dogs and even the cats are fine with whoever comes inside to stay. We seem to be very blessed indeed.

  3. Lynda says:

    Glad to hear you are better. What a week!

  4. dappled days says:

    I came to have a peek after seeing your comment over on Bealtaine Cottage. so glad I did, It’s lovely here! I can see myself becoming a regular visitor.
    How sweet Peaches is, I am sure she will help lift your spirits while you cope with the lurgies. Hope you are all recovered soon.



  5. A Life Less Simple says:

    What a week! What’s the saying ‘it never rains but it pours’.

    Not beating yourself up about not getting things done is so hard. Glad you are both on the mend and you are caughting up

  6. dappled days says:

    I couldn’t find a comment box for your new post (above), but I just wanted to say I’m so glad you got your geese back and that I wish Tansy all the best. A young person in our family (who has been told about her) has a birthday on the 5th of march and is hoping they will arrive then ;o) We will be back to check.

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