Sunday, 28 February 2010

Foot in mouth


There are times when I have just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole and today I had one of those moments. Not quite as bad as the time I was describing to a colleague a woman who had been on a course with me a couple of weeks earlier, to help him identify her I said, you know the one who's sleeping with a soldier, and as I said it I realised it was his wife I was describing.
No not quite as bad as that one, or as bad as the time I gatecrashed Prince Andrews dinner with some fellow Navy Officers and to my horror one of my crew told the Prince he looked just like himself. No not that bad, but on the richter scale of embarrassment this registered a 7.4.
Out of the blue, about a month ago, Tracey and I were invited to Sunday lunch by a very wealthy well to do friend of long standing. She had not been in touch for nearly 8 months so I had surmised she was either dead or we were out of favour. An invite for free food is the most likely thing to tempt me away from the sanctuary of Rock HQ we gratefully accepted and as today was the day got all the chores done double quick time to get ourselves presentable for our generous host. As always it was a bit of a do, all the posh embroidered napkins, cut glass and silverware looking splendid on the expertly laid table. Drinks were served and pleasantries exchanged and all the while the smell of delicious food wafted from the kitchen.
We sat around the table and dishes were uncovered, a selection of three fabulous curries inspired by a recipe book given as a Christmas gift. It was all very jolly. The youngest daughter asked to be excused the table as she needed to get another gold ladle to help serve the food and as she left her mother whispered conspiratorially how she, her daughter, had met a lovely young man, he was adorable and quite a catch, if we were lucky we might get to meet him, rugby player, academic, well connected, she, mother was so impressed with him"I love him to bits, such a charming man, don't you think?"
The eldest daughter nodded dutifully.
The daughter returned and sat at the table and gave that coy look of someone who knows they have been spoken about while absent "What have you been saying mother?" she playfully chided "Nothing embarrassing I hope" she grinned.
"Its alright" I reassured her "Your mother has just been telling us all how much she loves Dick"
I expect it will be another eight months or so before we get another invite.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Prime suspect


I was so disappointed today, like a dog getting in a car and finding the destination is the vets and not the beach, I did not know what to do with myself. I was so looking forward to a day bodging in posts and wrestling with wire mesh, bashing my thumb with an unguided hammer and generally getting muddy, battered and bruised, all so our long range chickens have a fox proof enclosure to live in. The torrential rain and low cloud meant any work outside was definitely confined to essentials like feeding and carrying in logs for the wood burner.
So instead of enjoying myself outside I had to stay indoors, in front of the wood burner and occupy myself. Luckily the 6 Nations was on, so with deep regret at the lack of progress on the chicken run I settled back to watch the games. Half time came, Italy Scotland, very close, so I stocked up the wood burner, fetched a glass of diet lemonade ( no beer the waistline wont allow it) and waited for the rugby fest to recommence. The TV screen suddenly went strange. We rarely, if ever get a good picture, but this was distinctly snowy. A blizzard. No sound. No picture. The turn it off turn it on again remedy failed to illicit 30 grown men chasing an egg shaped ball. A goat wandered past the window, leering, Maggie the prime suspect. They have a habit of biting through the hundred or so metres of co axial cable between the Aeriel aimed vaguely at a gap in the hills and the TV. Chances of finding the break in time and without losing my temper was zero.
Technology came to the rescue, the PC, I could watch it on the PC. Ha! The goats attempt to get mine had failed for once, I watched both games, I won. Which is more than can be said for England.
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Friday, 26 February 2010

Water to ducks like!

Sometimes I surprise myself at how much of a genius I am. There I was sat on the toilet thinking about frogs, not my usual thoughts as I normally read a Terry Pratchett paperback while concentrating on paperwork, anyway from the privy window I can see the pond. This is currently alive with frogs, who always arrive in February, all in a mad frenzy to spawn. Masses of frogspawn crowds the edges of the pond while forggy who a courting goes goes mental in wrestling death matches with mates and foes. Now as our ducks and geese have just found the pond and have trashed it I was pleased the frogs decided to return. Their return means the ducks and geese have been banned from the pond but therein lies the problem. They are persistent little darlings and they only have to get in once to have the same effect on the new pondlife as the goats have on greenhouses full of tomatoes.
I sat thinking this through, if only there was a way of getting the frogspawn out and perhaps putting it in a safe place until it hatches and develops into real live frogs. Just some of it saved might help the frog population who as I watched was being reduced by one by the attention of one of our cats. If we had a tank big enough lots more would survive. Well we do have a tank big enough, the tank that used to hold 500 gallons of water until Ben dropped it on the Land Rover putting a teensy weensy hole at the 300 mark. The light bulb of inspiration flashed. Cut the tank in half and you have a huge instant pond for the ducks therefore the frogs survive, as long as the cats leave off.
So armed with a really sharp saw, a bent nail to make the cut along the dotted line mark and a first aid kit just in case I set about transforming the damaged tank into a superb pond with a corrugated steel diving board and breeze block escape platform. Tracey and her lovely Mum Jill helped with the final lift and move of the improvised pond and soon the temporary pump system was on over drive subtracting another 300 gallons from the well. As you can see the results of our efforts were very appreciated by the ducks and geese who took to it like ducks to water.
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Thursday, 25 February 2010

A different world

I was looking back through some of our photographs today while having a well earned cuppa. Having just mucked out the boys who produced a record pile of pooh between them overnight, fed all the critters with haylage from the ever reducing giant bale that still lurks menacingly in the lane, fed and watered the poultry, chopped a few more barrow loads of logs and walked 6 out of ten dogs around the bonsai mountain I felt I had really earned it.
There was still a lot to do, a smallholders job list is never ending but I put off doing anything for a few minutes perusing the photo albums which caused me to think, which is usually trouble.
These few pictures are principally the reason why we are here now, at Rock HQ. For some strange reason we were drawn to an agricultural show in June 2006 and that's where I rashly promised to foster three dogs, took the details of the new fad pig, the Kune Kune, which now fades from the must have list replaced by micropigs, oh how fickle is popularity, and saw a calf hardly bigger than a small dog from a cow not much bigger than a really big dog. By the time we got to the sheep I had run out of camera memory and was convinced that smallholding was the way forward.
So as I went back outside, into the rain, and sloshed around in the mud and melting snow, moving great dollops of pooh from the one end of the smallholding to the other I thought about the different world that day in the brilliant June sunshine with well behaved animals promised. The reality of smallholding is a lot different from the pictures, a thought reinforced as my ever unlaced left boot refused to keep up with the rest of me and sat waiting in several inches of mud as I attempted the retrieval on the hop, and epic failure but at least the mud clad sock then provided some adhesion to the inside of the boot keeping it firmly in place for a while. During that while the goats, who have no idea of their impending move, purposely knocked over their water so I had another journey to the tap and back again. Yes, this version of smallholding is nothing like the brochure. But I wouldn't change it. It really is a different world, and one that makes us truly happy.
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Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Curry or Bacon

The far from idle threat of becoming curry has hung over Maggie, Juliet and Bravo for a while now. The Doomsday Clock was set five minutes to midnight the day they cleared the "goat proof" fence and decimated the tomato harvest. It advanced to four minutes to midnight when they made a return trip and consumed the fig tree and grape vine. An extra minute was taken away when, in their panic at seeing me looking a bit miffed they bolted through the back of the greenhouse and broke all the glass of the rear wall. It stuck at 3 minutes for a few weeks until the truly horrible discovery that they had ringed all the fruit trees of bark and had the ultimate sanction been available that day we would have been 3 rugs and lots of Baltis better off.
So the clock has ticked away, always one minute to midnight as no matter how sorry they were these goats were beyond redemption. Several times the services of Steve the mobile slaughter man were nearly called but snow and my good nature prevailed so an alternative resolution was sought.

Thanks to the wonders of the web we have been in touch with a very nice lady who runs a goat rehab centre. Here naughty goats go and learn the error of their ways while living in woodland. The final details have to be arranged but it looks like the Rock HQ 3 will be spared and live happily ever after, never ever meeting a poppadom or mango chutney. Whats even better is this extraordinarily generous soul who wishes peace and love on all animals, even goats, is going to give Rock HQ in return two Oxford and Sandy Black maiden gilts who will be fed and pampered, as pigs should be as they are nothing like naughty goats, and provide Rock HQ with lots of litters of potential sausages and bacon.
The world turns and is a better place. Karma. Except to goats.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The white stuff


Guess what sort of weather we had today?













Monday, 22 February 2010

Job done


Lots happened around Rock HQ today, which as can be seen is still under a covering of snow due to us being on the dark side of the bonsai mountain. This aspect of the smallholding is fairly new as there were two massive Ash trees that used to obscure the view as well as the sunlight. The daily reducing pile of logs from these can just be seen under the anti aircraft light just right of centre, the water tank is now in place and the temporary pump and cable are doing a grand job until the money tree blooms and it can be done properly. The other water tank has been removed from the lane and dragged up the hill to sit on top of the reservoir so that when the pump freezes there will be a spare 250 gallons before we run out and resort to well water. The only reason this is not full and the plan up and running is that the pump in the bore hole is frozen. Again. More wood got chopped, the animals were attended to and William got exercised. All in all a very busy day, especially as the final piece of the windmill we have been building since last August was put in place. Things look very promising here at Rock HQ.
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Sunday, 21 February 2010

Right is always right

The snow surprised us yet again, making about 21 days of snow this year so far and it was another glorious morning so I set about clambering over various parts of the bonsai mountain, not at all looking for foxes. The views were amazing, above is across the valley to Steve the electricians abode whom we saw later on in the day as we ventured out into the real world, he and his family were off around the hill for a Sunday leg stretch so they kindly opened the gate for us, and, strangely, were there when we got back 2 hours later so opened the gate again. Fantastic service!
I noticed, as I ventured up the North Face Gully I am getting fitter again, the training is paying off but there is still a long way to go before I get to a level where I am confident the BBMC 43km wont cause me any problems. Those that know me will know that over the last few years I have gone from an athletes physique that could do the 43km in sub 8 hours to a pie eater physique who might need a calendar to keep track of the mountain marathon without really trying. I suppose its easy enough in reality, I am around four and half stone over weight, so say half a pound weight gain a month for 8 years and voila! Fat bloke!
Drastic action was taken the start of this month and I have begun to get lighter and fitter, basically cutting out a lot of fat from my meals, but still eating lots, especially bacon. My basic inability to follow instructions is hampering me somewhat, if there is such a thing as instruction dyslexia then I have it, that or I am fundamentally stupid. Diet plans are not for me.
Take an example of how I hear it right but do it wrong. The other week I had a very important meeting, you know the type of meeting you just cannot be late for. I got to within a mile of my destination and decided to park up and just clarify the directions by phone. Simple the receptionist brightly informed me, go to the next roundabout turn right, right at the lights and blah blah until you get here, got that? Why yes, indeed I have, so much so that I have written it down almost word for word, next roundabout turn right, see you in five minutes.
Why then, please tell me, why, why did I get to the next roundabout, instantly turn left, then follow exactly the directions given and end up in the next county and over an hour late?
Today after much exercise and calorie restraint and feelings of self righteousness I decided on a post dog walk treat, some no fat fromage frais with a dribble of honey. It was in fact delicious and as I sat licking the spoon clean I really couldn't believe it contained virtually no fat, it was so creamy and the best thing I had had in my mouth all day. Surely I wasn't that hungry. I checked the pot to confirm the no fat status, finding I had just eaten half a pot of creme fraiche. So full of fat I might as well have eaten a packet of lard.
This view above is the field that runs along our lane, full of sheep you can see where they slept last night, dark patches on the white, you can also see the shadow of our bonsai mountain.
Rush hour in our yard, always a busy place.
Maggie asking for a kicking from a mental pony.
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Goat Gore

More inprovement on the bad leg front. She now runs along the lane, usually to cause some bother.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Another good one

It has been one of those days at Rock HQ, one of those days where you are glad to be alive. The fresh air, the scenery, the animals make this the most fantastic place to live. Forget the mud, the foxes, the outside world, the jobs list and the weather, today has been just great.
A fresh covering of snow got the day off to a clean start, I tried to trace the fox back to its hidey hole but having five Bernese Mountain Dogs careering back and fourth it was a lost cause but we got to stretch our legs and see some parts of the bonsai mountain from different angles. Trevor and Misty tucked in breakfast and he has turned from a mental my little pony into a cuddly monster, albeit with teeth, but he fussed around Misty, seem like he has learned how to share, with her anyway. It is strange that in just a few weeks time Misty, the one on the right, should give birth to a foal that will be about the size of a hamster. A tiny thing. Needless to say we are very excited at the prospect.

The boys were turned out and they spent most of their time either chewing food or chewing each other. They seem to like their coats and they do keep them clean, that is, the horses stay clean, not the coats. They are covered in pooh and will need washing soon. Have to sneak them down the launderette when no one is looking as our machine is already breaking under the burden of cleaning my clothes which sometimes are so caked in mud they would crack if they dried out. A washing machine repair man came to Rock HQ yesterday as the thing had broken yet again, and yet again he pulled out of the working doings a collection of fencing staples, bent nails, baler twine, half dissolved extra strong mints and dog hair. I promised not to do it again and he promised Tracey he would return in a month to fix it again.


The extreme pruning took place while the snow melted, masses of branches were cut from shrubs with ideas above their station. This was a very therapeutic task and we found paths and steps up the hillside that were long forgotten. I took it on myself to carry on pruning out side the perimeter clearing a stretch of gorse bushes which will either make it harder for the foxes to sneak up on our chickens or make it easier for them to see the hens. Cosmo sat and watched while I hacked and chopped away, I would have cleared more except the jaws of the loppers broke.




This is the view from a standing stone just above our little patch, you can just make out a trail middle to right of picture. This is the route down to the gorse and then to our fence. Easy to see how they get so close without being seen.



Friday, 19 February 2010

If proof were needed

Three things were proven at Rock HQ today, not that proof were needed, we had long suspected, just never seen two, the third, the stupidity of Geisha our Anglo Nubian is confirmed almost daily. She can, when the mood takes her, show great intelligence. Many a time I have gone to the tack room where the animal feed is stored and found the door open and blamed my forgetfulness on the goats opening the door when we are not looking. Well today, whilst I was sawing wood, Geisha decided she needed a few extra calories and very carefully took hold of the bolt on her mouth, lifted it clear of the locking bars and slid it open. Success would have been hers if the damp weather hadn't have made the door swell and stick shut.
Second proof of an event we knew was happening was at lunchtime when we, and our pack of ten assorted size dogs went indoors. Just as I was tucking into the best cheese beanos ever the death squawking of a hen from the garden was a call to arms. We got to the backdoor just in time to see a fox scurry up the bank at the side of our cliff doomed hen in its mouth. A fat forty something man in slippers was no match for the quick brown fox who jumped over the fence while the lazy dogs watched on in amusement. Just to add insult to injury, by the time I got back to the kitchen the vermin cats had finished my lunch. The work on the chicken pen has moved up the jobs list but its a way to go before it gets to the top.
Then the cosmic balance was readjusted as Geisha set out to prove she is not as clever as she thinks she is and got a bit stuck with Daffodil in a bucket.
Smallholding is never dull!



video

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Poke it and see

More snow today so the bale and I were saved from a close encounter which is more than could said for Steve the extreme Rayburn repairman. He has been here before, he is the SAS of Rayburn repairmen, brutally efficient, clinical in his execution of failed oil burning appliances.
The fact that I answered the door to him wearing the front half of a heavy horse harness, blinkers and so on did not faze him, he brushed aside my stammering explanation with a sooted hand, if S and M was my thing he was not to judge. It seemed a fruitless task to explain that our heavy horse harness had just arrived by courier and was deficit instruction manual so I was wearing bits and holding up other bits of brass buckled black strap work whilst Tracey adjusted lengths of complex leather work.
I kept quiet and made him a coffee while Tracey steered me round the kitchen. He unrolled his prayer mat and knelt before the stricken Rayburn. Now it is the heart of the cottage, it is our cooker, heats our water and when we can afford it it runs our central heating. The later part of its function has not been operational since January. 2009. As some of the furthest corners of the cottage are getting decidedly damp, and as luck would have it we had 500 litres of oil more than we anticipated we thought it a good idea to get the heating fixed and dry out the house.
We watched as Steve carefully dismantled the control panel. 3 inches of dust fell out.
"Ow ogen ave ee gok oo ave it erviced?" I asked through a mouthful of bridle.
"Every six months" came the terse reply, Steve was concentrating, which wire was it, the red or green? A mistake now and it would be all over.
Beads of sweat formed on his brow. "Have you got a stick?" he asked. I passed him the riding crop. He threw that away muttering something about perverts and pulled a thin allen key from his bulging utility belt. He poked the Rayburn. It burst into life. The radiators began to warm. The master had taught the Rayburn well, any further misdemeanor would result in a thrashing. Steve finished his coffee and patted me on the shoulder. "I'll leave you to err.... get on with whatever your getting on with then."He winked at Tracey who was adjusting my girth.
"Ank ooo" I replied. He rolled up his mat and made to leave, Tracey placated him with money and pork and finally convinced him that I was in fact normal and safe to be around and nothing strange was happening . He grinned, "Its ok, I see all sorts in my job. "
Probably not the best time then for the technohermit to step out of the shower room and ask for help finding his soap on a rope.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

A small victory for hoardingkind

With weather that suited Yeti's work outside was halted. So my plan to do extreme pruning in the garden with an assortment of razor sharp blades and petrol driven power tools was put on hold, much to the relief of Tracey and the local emergency services.
The big black bale lurked in the lane waiting to pounce so I had half a plan charge at it with Rene who in use 28 out of a 101 uses for an Rx4 could be a makeshift bulldozer. But as the whole plan involved unhitching Trixie in the freezing cold slush/snow I gave it and the bale a miss until tomorrow. The sheep and goats are trying their best to reduce its mass before I move it and given its weight every little reduction helps.
Then I thought of use 74 out of 101 uses of an Rx4, gate straightener, this would involve finding a non mud section of track, placing bent gate onto non mud and driving over it in an attempt to straighten it. Again this would involve the application of bare skin to bare frozen metal so I did the only thing possible and skulked off to the cottage for a cuppa where I was spotted lurking with intent by the rayburn.
Tracey had other ideas about what I might do with my now "spare" time. The annex needed to be cleared out. So as I know my role in life, and more importantly who is in charge, I dutifully carried a ton or two of rock from the back of the building and dumped it along the lane as some vague sort of edging. All the wood and off cuts was sorted into stuff I might use now, stuff I might use later and a bigger pile of stuff that really needs burning but looks useful so will be saved just in case. As a champion hoarder I claimed a victory today, hah! How people laughed when I saved three steps cut from a wooden staircase we fitted in the workshop as a precaution against me falling off the gallery landing again. What are you going to do with those they scoffed. They even pointed and scoffed so great was their derision! Well scoff on scoffers because the three long mini staircase I saved for two years was put to good use today as the steps up out of the black hole and into the annex. Tracey claimed that it was in fact her idea to save the stairs but as she made me throw away a basket full of broken airfix models that I have saved for around 17 years today we all know that cant be the case, she is not a hoarder, she is a thrower.
Finally the annex was clean and tidy, and surprisingly spacious without all the rubbish and stone in it. In fact it looked so inviting the sheep decided to try and claim it as their own but being the cruel smallholder that I am they were shown the door.



Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Trailer Envy

The day started so well, full of promise, a plan so cunning it would have given a bag of foxes a run for their money. The sun shone melting the overnight snow and ice from freezing rain and while I hitched up Trixie trailer to Rene I almost forgot the sleepless night caused by a leaking roof in our bedroom, ah the joys of living in a 250 year old house. This plan was going to save us money, time, and more importantly it was a plan that we could carry out using our own trailer.

The Stable Sprite introduced us to a nice member of the local militia who had over 40 bales of haylage, which a cross between hay and silage, for sale at a bargain price. So cheap was it that to turn down the chance of buying a bale would almost certainly result in being sectioned under the mental health act. So off we set to this lovely farm, the type that really does have roses growing around the front door, a cow called Daisy wearing a straw hat and a farm yard bigger than our smallholding that contained considerably less mud. We lowered the ramp at the back of Trixie while the huge green tractor carried the big black bale over.
Unfortunately the bale was a bit wider than Trixie, and even when it was turned on its side so the flat bit was upright it still wouldn't fit. Once Stable Sprite got over his should have bought a bigger trailer routine followed by a mines bigger than yours competition he very helpfully agreed to borrow the militias trailer and bring the bale over to Rock HQ. OK, so the first part of the plan had failed miserably, but the rest it was bound to work. The bale would be rolled up the short bank to Hetty's pen and then put under the eaves of the chicken shack. There it would remain until she had recycled it into a different organic matter. It should last her a month and only cost us £10 in feed. Perfect. With Stable Sprite bringing a flat bed trailer the short slope could be reduced even further by using a massive metal 5 bar gate as a ramp, all we had to do was roll it along the gate, easy.
Except there was a flat side which made it hard to roll. And then there was the sheet ice on the trailer which made it impossible to get a good push. And then there was the gate which bent under the weight of the unrollable bale which made it very expensive.


Despite Stable Sprites herculean efforts, pockets full of pixie dust and full vocabulary of swearing there was no way that bale was going uphill. Eventually we conceded defeat and managed to tip it off the gate. For a while all were held prisoner at Rock HQ by a recalcitrant bale of haylage blocking the lane but Stable Sprite remembered a few more obscure swearwords and we managed to push it far back enough to allow him to escape. The sheep then savaged the bale and hopefully taught it a lesson.



So there it waits, until tomorrow and round two.




Monday, 15 February 2010

Kick off

Geisha our hideously injured Anglo Nubian Goat who has had tons of TLC over the last few months is obviously getting a lot better. Indicators are many, she uses her leg a lot more, even breaks out into a run now and then. We have started to carry buckets over head height again as she has a tendency to try and empty the contents before you get them to their destination.
Today she showed just how much better she is, and at the same time how incredibly stupid she can be.
This little pony, Misty, 33 inches of pent up temper tantrums just waiting for an opportunity to escape, is as placid and calm as you could want a pony to be. That is until she feels her food is being interfered with. So as she tucked in to a fresh wedge of hay the last thing she wanted was Geisha jumping the fence uninvited. As soon as Geisha landed Misty landed a double hoofed kick buckeroo style and continued until the bewildered goat cleared the fence out the field and out of range. Misty got on with breakfast while Geisha with as much dignity as she could muster set off down the lane looking for someone else to bother.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Getting to know you

A gloriously sunny day here at Rock HQ, a day that befits Valentines day and all the romantic activities Tracey and I embarked on today. The usual feed routine was gone through, this time with an extra mouth to feed, Hetty, who thankfully hasn't done anything embarrassing like keel over and snuff it so soon after arrival. She seems happy in her new home and even took to sniffing round her new owners. She is shy but will soon get over the shock and awe of Rock HQ.
Once the food was dolloped into various containers we got on with big jobs. I was in charge of lumber jacking whilst Tracey was in charge of horse hygiene which today did involve soap and water and washing parts you would rather not reach.


Saturday, 13 February 2010

The Dexter has landed

For once I was kept awake excited about the prospect of expanding our animal collection at Rock HQ rather than thinking about office politics. I fought the temptation to get up at stupid o'clock as there was no point, it wouldn't make the allotted hour for cow transport arrive any quicker so instead I listened to an idiot on the radio while the hours passed slowly by.
Trixie trailer (everything is named here, don't ask why its just the way thing are) was hitched without er... hitch, well you know what I mean, Rene reversed straight into the towing bracket and once Tracey stopped me from making new holes in Trixie's rear to accommodate the numberplate by showing me how the fancy number plate holder worked we were off.
Now the smallholders we bought Hetty from are very different from us, for a start they are prepared and have whats called experience. Since we last saw them they had put up a steel barn in their yard that would have covered Rock HQ, they did that in their spare time in between working, lambing, entertaining the grandchildren and brokering a peace agreement in the middle east. These were switched on smallholders. So much so that Hetty was already contained within their trailer, all that was required of us was to back up Trixie to their yet to be named mobile pet carrier, lower the ramps and get the contents to swap theirs for ours. Easy. Especially as he reversed Rene into position for me. We did have one comedy moment when Rene locked him out, luckily the window was open so no need for panic or the fourth emergency service and their big yellow van.
By the time we were ready to transfer our new pet bovine passers by might have thought there was a Bengal Tiger about to be moved given the number of gates, ramps and steel hurdles and people in place to prevent said cow doing whats known in the farming world as a runner. Consideration was given as whether she could jump over the six foot trailer door, I mean they can jump cant they, one of her far distant ancestors cleared the moon so hey, its not beyond the realms of possibility and there was a little dog sat watching our antics so better safe than sorry that's what I say.


Anyway after a cuppa and lots of advice from them and thank yous from us we were homeward bound. Back in the real world where bailer twine doubles as gate hinges and traler reversing causes smoke to come out of my ears and Renes clutch we did wonder what we might do if Hetty responded adversely to the lack of high security measures in the her new home. At the point of transfer from Trixie to the Barn all that was between her and 5 million acres of common land was a five bar gate tied with more twine to some chicken wire fence, another gate the other side propped precariously against an old freezer and a curious goat. Luckily for us Hetty spotted the ideal route from Trixie to Barn and followed the dotted line without hesitation straight into her new bedroom. After a quick look around, a good dump and a very pleasing moo she lay down and had a snooze.
I think she is going to fit in very well here. As long as the bailer twine holds.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Little pigs!

New recruits for pig club were born last night over in Stable Sprites kingdom. They are about the size of a guinea pig and make the same high pitched type noise. That black pile behind Thea consists of 11 or so piglets, or 24,000 potential sausages give or take a butty or two.
William got fitted with a posh new coat, I give it 24.3 minutes before its hanging from a tree. Still its nice while it lasts.


Tomorrows going to be a big day, Hetty the cow is going to take up residence!