A Kinrowan Estate story: Spring Chores (A Letter to Anna)

Varmaste hälsningar Anna,

Spring has finally arrived which mean Gus, our Estate Head Gardener, has drafted everyone not busy doing something they can’t drop for the needed tasks that the Estate demands this time of year.

All of my Several Annies were drafted for lamb birthing duties, which means that two of them at a time are on six hour watches to alert Gus or one of the lads when a birthing is nigh. He learned a long time ago to use two girls on it, as they keep each other awake on the night shifts and frankly don’t get bored as quickly as the lads do.

Of course, Mrs. Ware personally brings ot hot food and tea to the girls, as it’s still cold enough that they need nourishment. She makes sure the overnight girls get spelled so they can take take a break and warm up.

The lads get a far dirtier job as all of the barns and stables need a through cleaning out which is a truly miserable undertaking, as it also involves a complete scrubbing and a fresh whitewashing which takes a long time.

Meanwhile other staff are cleaning up the grounds of the usual debris that happens over the Winter. That includes work teams spread out through the wooded areas to check trees for damage, trim or remove those that need doing so, and transporting the wood back here. We use mostly hand powered tools as chainsaws are too risky in the hands of most users.

Gus is convinced we need horses once again for logging, as the tractors are doing too much damage for his liking — that’ll add yet more chores that’ll need doing in the spring including foaling.

One staffer gets to assist Mrs. Ware in a cellar, cupboard, root cellar, and smoked stores inventory. She checks condition of all the stock, counts what’s left, and the staffer take notes that she dictates.

The Estate buildings all get a through look-over by Gus and a small highly trained work crew looking for what needs repairing no matter how minor. Usually some section of the slate roofs will need a work crew brought in from the village, and it’s not unusual to find windows needing minor repairs.

A paint crew starts off with their work as soon as the weather permits. No Steward here has ever allowed anything but a neat and tidy Estate. And this is the Spring that all of the guest yurts get a complete overhaul as the oldest are now nigh unto fifty years old!

But all work and no play makes for grumpy, sloppy staff, so there’s twice a week contradances, fire pits for making s’mores and snogging, guest concert that has musos booked by Jack, and Mrs. Ware I swear does her very best at this time of the ,year such as crepes dusted with sugar and filled with strawberry preserves.

tills nästa gång, Iain

About Iain Nicholas Mackenzie

I’m the Librarian for the Kinrowan Estate. I do love fresh brewed teas, curling, English mysteries and will often be playing Scandinavian or Celtic  music here in the Library.

I’m a violinist too, so you’ll me playing in various contradance band such as Chasing Fireflies and Mouse in the Cupboard as well as backing my wife Catherine up on yearly Christmas season tours in the Nordic countries.

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