Firstly the Chief Justice's office has decided to offer me a post as a lay member of the employment tribunal panel that sits in Newcastle. It's been a long wait but I'm so happy that I've got through the rigorous selection process and looking forward to the work. I only have to do a minimum of 15 days a year, so that should fit in nicely with work here on the smallholding.
As the weather has been and still is pretty dire, we've decided to house the ewes in the barn as our land is getting more and more boggy and trying to get hay out to the girls is getting harder and harder. The gimmers have come into the big barn, into the area we'd sorted out for the pet lambs, as they are going to the butchers on the 8th March and they need to be dry and clean.
If we are going to get anymore winters like this last one we're going to have to have a good look at the barns and make a much bigger area in readiness to house the ewes on a more permanent basis each winter, if only to save the fields from getting so churned up, so that when the lambs are ready to go out, there is some decent grass for them to eat.
Today I finally chose the type of chickens I want to keep, and to that end I've ordered 4 Cream Legbar chickens from a lady called Cath who is Wolds Way Chickens (follow the link to her website http://www.woldswaychickens.co.uk ), as the chicks will be ready just as we start lambing, Cath is going to keep them for me until we have finished lambing, so I shall be picking them up on the 1st May. I've also got first refusal on 2 White Sussex chicks that are in the same incubator hatch as my 4 girls. Cath has promised to send my photos of my girls as they grow, so as I get them I will post them on the blog.
This coming week is my final week with Network Rail, I've got my pension statement, so I know how much pension I'm getting and hopefully my redundancy payment will be paid out to me on my final day and not 2 weeks later at the next "official" pay run! We shall have to wait and see what happens. Next week I will have to make some important phone calls to make to the Job Centre, National Insurance office, insurance company and I'm sure that will lead to many more phone calls!!!!! Considering that the weather is supposed to be wet, a week in the office doesn't seem to be a bad place to be.