Saturday, 24 October 2009

Since we started smallholding we have encountered many unexpected things. Some big like 45 tons of rock landing in the garden, or 30 Orthodox Jews wandering lost in our yard or perhaps geriatric geologists searching for "the mother stone". Some not so big like goats hiding behind the TV, pigs in the kitchen or ponies in the living room.

We have also seen some strange things, like goats on the roof of the cottage, on the roof and bonnet's of visitors cars, up trees, up the cliff, in fact goats are strange full stop. No, strange things people don't usually see like Hermits running naked through the bracken, goats with feed bags stuck on their heads (goats again, there is a theme here) and Ryeland sheep trapped in all sorts of ways, by their heads, legs, ears and wool.

Today we were confined to barracks due to the foul weather and some much needed home admin got attended to, like defrosting the freezer. By lunchtime I was climbing the walls to get outside and as the weather temporarily changed from gales and rain to gales I took the Berners up the The Whet Stone. This is a sort of spiritual meeting place for Ben and I, he being away fighting in the war at the moment, so I took a few moments and said a few prayers and hoped he was OK. The chances of him coming home soon seem to have altered due to a second election. We are missing him very much. Hopefully the Taliban are also missing him very much.

Anyway, as can be seen from the video clip above, its a big piece of rock (only a third of the size of the piece that landed in our garden but that's a different tale) and a significant feature on the landscape. But take a look at the picture below. I only noticed as I was leaving. In the background you can see our hill, we live the other side of it. The rock in the foreground has a certain symmetry from this angle, the depression in the rock full of water, stories abound that during the Black Death coins were left in vinegar as payment for provisions placed by the stone. Probably as true as Old Nick being buried underneath it or Black Vaughn the robber baron. But look closely at the top of the rock, there is a big piece of sheep pooh on it.

How did it get there? Sheep would not really be inclined to exert that much effort to get on top just to do a number two. Having discounted a sheep with gymnastic tendencies and a bowel problem that leaves only one other explanation. A bored walker put it there.

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