Katie Johnson, Herefordshire Life columnist

PUBLISHED: 11:45 14 January 2011 | UPDATED: 11:44 28 February 2013

Katie Johnson, Herefordshire Life columnist

Katie Johnson, Herefordshire Life columnist

Katie Johnson lives on a smallholding on the Herefordshire border with Shropshire which she shares with husband Glyn and an assortment of birds and beasts.

Im beginning to think Ill never take off my anorak off this year. To give me a boost and make me think Im in hot and sunny Cyprus I decided I would have a go and test one of those SAD lamps which simulate daylight. One
thing it is good at is allowing you to see to read; much better than those light bulbs weve all got to put up with now.

One thing that always stirs the feelings of spring and of better weather to come has to be the daffodils, and once again the yellow lovelies are everywhere. All the best to those involved in the Daffodil Weekend at Kempley, the pretty little village in the Forest of Dean. Last year saw two and a half thousand visitors, a record number.

Were still in winter routine with the cows who continue to be fed with hay but with the promise of fresh grass in a few weeks time. Since late January theyve been in the woodland to allow the fields to rest and they appear to enjoy the change, especially as it gives them a variety of scratching posts. One thing Im not looking forward to is them having their annual Tuberculosis Test. Its a lottery Im afraid, for one the test itself, and the other is that TB isnt being addressed so there is nothing I can do to make sure our girls are protected. Its frightening the number of cattle being slaughtered and in turn livelihoods destroyed, so an uneasy time, and Ive only got two to worry about.

Something to enjoy this time of year is waking up to the sound of frogs. We have a small pond just outside our bedroom window and we must have counted 50 of them, and theyre the ones we can see. Not half noisy though, but thinking chucking a bucket of cold water over them isnt going to have an effect! We have two ponds, the other is further down the garden and tends to be the home of the toad which I have to say is my favourite.

Well be moving the hens later this month to give them more room. Its worked well where theyve been in the garden, a lot warmer for them and on the flat which has been good for me. One thing not so good is that it appears I have developed what looks like an inflated airbag strapped to my behind, which has helped for safety reasons, as in the winter I do have a habit of ending up horizontal, but now Ive got to work on reducing the air bag to the size of a childs cushion.

One thing that will burn the old calories off will be our first attempt at growing vegetables. Weve been working out what and where, and for starters we think onions, potatoes and leeks, so were keeping an eye on the soil at the moment and waiting for it to warm up.

Something else Im trying for the first time is a Podcast, an online radio show if you like. Theres an interview with The Hairy Bikers who will be at Herefordshire Food Festival this year, lovely chaps and youll be guaranteed a smile.

Speaking of which, I had a lovely email from Hereford Cathedral asking if I was going to be with my old friend, Strictly Come Dancings Anton Du Beke as he makes an appearance at a certain hotel this month. Sadly no, Im in Amsterdam for a few days representing Care Farming in the county and staying in what was once a lingerie factory. Guess I could take my anorak off in there then!

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