Sunday, 12 August 2012

On through the night

 The day started at Rock HQ with its usual mix of chaos and smiles, one of the pig club piglets has decided to be a sheep and no amount of persuasion, bribery or threats will make it live with the pigs. The day ended unusually, even by our standards.
Most of you know that we have one or two Bernese Mountain Dogs, the Carlsberg of the canine species. And we have been lucky enough to have had  three litters with Rocky and Reba, the pups all going to great homes and all the owners keep in touch which is why the pages of the sister site to these pages, Dolyhir Bernese Mountain Dogs, is so interesting.
And busy.
Very recently we heard from one of the owners from the class of 2009 who's personal circumstances were such that looking after his Berner had become difficult and he really wanted his special dog to have more time and attention. As he was such a top bloke he contacted us at HQ and asked advice, send him home was the immediate solution, that way his dog gets to play with 3 others from the class of 2009, mum and dad and numerous other playmates in a 500 hectare garden and he gets to keep up to date via the blog on how his lad is doing. Which was why yours truly, still recovering from the worst stomach bug ever, found himself on a ferry to the Emerald Isle late early yesterday evening.

The very nice man paid for a 1st class ferry ticket for me and Hazel, this was unfortunately the only part of Ireland I got to see in the 3 minutes 21 seconds I was there. Good to see the Nolan's are still keeping busy though.
Here is the big lad I had been tasked to repatriate, he was called Flash when he left us in 2009, hes now called Bear. And he is one massive Bear!
So fast was the turn around that I only got one chance to take a pic of the boat I had sailed over on nearly four minutes previously and no chance to get one of the bigger boat that brought me back.
Safe aboard Bear was not impressed with his quarters.
Mine on the other hand had a few bonus perks as well as a en suite cabin with a fantastic shower. So good was the accommodation that I forgave the endless playing of Enya on the radio and the complete lack of any Irish crew. The Irish ferries TV advert lies! I did try to sleep for the four hours or so while trapped in a metal box in the bowels of ship but I just kept re walking the escape routes (in my head) and hoping we A) Didn't hit any icebergs and that B) If we did there would be room in the limited life boats for a fat bloke and a fatter dog. In  the event the east European crew avoided all maritime hazards and made it back to Holyhead only 10 minutes late.
Bear and I got back UK side just past midnight and after a fruitless search of Holyhead for a 24 hour fuel stop we set off back to the Shire slowly trying to eek out the LPG and wishing that I had the foresight to fill with unleaded rather than rely on finding fresh supplies. An oasis was found with less than 1 miles worth of LPG left and after paying to fill the tank what I paid for my first ever car (a hand painted matt black ford capri) we went on through the night to get back to HQ at dawn chorus where Bear the Berner met his family. There will be more pics of him him and this reunion of the clan on the other site. Any thought of a long lie in was dashed by the knowledge that several visitors were due, some to drop off animals, others to collect and one mad lot even to buy some. More of that tomorrow but there is now considerably less sheep and even less pork wandering the smallholding. The sheep pig remains!

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