A way to describe the last few days at Rock HQ would be manic. What with the usual jobs made harder by the frost, the sheet of ice outside the stables caught Apollo by surprise as he unceremoniously landed on his backside while attempting to be first to the haystack. I was sure William sneered loser as he sauntered casually past a foal doing the best impression of Bambi on ice. Finally in command of his four legs he managed to get to the feed station. However the little foal proved remarkably sure hoofed later in the day when somehow he managed to climb up the slope to Goatanamo, as you can see from the picture he has gained a lot of height in a very short distance and there really is no path.
I must admit to having lost my bottle when it came to fetching him down, already having come a cropper on the same ice sheet and fallen over on the way to the trough to feed the sheep I was loathe to climb up and coax the adventurous pony back to his stable. So I ignored him and as if by magic an hour later he was back at the haystack munching away and so easily led back to his stable.
We have had surprise visitors, JJ and Kay popped in on New Years Day and reunited me with my chainsaw (are they mad? Me, in charge of a chainsaw! Some mistake surely!) and we popped out the next day to visit Tracey's Mum and Dad so Tracey could engage in some retail therapy.
The sublimation printing gear has finally been mastered and we started a small production run of Trevor's mug on a mug. Watch this space for details on how to get official Tales From The Rock merchandise, all proceeds will go to feeding the animals and rescuing others. All will be revealed very shortly and thanks to those of you who have already contacted us asking to buy mugs. You can contact us on the email on the top right corner if you want further info.
The sun has finally broken through and the winter wonderland has started to melt, mind you it is a long process, we are not in a natural suntrap during the winter months, in fact we get lass sun than Trondheim. Rock HQ is renowned for housing alcoholics if truth were known. Quite often Tracey and I are asked if we are happy living here, when we reply yes very, some of the locals reel in horror or their jaws drop in surprise.
Thinking there must have been a terrible murder here or similar we were keen to find out why its unusual to be happy here. First clues came from Mad Keith who could tell us to the minute what time the sun rises over our particular aspect of the hill, and during the winter it hardly gains enough height to shine into the yard until around 1pm. The sun would then be shining on the house until it set if it wasn't for a small woodland at the end of the lane. The sun filters cheerily through the trees but not enough to melt the frost.
This is a fact I curse each day at the moment as I take yet another bucket of water from the cottage to the pigs, horses, goats and sheep as lagging the pipes from the water tanks to the automatically filling drinkers was one job I didn't do in the summer. Preparation is the key to succesful smallholding!
Anyway, the Stable Sprite confirmed for us the locals view of Rock HQ by telling us that Steve the Farrier who has been up here trimming the horses feet had called in to do their horses and mentioned that he had been to the Alcoholics House. The Stable Sprite was confused by this remark but soon worked out it was Rock HQ as the Farrier continued that the lack of Sunshine drove occupants to drink because of the lack of sunlight. It also drives occupants to run up and down the lane shouting at the Quarry which is about a mile away and on a windy day you can just make out some machinery noise. Drives people insane apparently.
Lucky for me these have no effect on me, any noise outside that isn't produced by our animals or me I just put down to tinnitus and I make up for the lack of sunshine by taking vitamin D supplements washed down with a few pints of Spitfire or Black Sheep ale.