Sunday, 9 March 2008

A quick week!

Sunday, Mothering Sunday, so we had Tracey's Mum and Dad over for lunch, Rock Ryeland Lamb and Rock Berkshire Pig was on the menu. We had spent a fruitless two and a half hours searching for the missing sheep in the morning so by lunchtime were very hungry. It was a gathering at the table, Ben and Gemma and Beth and Tom were also with us so the emergency chairs came out as did the emergency cutlery. We have for some reason lost all the forks. Knives and spoons a plenty, but forks, only five so Gemma, Ben and Beth had to make do with spoons.

Monday, took Reba to the vet, our bitch Bernese mountain dog. She seems OK now, hopefully will be able to have puppies when shes older. Also went to see a dog trainer to talk about ring classes as we might show the Berner's. Well we haven't got much to do so might as well take up a new challenge!

Tuesday we had to go to do some real work which took us to Telford so Tracey called in on her Mum and Dad for a quick visit. This left Karl in charge of the farm, and he coped very well. He likes the animals and has fitted in with the routine at the Rock. Its good to have him around, hes done so many of the jobs that were just stacking up.

Wednesday was a busy day for all and for some reason Karl wanted takeaway so insisted on buying us kebabs. Perhaps hes low on e numbers, all this healthy organic food. The hens have started to lay again, hooray, we had 8 eggs today, which mean that the cost per egg has probably dropped to £5 given the current cost of the feed. We also candled the eggs in the incubator and Victor the large Muscovy duck drake took one very large step towards the dinner menu as all 12 were infertile. He will be given one more chance, but seriously, the cost per bag of grain has almost doubled over the last 18 months, we cannot afford any freeloaders! Unless they are goats, horses, dogs, rabbits and cats. I will not be bankrupted by having an unproductive duck!

Thursday, no real work today, so a chance to help Karl with the big jobs. Soon found I was more of a hindrance than a help but we got a fair bit done. The biggest job was laying the last of the concrete base. We also took the opportunity to bury a load of scrap metal like the broken 5 bar gate, 6 old saws, a bed head, wire and some pipe. I couldn't resist half burying a false plastic hand so it sticks out of the edge of the concrete. We shall have to see how long it takes before some well meaning rambler calls the Police suspecting a body is under the stables.
William our horse decided to show off because we had visitors and jumped a stream as Tracey was leading him to the field, as he jumped he kicked back and caught her on the right forearm. For the next few minutes there was chaos as William and Trevor both galloped off into the cauldron and round the back of the house towards the cliff. A quick check and Tracey hadn't broken her arm but it was going to be badly bruised and painful. I set off to head the ponies off at the pass, they had other ideas, I heard the warning shout just in time and turned round in the lane to find a huge horse bearing down on me at full speed. Under normal circumstances I would have leapt out of the way, nimbly climbing the fence and watched him career past. However, due to only having one arm that works properly at the moment nimble climbing movements are off the agenda. I was trapped in the lane with the fifth horse of the apocalypse. I made myself look as large and impressive as possible and barked at him. He stopped. I don't know who was more surprised, him or me but he stood and looked at me wondering what the hell I was up to. I put his lead rope on and led him past our visitors who were just a little bit disappointed that the horse hadn't left hoof prints all over me. One of them pointed out a little too enthusiastically that he had been looking forward to seeing the air ambulance land on our hill.
I ordered the roof for the kennels, Karl's was stood next to me as I was on the phone talking to the builders merchants. For some obscure reason I confused the number 6 with 18 and ordered a bit too much wood. Never mind I am sure we will find a use for it.

Friday, another day at the Rock, Tracey had gone to Crufts with Jill her mum leaving Karl and I to roof the stables.
We put the horses out in the field, today without incident and returned to the yard to find the builders lorry dropping enough material to build a small bungalow. The stairs for the workshop were also on the truck and thankfully they were in one piece meaning Karl the bodger didn't have to measure and saw anything. He admitted yesterday not being able to read the tape measure, I thought he was winding me up until I saw him in action. Still by guesswork, a sharp saw and a box of band aids he's done a good job of the kennels.
The roof, corrugated metal sheets, brand new, never seen this before! I've only encountered the old stuff, three times used, full of holes and bent. It cost a fortune, I wasn't worried as the bodger moved in for the kill with a hammer and sharp nails intent on making holes in it, but I had had nightmares about him messing it up the night before.
As it was the roof went on perfectly, with no extra holes, it fitted to the millimetre, or bit of an inch as Karl doesn't do metric, sloped properly so the water ran off and all in all looked bloody brilliant.
I then ruined everything by starting to dismantle the static caravan next to the kennels. The yard went from looking like a tidy well managed farm with a new building to looking like a Gypsies yard. Ah well, a few bonfires and a visit from the scrap man and all will be well again.
We also put the stairs up in the workshop. Watching Karl trying to work out angles and where to cut the stairs as they were 3 too high turned dozens more hairs grey, but he did it and they fit and for the first time since my accident I was able to go up onto the gallery in the workshop and look down from where I had fallen last September. Yes it did give me flashbacks and yes I soon came down again. A lot slower and less painfully than the last time I cam down I am happy to report!

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