Monday, 30 August 2010
Sunday, 29 August 2010
It seems he will do well with his new family. They already have an older dog, who had a companion until about a year ago when it died of old age. This upset the dog so much it stayed behind the sofa, only coming out for meals and walks. As soon as Acer arrived they bounded round the garden, knocking over every pot plant and had a great rough and tumble. It seems like they will get on and Acer was happy enough to be left. As Glynis left the older dog came up to her and licked her hand as if to say thanks before tearing back through the house and chasing its new playmate round the garden.
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Friday, 27 August 2010
Any thoughts of an easy or early night last night vanished when I did the last check of the perimeter. Poor Trevor, the pocket rocket, gave a huge whinny when he saw me trudge through the mud to the forward observation trenches. First I thought he was telling me off as I was non tactical, a huge torch stabbing the darkness with its beam, but I know there are Zombies and Werewolves out there and any connoisseur of horror films knows, the one that gets it is the one without the torch. Anyway back in reality Trevor was trying to tell me something. He was cold. And wet. The combination was causing the poor little mite to chatter his teeth together. The geese Rupert and Mable were unceremoniously woken up and evicted from the back stable and Trevor the soggy equine was tucked up in bed with a big bowl of horse nuts whilst I made my way along the treacherous path up the side of the Bonsai Mountain in an effort to locate Misty, who, if Trevor was any guide, would be equally cold wet an miserable.
Two out of three, she was cold, and wet, but far from miserable once she saw the combination of gates open unlocked the secret path to the hayledge which is where she headed at speed , totally ignoring yours truly and the bucket of horse nuts that were getting damper by the second due to the torrents falling from the sky. With careful coaxing and a lot of pushing an pulling she was finally prised from the hayledge and ensconced in the nice warm stable with her mate. They were now safe, getting dry, well fed and in no danger of getting hypothermia. The complete opposite of their owner.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Its the weekend, a holiday weekend, you can tell by the number of caravans of on the roads today and the depth of rainfall, it seems the drought is over by the amount water falling from the heavens and the sea of mud that has been created in the yard.
Weekend means big jobs and materials have been gathered to get them done. Tasks this weekend include finish the patio, finish the patio walls, get a pond built on the patio, get the gravel into the corral, mix enough concrete to make a small yard for the little ponies to stand on, sort fish out, re route water pipes to the holding tanks, install new tank in garden and connect to supply and divert to pigs, collect a ton of free apples for the pigs, collect straw, take Acer to his new owners, finish text and pictures for new website (this ones getting a huge makeover)get Rocky ready for dog show, win dog show, celebrate winning dog show and collect more animal feed.
A quiet weekend. Good job this one is four days long!
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
These bunnies have been here for a few weeks so its about time they featured on the TFTR site. The rabbits in the field or on the Bonsai Mountain are all cute but potential ingredients, these are all pet status and destined for a life of luxury in the massive hutches bought to accommodate them. They are Tom, Jerry, Barbara and Margo, which one is which is a good question, I have no idea, but like their name sakes they enjoy the good life!
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Monday, 23 August 2010
He tried to help, chasing the "windfall" apples (it was windy and they fell, the fact that they were aided by a big stick is a separate semantic issue) down the hill which was entertaining. There was a worrying moment when out of the corner of my eye I was certain the curtains in the Ghost House (don't look back!) were moving, and being uncertain of the protocol for avoiding summoning witches I thought it best not to stand and stare on the just in case principle. Sensing the need for speed Acer ably helped by taking the largest apples out of the barrow as they were placed in and dropping them by my feet. Crispen and Daffodil, two Ryelands who can always be counted on to turn any drama into a bigger crisis then tried to lay claim to the contents of the barrow in preference to foraging amongst the nettles. I uttered the age old shepherds four letter volley of abuse at naughty sheep and eventually they got the hint to move on. Geisha could be seen moving in for the the kill so Acer, me and the now very heavy wheelbarrow headed for home.
Sunday, 22 August 2010
Saturday, 21 August 2010
Sandy and Leviathan had nice lives, and their attempts to avoid becoming chops meant that they lived three times as long as those lambs belonging to the militia. The Ryeland has many attributes, its docility, size, ability to get fat on green concrete, its wool, most especially its flavour, but the one thing it does not do is go from lamb to plate very quickly. The militias sheep give birth to lambs that are Lewis Hamilton's, racing to the finish line, our Ryelands are geriatric slugs in comparison. Sandy is hardly classed as a lamb as he was born when Ben was at that military academy that has the word sand in it and a word that sound like thirst at the end. He gets a bit cross if he is mentioned on here so say no more. That was over two years ago! And he was still the size of a rabbit!
So Sandy and Levi were chopped up and placed with care in Mr Whirlpool today, and my reward for all my labour was a plate of chops to die for. Bless them.
Crystal went to her new family last Thursday, she was spayed before she went and is now in a lovely home in the mid Wales region with another dog in the family to keep her company. This handsome lad, Acer, is due to join his new parents tomorrow, they also have another dog for him to play with. It might seem cruel to split them up but it was for the best. By themselves they will pay attention to their new owners, together they only look out for each other. In the few days Acer was by himself here he was a different dog, totally attentive to what we were doing and our commands. He will be missed but the new home he goes to will devote their lives to this lovely dog.
Friday, 20 August 2010
Whilst on my travels today I spyed this strange creature lurking in the undergrowth. Tempted by the smokey bacon aroma the cat stuck its head inside the crisp packet and got stuck, fast. The poor little tabby had got itself in a right state and blundered into a wire fence by the time I got to him. One quick tug and he was free. There is no picture of the happy cat as he took off at light speed. I disposed of the packet with a bit more thought than its original owner.
Thursday, 19 August 2010
I have to pinch myself sometimes, I cannot believe the life I lead. The contrasts are so extreme day to day, and I would never have imagined I would be lucky enough to live somewhere like Rock HQ.
Take yesterdays contrasts. After an uneventful, almost routine assessment visit on a particularly rough part of my patch I was absent mindedly ambling along to my car, hoping several things, mainly that the wheels would still be on it, or the tyres still up, preferably all the windows intact and the paintwork as I left it, not with some interesting artwork added by way of a sharp piece of metal or key. Mostly I was hoping that a fridge wasn't on the bonnet, the door would open, the engine would start and I would get out alive. This is a place where dogs go round in packs, postmen arrive at random times in unmarked cars and run every where and Police cruise round in armoured vans donated by the now defunct RUC. The car was intact, so far so good. As I opened my car door a tall man was, and there is no other word to describe his behaviour, loitering in the adjoining alley. I carried on getting in my car, no need to antagonise the locals by staring at them, but something in his hand held my attention as I started the engine and reversed turning to face the alley. He was holding a pistol, the 9mm black shooty type. Very casually he examined the thing before tucking it in the back of his jeans, covering it with his jacket as he walked away. I drove a short distance mentally checking all mobile phone types for ones that resembled guns. None matched. I had seen a gun. Being British I don't like to make a fuss but I phoned the police anyway, the emergency operator was very reassuring as I babbled my location and description of the suspect. She asked me where he had gone, me not knowing the area at all did not help so I decided to get out of the car and have a look down the alley to get a better location. I was feeling brave now, right up to the point I came out of the alley at the far end and almost walked into him and his friend poking around in a bush. Bravery evaporated and suitabley motivated to run I got back to Vic the Volvo without an accompanying volley of shots and sat to wait further instructions from the Police. After ten minutes they called back, already I noticed an absence of sirens, no masked uniformed men abseiling from helicopters, just me sat on the car park watching the alley. I could go home they said, we are on our way they said, thanks they said.
I left for tea and reassurance at the office.
Back at Rock HQ my heart rate had returned to normal and I was faced with a problem about as far removed from facing lone gunmen as you can get. The fish were in crisis and several were dead, so the quiet evening I planned went out of the window while three hundred gallons of water was bucketed out of one tank, pipes laid and water replaced some 150 fish were then caught by torchlight and put in the new tank. This saved the fish and was quite therapeutic.
I was asked today if I was surprised as the Police had not got back to me. Perhaps. But after checking with colleagues who have worked the estate longer than I it would seem that if the Police responded to every report of a gun sighting there they would not have time to eat donuts and harass motorists.
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
The owner of The Ghost House has discovered a bad thing. His water is missing. Many years ago 1976, the year of the proper drought, he dug a 400 metre trench and laid a pipe in it from a collecting tank on the hill to his house. This has served him well for many years. Never let him down until this week. He turned his tap on and got the faintest trickle of reddish sludge from the tap. On tracing the pipe back he found it had been cut and now led to a water tank supplying horses belonging to someone else, the nice traveller man we meet every now and then. This is not cricket. Second only to putting a fence up in the wrong place, taking water from someone elses pipe is a crime that used to lead to deportation. A feud is in the offing, we wait and wonder who does what to whom next. This is better than TV.
Monday, 16 August 2010
contentedly feeding them while we put her food and water out, she really does look like she is smiling.