An excellent afternoon altogether because I was able to go way back to the 1300's with remote ancestors and some have really interesting stories attached to their lives...born in small castles and manor houses and being knighted by Henry V11...always seems slightly dodgy to be knighted by him actually...sailing away to America on rickety wooden sailing ships and being wrecked on Barbados when the winds changed for the worse...having daughters named Deliverance and making your place in a new country while your relatives became lawyers and judges and intermarried for the sake of inheritence...

I was quite carried away, so I was...you know, even if those people were not connected to me...their histories and their stories are so interesting and absorbing that it's just a bonus I know they are distant cousins three times removed...all those people and their times and lives...what's not to find fascinating...

We went shopping this morning which tends to leave me in a state of deep depression and knackered to boot...I enjoy shopping for bits and bobs...but I loathe food shopping...it's so the same week after week. And then I found I'd made such a feckin stupid mistake over the amount of sugar I needed for the wine...I'd been looking at the kilograms on the scales...not the pounds. The kitchen cupboard now has enough bags of sugar to last us a very long time...

So I've squashed the blackcurrants and boiled the water and the sugar and added the turbo yeast...it's sitting in it's tub in a quiet warm corner to ferment away to its hearts content...

We've eaten all our raspberries...you recall I was going to make raspberry gin...and the supermarket raspberries are horribly expensive...so I ignored them and will think of some other fruit to bung in the half bottle of gin I have left from last year. Seems silly to buy expensive fruit when the whole object is to save money.

The last goat died yesterday...she was positively ancient and was the very last of the dozen goats we once had. Himself was tasked with digging a big enough hole to put her in, which is no easy task when the garden has only about six inches of soil before you reach rocks. She was...and it seems unkind to say so...an extremely boring goat altogether. And she had a funny udder with one teat twice as big as the other and she never came into season so I'd never milked her...goats have to have a kid before they come into milk you see. And we'd never given her a name either...she was just...the goat.

The goat I loved the most was little with huge curly horns...she was brown and white and had an enormous udder and gave gallons of milk. I named her Bridget...she'd stand as still as could be when I milked her and had such a sweet nature...Bridget loved squashy pears when they'd gone past their best for humans to eat...

And April, who was black and had pointy horns, and was probably the most badly behaved goat in all of the west of Ireland...April was so tiny when she was born that I didn't think for a moment that she could possibly live...but she grew and thrived and used to run riot...she'd race about kicking up her heels, leaping off garden walls and taking big mouthfull's from Breeges garden shrubs...then she'd race away when I shouted at her and stand in the middle of our road in front of a tractor or a car and head butt it...people quite unused to seeing a goat beating their car up would either be outraged or would giggle fit to burst...they'd lean out of their car windows and try to rub her head and she'd dance about and poke her head through the window and have children laughing...

But the days of the goats have gone now...most of our little herd succumbed to a rapid virus which killed them within days...it was just the old peculiar goat who lived on...until yesterday.

And now I'm going to cook the supper...the weather isn't the best...it's overcast and drizzling and makes me think fondly of hot chocolate and warming cassoroles.