Monday, 24 October 2016

Bleat Bleat ...Booom!

 In an effort to downsize we only have 9 pygmy goats on the pretence that smaller means less work and less damage when they inevitably explode. So here we have a pic of a highly volatile situation of the med bay containing 8 UXGs (unexploded goats) The reason for their confinement (normally they are long range, three are uber long range) was that the herd leader Autumn, she who is addicted to fence and the cause fo many a tramp uphill to extract her from her latest fix, was found headfast under the "mobile shelter". Mobile in this case means move it if you have a crane big enough.
Thinking she was suffering from hypothermia, as the day she chose to get stuck was the first night we had a frost, yours truly carried the stricken beast back to base and placed her behind sand bags in the warm of the stable with a deep litter of straw and a few blankies to keep the chill off. The strength of her bleats of complaint gave some hope but by nightfall she duly exploded and ceased to be. Autumn has fallen. The others ran riot after the all clear and are now back out foraging. Or are they........?

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Making a small difference...

 Those that know yours truly know that there are more K9's than a normal person has sharing his life and recently we have become very involved in rescuing Romanian dogs. The communist regime over there treated people appallingly and as a consequence the animals were left to fend for themselves during mass population moves. Dogs, who were family pets were abandoned and had to fend for themselves and so they bred like rabbits leaving thousands of unwanted dogs roaming wild. This poor lad was a pet, or a working shepherd dog and has been abandoned.
 Hunger drove him to seek food in a motorway service bin and he got hit by a car bowling him over into a drainage ditch where he awaited death.
 Thankfully Amicii dog rescue found him and with help of passers by fetched him out of the ditch
 and to the vet and then the Amicii rescue shelter. This is where we got involved and paid for his vets bill, bed and board
 and a few weeks later here he is.
 A very happy, very loving
 very large Romanian Shepherd dog with the founder of Amicii, Fodor Dora, a university lecturer who has devoted her life to saving as many dogs as possible.
 Rio is on the mend, painfully thin still and mangy but well on the way to recovery
and soon will be joining our Romanian girls in the endless battle of the sofas.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Stick with who you know

 Its that time of year when the days are noticeably shorter and its perhaps not the weather to wear shorts and t shirt when completing an early doors ascent of the bonsai mountain with the clan. So as yours truly had been given a nice money off voucher for heating oil from a company who claimed to beat our current supplier on price anyway an order was placed for 1000 litres of the stuff. Having had a nice shiny new central heating system fitted this should last until spring as unlike the now sitting on the remains of the helipad rayburn the new system sips the precious fuel oil rather than gulp it down like a drunk at a free bar.
However, as can be expected, things did not go to plan.
We have donkeys, and limited space full of animals of several species, so the donkeys reside in what is euphemistically referred to as "the garden". The fact the garden is a 45 degree slope populated by large rocks that periodically fall off the cliff and vast swathes of nettles is another matter. by living in the garden the donkey are able to access the oil tank. Not an issue as donkeys don't like the taste, and encased in metal they cant get it. But there was a peculiar oil like aroma in the utility room. Which got stronger, and stronger, until it got to overpowering and required investigation. The source was soon found, the little donkeys do big poohs, which piled up around the tap end of the tank. Now camouflaged to look like ground the donkeys stepped on it causing a pin hole leak in the top of the float chamber. It could have just perished over time but its handy having a culprit to pin the blame on.
Of course on discovery the pin hole which dripped occasionally unnoticed soon became a torrent of escaping oil on finding. Like the boy with his finger in the dyke I was trapped and unable to get any help further than an arms reach away as I valiantly plugged the hole with skilful prestidigitations while fending off an amorous miniature donkey. Finally my beautiful and oh so patient wife became concerned at my absence (read had another job for me to do) and released me from my predicament by handing over a large lump of blu tac (other sticky products are available) which served as a replacement finger. For 3 days.
Meantime a call to new oil supplier, don't deliver as the tanks leaking.
Now things have a habit of getting in the way of jobs, even urgent ones and Ben Nevis just had to be climbed (another story) hence 3 days later the vital tank repair was done. Pleased with the success of the blu tac the need to strip down the float chamber seemed an excessive solution when a more practical solution was on hand. Soon the hole was securely plugged with instant gasket, superbuildersglue (oil resistant) and a bright pink horse bandage. The repair whilst unconventional was bombproof and visually appealing. 1 week later nothing had escaped and the need for fuel oil which at the time of ordering was needed was now desperate. Phone call made we awaited delivery from our new supplier.
We got back from work to find a card in the door, basically saying they tried to deliver but couldn't please ring.
So I did, and rather than finding the delivery could not be made due to a donkey being in season it was disclosed that the delivery had not happened as the driver thought the tank was leaking. Evidence of this was a towel wrapped around the pipe. Yours truly went to check to see what fiendish plan the donkeys had contrived in my absence. It all looked the same, small but vivid pink wrapper on float bowl , no egress of fossil fuels. Bored donkeys in attendance.
Back on phone, I've checked there's no leak can I have my oil I've paid for please. Lady on phone could not help me as Sarah was dealing with my order, Sarah would not be in until Monday. It now being Friday I decided not to hang on. I would call back.
Tuesday (I forgot Monday) the following conversation took place.
Ah yes he could not deliver due to a towel around the pipe.
Its not a towel its a horse bandage.
Yes, what of it.
Its leaking.
No the leaks fixed can I have my oil I paid for 3 weeks ago please.
The leaks fixed?
No. The leaks fixed. We are about to run out of oil, can you deliver asap.
Can the driver see three sides of the tank?
Excuse me?
The driver needs to see three sides of the tank before he can deliver.
Any particular reason?
Health and safety.
Its in an alcove, if he walks around it he can see three sides, four including the top. Can I have my oil now?
What's the tank made from?
Is it on a concrete base?
No idea..
Or blocks?
Its on both...why all the questions?
Health and safety check.
Can the driver access the site....
Look. Its a smallholding. There's lots going on, its difficult to get to, if the driver wants me to I'll decorate the pipes with doyleys and garlands of flowers, I need that oil, I've paid for it, please deliver before we run out.
I will get it to you by Friday.
Many thanks.

Needless to say, midnight Friday we ran out of oil. I phoned Sarah Monday, explained that I was unhappy , she didn't feel the need to apologise but gave me my money back.
I phoned our usual supplier and explained my disloyalty and they fell about laughing but promised to deliver in 24 hours. Within the time scale a driver knocked on the door of HQ, he wasn't being an idiot about the oil tank, he just wanted to borrow my wellingtons because of donkey deposits. Rock HQ is all fired up again.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Party on! 22 October 12 Noon Gladestry Village hall :)

Friday, 7 October 2016

Birthday Party!!

This is the Rockmeister, Rocky our very handsome and now elderly Berner. Father of some 54 pups its his birthday party 22 October 2016 so we are hoping as many of his friends and family can come to celebrate his 10th birthday with us at Gladestry Village hall at midday. As usual there will be lots of dogs, things to do like a treasure hunt, a raffle to raise money for dog rescue and lots of free food.
Rocky would love you to come along!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The fight continues

Apologies to all those holding their breath for a new posting....gremlins are in the matrix again...normal service will be resumed, meantime the battle for the sofa continues as well.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Last orders please

 Like all good things, they have to end and as our Highland Adventure entered its final full day the weather broke. Clouds gathered, rain threatened
 and the sun tried to break through but was fighting a losing battle.
 Nothing could dampen our spirits though as we were heading for civilisation, or rather what passes for a town in these here parts
 Inverie which is only a short boat ride away and has its own pub!
 Obviously the photograph a tractor competition continued unabated
 with all of us looking for fresh angles in which to capture the subject.
 I forced a march to the monument which turned out not to be anything significant like a tribute to fallen heroes or downed air crews, no it was a vanity project for some rich git who missed his mum and dad and had the money or power to create this huge monument to them
 commanding the entrance to two Glens, the one on the right was last years expedition route, the one on the left is going to be the subject of next years man test. More to be revealed on that one later.
 So happy all walking, save for the trek back, was now done the pub beckoned.
 Or rather it didnt. The surly land lord who would give all people from Belgium a bad name and who's widely known antics towards paying customers makes Basil Fawlty look professional, refused to open and serve beers to the throngs waiting. I made this walkers day by giving him my lunch, a bacon, sausage and tomato sandwich. As I don't eat meat now that was no real loss to me but made his day. I met one forlorn couple on their 3rd trip in as many years who had never been able to get served.
 Unable to find any other source of refreshment we made back for the boat where 8 out of 10 vehicles were Land Rovers. There are only 8 miles of tarmac in this area of the UK so big 4 wheel drives are a necessity.
 Spotty braved the worsening weather while
 we caught supper.
The extra high tide meant Moby was now afloat. An evening of prizes and fish suppers followed, I got the prize for organising the best ever Scotland trip. I also have a nick name from the group of Bumpsie Daisy, which I much prefer over Upsie and Whoopsie my colleagues. Early nights for all as tomorrow the long trek south begins.