Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Rain stops play

A frustrating day to say the least, the weather put paid to outside work for most of the day so we went and did some admin. First off we called in of the Stable Sprite as his pig Jess had died thus leaving him very busy feeding 10 very small piglets every two hours. We had a lamb feeder which might come in useful when they are older but until then its hard work and perseverance with a syringe full of milk.

We called in on a local feed mill and had a very nice chat with an extraordinarily nice man who I promise you is called Steve (so many are round here!) about organic pig feed. They don't actually make pig feed but as we knew the Stable Sprite Steve promised he could make a 100% organic generic feed milled from a variety of beans, grains and other wholesome goodies. We saw a sample and it looked good enough to pour milk on and eat so the pigs will love it. As will the goats, poultry, sheep and ponies. How to get it back was the problem, the smallest quantity sold was 600kg, a big bag full, too big to lift and definitely too big for Fifi focus. They quite liked my suggestion of Rene, lined with a builders bag with the sunroof open they could fill him from a hopper, but alas Rene the Rx4 would not fit under the chute. Deal was done, we would buy 600kgs of his finest feed, not because its so good but on close inspection I discovered that I would be able to drive in with a horsebox trailer and turn around without having to embarrass myself with a demonstration of reversing. Hopefully Stable Sprite will loan the trailer.

Then on to Presteigne Gates, a wondrous place we had always meant to call in on, but never having the time etc. Seeing as it only sells gates its hardly a priority. However they sell much more, oh yes, loads of shiny galvanised goodies littered the landscape, then a whole building full of tools and stuff, manly things like fence bashers, wire tighteners and bolt croppers. There was also a timber yard. Excellent. Room for a trailer to be turned round without reversing, I mean this place has everything!

Promise nice man we will return to buy bale holder, troughs and water tanks when we get a trailer. He sells those as well!

Back to the ranch before credit card overtakes good sense.

Meanwhile progress is painfully slow on the build, literally. I spend a while shifting boulders in the rain, one barrow load was ominously heavy, warning signs like tyre bursting was ignored and I pushed it uphill, along the lane to a dropping off spot opposite a hole in the fence. Boulders dropped I repeated the process many times, the photo shows hardly any soil or rocks have been moved but the photo lies.

Then under the careful supervision of the goats I attempt to cut down the holly tree. This is far thicker than I remembered and too much for the new chainsaw chain. I did sense that I was not going to succeed in getting rid of it today when the biggest branch defied gravity, bounced off the stable roof and fell upwards hitting me on the left forearm. Knowing that a sense of humour failure was imminent I gave up and had a sandwich and wondered at what point had any of this seemed like a good idea.

The rain finally stopped so I ventured back outside, Geisha was admiring my handiwork stood in what will be the new entrance passageway. The pigs needed feeding and so I set off to run the gauntlet of their snapping chops as I attempt to place their feed anywhere where there is not one foot deep mud. Upping their feed has not improved their temper, and as I crossed their domain in the style of a riverdancer to avoid bitten calf muscles I suffered extreme chest pains. Hypochondria took over and as I clutched my chest thinking I was too young to be having a heart attack, one arm wrapped around the sycamore tree trunk for support the other valiantly defending the bucket I promised everything Holy to be good and lead a healthy life helping orphans as long as I didn't die face down in the pigs wallow. I dropped the bucket which eased the pressure from the pigs but the pain got worse and now fear overtook hypochondria as I saw a new fate, I would be eaten by the pigs before anyone found me, like in the film Snatch. Gathering my thoughts and realising I wasn't dieing but merely suffering the consequences of torn chest muscles from the wheelbarrow man test boulder routine I rallied and climbed to safety over the fence. The pigs squealed their delight at getting another bucket to play with, they now have 9 and I left them too it.

Back in the yard the demolition site failed to improve my mood, it all seemed like such a good idea 48 hours ago. The sun came out. I climbed Oak Bank to see the boys, they are always pleased to have company. Trevor looked great in the evening sun. The view across the valley and into the Cauldron lifted my spirits and I resolved not to be so impatient, after all life's good. Even with chest pains.

No comments: