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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