Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Brains of a rocking horse

Its raining stair rods, you can see them. So much water is falling that our remaining ducks have taken to a life raft, every living creature has sought shelter, yours truly included (under the eaves of the stable) The only signs of life in the yard which is a sea of frothing mud are two equines who, combined, have less brains than my old wooden rocking horse. Chester is over at the hayledge bale stuffing it in just in case something else eats a ton of it without him looking, this is despite him having a warm stable with ample portions of hayledge in the feeder. Misty on the other hoof takes stupidity to a higher level. You can see the rain puddling on the middle of her back (she is as wide as she is long, and thinking about it, is as wide as tall) All she needs to do to get a little bit dryer is take two paces forward and enter the stall that should have the soggy race horse in, or one step forward to get under the eaves where I am currently hiding.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

What's this do?

He's pointing that camera at me again.....hmmm....I can see myself.....whats this button do? I wonde..........

New routine at Rock HQ thanks to day light saving, mornings are easier, for now, as the extra light makes it easier to see which animal you have tripped over or who's pooh you are currently standing in. Evenings are the opposite, its dark when I get home so second feeds take place in late afternoon and done by my beautiful and oh so patient wife under the supervision on the apprentice smallholder.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Not the cleverest

 Not a three headed monster, just our "herd" venturing out to see if there are any calories on offer.
Kayleigh is as stupid as she looks and was found tonight in the rain trapped behind the bale of Hayledge dropped into Goatanamo. The 5 inch gap must have looked very interesting and she walked forward into it. Once there she couldn't work out how to reverse so mewed for help. Again.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Theres a bear behind!

 Little t is very proud of his
yellow wellingtons
so he took them out for a test

and met one of the boys, Will.I.Am out for a stroll too.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

The last round up

 The summer rains have ended, winter arrived with a huge drop in temperature and although we didn't have the snow that arrived up north ice had to be broken in water troughs and several areas of the yard were no go areas until the sun thawed the floor.
The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the birds sang their little hearts out from the trees despite the ice station zero temperatures and after yours truly got used to the fact that he was walking like John Wayne thanks to the docs private investigations today was a day to set off over the hills and far away to give our VIP guests the full Monty Rock HQ experience.
 VIP's being Adam and Lucy who are Bradley's forever owners and they got to see horses the size of dogs, or is it dogs the size of horses, a very ancient beagle who is over 140 in dog years (I know as they get older the 7 dog years to one human doesn't apply, but this canine is 21 human years!) and still manages to get to the top (he almost got there a second time late pm but after the steepest section of North Face Gully he pulled the eject cable and parachuted down to the yard) pigs who look like sheep, sheep who eat like pigs, noted the value of 700 million year old rocks as opposed to 300 million year old on the next hill (our rocks are much older than yours!) had a lesson in geography, saw the sights, smelled the air and stepped in the pooh. Most importantly they got to cuddle Bradley (see dog blog) and meet the clan.
 Rocky as ever clinched the Berners are best debate, his agility also impressed as he balanced on rocks to get even closer. On the way round I press ganged the visitors into carrying the bags of apples hanging off the gate of a neighbours garden, the quantity suggests it was the last of the freebies from them, as did the lack of apple tree as it has now been cut down and logged, most of it blew down a few weeks ago but they kept it going to harvest the apples for yours truly. Yes our sausages are that good, that's why they donate the fruit, in return they get a few breakfasts later in the year.
 Down at sea level Bear and Reuben impressed them with a) how massive a Berner can get and b) how good they are with kids and pups. Iggle and piggle impressed Adam and Lucy with the tastieness of their sausages.
 Little t also demonstrated how he had the Berners eating out of his hand, unfortunately for the dogs it was crusts, the sausage was too good to give away.
Reuben showed how flexible he is, in all, as far as a meet the gang at Rock HQ days went it was a good one. Tonight the clocks go back and all future evening walks will be with night vision equipment and several talismans to ward off zombies, trolls and werewolves.
 Roll on springtime!

Friday, 26 October 2012

I told you it was dangerous....

 A usual sign of something being amiss is a bunch of critters all looking at the same thing. Add to that the sound of a Siamese cat being dropped tail first in a blender (an Anglo Nubian lacks a bleat, but makes up for it with a very loud MEW or MEAH!) and even I noticed that all was not well. Little Alana was mewing for all her worth and was stood pointer like on the first step of Goatanamo.
 What she was trying to make me aware of was lying very quiet and still in the centre of the brush wood pile, Kayleigh had got herself well and truly stuck.
 The poor old girl couldn't get her feet on the floor and was trapped in the goat eating branches.
 After a lot of huffing and puffing, and more muscle strain ( I shall spare you the details of what the Doc did to me today to diagnose an abdominal muscle tear, or hernia, but it involved rubber gloves, gel, a surprised expression and a lot of coughing. Apparently I have to take it easy for a while, he didn't mention avoid wrestling goats so I'm OK) and eventually both if us were branch less and upright regaining the use of our limbs.
 Kayleigh pondered recent events, the sky falls in or you get ate by foliage rather than the other way round, and decided that freedom was all well and good but not for her and took up residence in the med bay, her new home, and that's where she stays. Eva and Alana followed her lead and end of play saw them curled up in a deep litter bed swapping horror stories of the not so great outdoors. Giving up agoraphobia is not for our girls ANDQ!!
All this under the watchful eye of a cartoon dog!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Hero of the day

Miranda may be the best 4x4 by far but she could not do what Hazel did for us today, partly because my beautiful and oh so patient wife would not have allowed me to sully the interior with mucky animals, but mostly because Hazel has more space so can carry more stuff. Mind you she didn't get off to a good start, in fact non starting was the order of the day (apparently playing the stereo at volumes where Metallica can be heard over the chain saw is a sure fire way of killing the battery. Again) Anyway, Vic donated his battery (the new one replaced from the second from last open air concert) and Hazel roared into action.
I say roared, I mean coughed and spluttered the opening bars of her swan song (for she is to be scrapped) and firing on all three nearly working cylinders the almost dead almost 4x4 conveyed yours truly to the meeting point on the border where nervous armed guards exchanged three nervous looking Ryelands for cider. Aficionados of the high way code will realise that livestock are not to be transported in family cars, not along the Queens highway, not even when wearing correctly fitting seat belts and soothed by heavy metal. This is why the meeting with the militia was high on the hill where their quad and trailer had captured our insurgents. Back at the ranch the three amigos caught first sight of the extended Goatanamo high security complex.
Like Obama I have been unable to close Goatanamo, having a large tree fall across the fences (and through the stable roof) made it a bit less than secure so today's job list included.
Turning this less than goat/sheep/horse/dog/toddler proof gap
into something more useful, but still as muddy. Note spirit level on gate, I will achieve Jedi DIY status one day.
Soon I had this constructed. I also broke the world record for a human going into low level orbit as I recovered the hinges for the gate from the pig pen where Pam and Thor are residing. There cant be many boars that will lie next to you like a dog wanting his tummy tickled while you try and locate the screws preventing the easy removal of the metal plate hinge thingy. So there I was, electric screwdriver in one hand, pig in the other, wondering how/if the screws would cooperate before battery ran out. There I was, builders bum on display. Its amazing how high you can instantly jump when a curious Mangalitza sow presses her cold wet snout into your backside.
Once I had landed and my heart rate returned to a more usable level the gate was fixed and the three amigos explored their new playground.
Eva was so impressed by the new extension that she totally forgot she was agoraphobic for about 53 seconds, long enough to grab a snack.

Luckily the three amigos did not make any mess in the back of the defunct 4x4 and Hazel is as good as new inside.
While all attention was focused on the three amigos, Bradley (the one with sideburns) Daffodil and Levi took full advantage of open doors and had a party of their own.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Return of the cartoon dog

Missy, she's no oil painting!

I ventured out into the lands of the militia today, and got lost. I thought I knew where I was going, and thought I knew where I was when I arrived but as I didn't recognise anyone in the yard, or see anything that remotely resembled three naughty Ryeland sheep I drove on. And being a bloke didn't ask anyone for directions so ended up back at Rock HQ deficit sheep.
Mission fail.
My beautiful and oh so patient wife then very kindly phoned the militia base who confirmed their location and that they had seen yours truly in their yard and leaving before anyone could stop him.
A new rescue mission is planned for tomorrow.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Road trip

Our driver today was a bit shorter than we expected.
His feet were small.
But he had a big smile.
He was a little star.

Monday, 22 October 2012

MIA's captured

The friendly local militia phoned today to let me know that he had captured three of our sheep who have been missing a couple of weeks now. Somehow they have found themself several miles away in another country! Seems like they had followed the pocket rockets trail blazing and disappeared over the hills and far away. As I don't have any recent pics of the wandering sheep here's one of a non wandering Bear in about the last known location of the woolly backs.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Walk on

 Miranda has survived 48 hours at Rock HQ, so far so good, only paw prints from dogs and cats have spoiled her good looks. The morning fog proved no deterrent to yours truly and Paul who set off on a fairly long slog across and around various bits of geography before breakfast.
 Bear and Rocky joined us and as usual Rocky showed how clever he is at The Whet stone.
 I then showed how clever I was by using the self timer function on the camera (it has been found and little t was not to blame for its disappearance, yours truly had put it somewhere safe and forgot, luckily my beautiful and oh so patient wife found it) and taking this pic at Hergest trig point without tripping and smashing my face in on the wet rocks as I scampered back to strike a suitable heroic pose.
 By late breakfast this happened.
 So after mucking out, mucking about with the critters, feeding all visitors (Beth ((2nd born)) and Gen ((bessie mate of daughter)) ) arrived a bit later than planned because of fog (see above pic) which meant a long walk post Sunday dinner.
This time we got to the top of the Bonsai Mountain to survey the Dolyhir Clan's lands.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Guest of honour

 We got to go to a wedding today,  Pete and Sally got wed in the same church as yours truly and his beautiful and oh so patient wife.
 Bride and groom were caught legging it from the service, probably to get to the free bar first
or perhaps it was the lure of the guest of honour, a pig roast provided by Rock HQ. Normally the pig roast uses a 55 kg pig, so a dead weight 84 kg was a bit of a challenge hence no head. As usual Rock HQ pork went down very well, especially with the free beer. I showed a visitor to Rock HQ the pigs last week and mentioned that Rosie was destined to be guest of honour.
Oh how lovely, what, she asked, with a bow around its neck?
No, I replied, bread.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Meet Miranda

 Hazel has died, and we have mourned her loss. The almost 4x4 was poorly for a while, then she lost power and despite a trained mechanic looking after her and charging us a small fortune to tune her up he completely failed to notice that Hazel was only firing on 3 cylinders and barely producing any energy from those. After being reassured that if I gave him even more money for more bits I took Hazel for a second opinion. The news was broken gently, Hazel was beyond help. So now faced with a massive paperweight on the yard, no way of moving pigs (as in physically, not emotionally, I did show them the Sea Biscuit DVD and they cried, such a brave little horse) no almost 4x4 for winter and worst of all, no spare organs to sell to raise the cash necessary to replace her. Short of finding a wodge of cash down the back of the sofa we were well and truly Hazeled (broke) Then a funny thing happened.
 My beautiful and oh so patient wife who a long time ago realised that wife and carer are interchangeable roles, was looking through my bank statement trying to find further ways of saving. The house insurance was one, for some insane reason for the last ten years I had been paying £80 a month for house insurance whereas MBAOSPW found twice the cover for £160 a year! So she phoned the bank and asked our ever so understanding bank manager if the bank could beat the premium. They couldn't but in the conversation bank manager told the patient one that a cheque I had paid in wasn't showing on the statement as I had paid it into my savings account. There was a pause and the bank manager added, whoops hope I haven't got any one into trouble by saying that. Cue the happy wanderers return to Rock HQ, angle poise lamp in face, so you have a savings account eh? Spill the beans.
Yours truly was very surprised to find he had a savings account as never having had any inclination to plan or save it had never occurred to me to open an account, or occur to me that I could syphon off any cash without detection.
Protesting my innocence I called the bank.
Yes confirmed the bank manager you have a savings account.
 Excitement level began to rise, really, are you sure, yes I'm sure its got your name on it and everything, finally I asked the question, erm, could you tell me how much is in it, today's balance is....
The sudden crashing sound brought hotel staff running and after they picked my jaw up off the floor (I was being treated to lunch hence the very public BLOODYFANTASTIC!!! sorry sorry, to other diners) I got bank manager to repeat several times the amount and double check it was mine, she also confirmed that she opened the account for me a long time ago and that I wasn't drunk when I signed the paperwork, it really was my money, and yes I could spend it if I wanted to.
So I have, after much searching (2534 vehicles later) we think we have found a good one. Here is Miranda. Fingers crossed she lasts longer than Hazel and that no horses think we have bought them a new arse scratcher.
Fresh from the quest to bag Miranda we were sat in HQ having a well earned cuppa when this little bird appeared(sat on the Bristol Blenheim bomber). Where she came from we do not know, all windows were shut. But for a good ten minutes little Jenny Wren entertained us flitting around until she was carefully captured and set free.

Tell it like it is!

Little t putting the world to rights

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Count down commencing

Pig club porkers are on the final countdown to the celestial sty. The sleepover is booked for 6 November, sausage recipes are being researched and the pigs are chomping through untold quantities of apples to make sure they provide top quality ingredients.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


 Where too Guv?
 Where we're going we don't need roads!
 Crash positions! She's not passed her test!
Oh please let me drive!