There is a phrase that is continually being used on the weather forecast and that is 'rain around'. Now in the UK that would mean that as soon as you went out of your door there would be rain all around you, but here that's not the case. It's a taunt, a mean reminder of what we haven't had for ages and are in desperate need of. It means that big black clouds will gather, that we'll put everything under cover, that we'll put out all our rain collectors, only to see the clouds pass either side of us and not a drop of rain will fall on our farm - rain around us but not on us. This drought is going on and on.
Our 'lawn' was last cut in April - you can see in this photograph that it certainly doesn't need it!
Our maize has failed. Nine hundred holes were dug and planted with two seeds not just once but twice but due to the lack of rain we have but 5 plants! Not nearly enough or one meal for the pigs let alone a whole winter as planned.
I will have to look at ways of keeping the water where we need it as all of our land slopes away from the house and the only bit of green that's left is at the bottom of the hill. I have had to move the sheep to that green area and the geese now free-range to allow them to find all the scraps of weeds/grass that they can. All around us looks like brown, dry, arid wasteland. It is very sobering to go through such dry times and it makes me begin to appreciate how hard it must be for people who regularly go through droughts. It must be so hard to stand by and watch your livestock go hungry and thirsty.
It has made us look even more seriously at our household water consumption and we recycle all bowls of washing-up water, bathwater etc. I now feel angry when I see folk squandering water supplies. It makes you wonder, will it be Peak Oil or Peak Water that rocks the 'developed' world? We will try hard to get those who come to stay with us to appreciate just how valuable a commodity water is and how lucky we are to be able to just turn a tap and water is there.