Ara Murray

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since Jan 20, 2021
Northern UK
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Recent posts by Ara Murray

How much do you want to stay together? Both of you, not just do you want to stay with him? If the relationship has run its course than maybe you should go it alone. If you want to stay together then Douglas's idea has great merit.
In our case it was the other way round - Mr Ara wanted to try living in a more self-sufficient way but I only pretended to everyone that I wanted it too. I have grown vegetables for years and was happy to continue with that sort of thing. He wanted animals but I didn't. Anyway, 10 years on, his health meant that he was struggling with the sheep (the cows went a few years back and the pigs are in the freezer) so decided to sell up. Suddenly, I realised that I loved it here and didn't want to go. As I have taken on more of the animal work, I wondered why I didn't go on lambing and sheep shearing courses when we first moved here. Ah, well, there's no point saying "if only" so I will just remember the experience with happiness as we move on to the next part of our lives together.
I would add, do it now before you are too old and creaky as we have become!
2 hours ago
We are in the process of sorting stuff out, ready to move house and I was surprised at how many towels we have. Five of the bath towels, in about 4 different sizes were bought by us, some I bought before we were married over 30 years ago. The rest have come to us when people like my elderly mum were having a clearout or when people sadly died. I realised that I will never have to buy another towel as long as I live. Mr Ara may have other ideas as rather a lot of them are pink. I do not care what colour they are, unlike my sister who likes to colour co-ordinate her bathroom, just as long as they dry me. They are all terry cloth - I don't think I will be trying any other types now.
When they become thin and start to fall apart they are used as animal towels for the pets and once they cannot be saved, they go in the compost as they are cotton. Unfortunately, the thread ususlly isn't and doesn't decompose so I have learned my lesson there.
1 day ago
What fun! He actually did better than our sheep farmer neighbour when rounding up some of his sheep for shearing. It took 7 of us, including the shearers, to get one group of sheep into the pen.
I have looked at some of Cammy's videos on YouTube (The Sheep Game) and they are good to watch.
1 week ago
Inge, thanks for that information. I will look into it and see if there is any interest here in the UK. I have been looking through the fleeces recently and some are certainly still usable.
3 weeks ago
We keep a few (16) Shetland sheep on our smalholding, mainly as grass cutters but some are used for meat. As I am not a spinner, we tried to interest some spinners at the local agricultural show in our fleeces. We couldn't even give them away even though Shetland wool can be spun finely and used to knit "wedding ring" shawls - so fine you can draw the shawl through a wedding ring. I tried again to give them away to members of a permaculture group I belong to and 3, yes three fleeces, were taken by one person. I have used oddments of the wool to prevent slugs and snails from eatng my precious plants with limited success. My question now is what do I do with 10 years' worth of fleeces, some of which will not be usable now, as we will be giving up our holding shortly? It makes me sad that such a useful resource is not valued as it should be.
3 weeks ago
And don't get me started on labels. If I wear my bought clothing "inside out" the care labels don't irritate my skin and I don't put holes in my clothes by trying to remove them. Nowadays I tend to wear hand-me downs, thrift shop or home made clothes.
4 weeks ago
More years ago than I care to remember, I made myself  black woollen cloak thinking it would be warm. Unfortunately, I found it too draughty unless I hugged it around myself. I still wore it when the weather wasn't too cold even though I heard myself called "Bat girl" on more than one occasion. My son wore it to school for a play they were doing when he was about 9 and since then I haven't been able to get it away from him. Even though he is now an adult (so they say) he and his weird friends were all wearing cloaks for some role play game they were involved in recently.  His friends all wanted to know where it came from. It is ankle length on me but only knee length on him.
1 month ago
John, I second Nancy's last comment. Just because you have not reacted badly to bee stings so far does not mean you never will. In susceptible individuals, being stung sensitises them to the venom and they can subsequently react badly. This can even happen after many years so please take care.
1 month ago
Oh, I love that bike. I was looking at mine the other day and thinking that my cycling days are over due to health issues (and the roads round here are too narrow to cycle safely) but an electric bike for when we move house, now that is an idea. As we will have to pay for more utilities at our next house, we will have to save money somewhere so an electric bike rather than a car would be a big help. Keep posting, you are giving me some good ideas.
1 month ago
Depending on what I am doing, I wear different clothes. As I live on a smallholding, my day to day wear is leggings, wellies and whatever jumpers/t-shirts and coats my husband and/or children have handed down to me. These probably cost more than my favourite weddings/celebrations dress which I picked up in a charity shop for £6.99 10 years ago. I find that it isn't just the clothes you wear that make people treat you differently but the colour of your hair. Now I am grey haired, I get treated like a stupid old lady. My equally grey haired husband gets treated with respect. At hospital appointments, he gets treated as if he were an intelligent human being whereas I am treated as though I know nothing. In fact, I am far more clued up than he is and I often have to spend some time explaining what the doctor has just told him. People will always judge us so nowadays I have come to accept this and just carry on regardless and laugh about ridiculousness later.
1 month ago