Saturday, 31 August 2013

Milk monitor

 Summer has been fighting a rear guard action before we trip into autumn, its been a glorious day at HQ which meant that the Tsunami of Bernese Mountain Dog Puppies that hit us four and half weeks ago was ejected from the conservatory and dining room and allowed to roam free (free-ish) on the helipad. Here the little time wasters kept us endlessly entertained thus slowing any intended progress on the jobs list. There was progress in several areas though, the ducklings and quail that have been moved from the kitchen and into the aviary, more apples were borrowed for the pigs and the second batch of visitors arrived to view their prospective pups.
 The pups have a voracious appetite and get through several litres of goats milk a day. This is a very messy affair (see paw prints) as the pups swim in it while drinking. Not as clean and clever as their granddad, Rocky, who can drink it straight from the carton.
As can the Reservoir Pups' mum, Bliss.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Food for thought

 Best eaten alone. 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Different day

The mammoth task of shifting the bottom debris from the variety of critters continues, the different colours are from different animals, their offerings look different, weigh different, smell different, but have the same affect on your beautiful and oh so patient wife when you tread it through the house in your work boots.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Rhubarb Creed

This is my stick of Rhubarb, there are many like it but this one is special, this one is mine, I must master it like I must master my life......

Monday, 26 August 2013

A woman's work

Early doors saw yours truly on a hunter gatherer mission as the higher than usual number of visitors to Rock HQ had emptied the milk bottle. Returning from this successful forage I should have been rewarded with tea and medals (read strawberry jam) instead I was practicing advanced swearing and rounding up escapee piglets who bouyed up on the bravado of yesterday evenings incursion decided to go for round two. 
First breakfast was spent repairing fence to pig pen but I made it to HQ for second breakfast which was lashings of strawberry jam, a gift from pig club member who paid a visit to HQ yesterday. So good was this tasty confection that second helpings were scoffed before the jar was prised from my grip and I was forced to share. 
Much of the day like yesterday was spent in the company of potential Dolyhir Berner owners and much fun was had by all, particularly little t who made sure everyone knew they were his puppies. By late afternoon we made the best of the summer weather by going foraging again training and collecting a huge bag of apples for the naughty porkers. Little t met Techno again who gave him a Kit Kat, this was 
eagerly consumed in favour of the sour apples and despite what he told his mother yours truly did not eat so much as a crumb of it. 
Late doors saw us doing the rounds, watched by Clan members, who this time were very interested in the antics of their female owner who, in case anyone needs reminding is 8 months pregnant
yet insisted on wrestling goats and giving them a pedicure. A woman's work is never done!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Zero and none

 In between entertaining hordes of potential Bernese Mountain Dog owners, nursing stung ponies who very cleverly self soothed by  putting her stings in the cold mud
 there have been some jobs that were entertaining, such as bathing the pups (heres Ms Odage taking the plunge) and others that have been must dos but boring. One of the militia has lent me a very handy trailer so the job of mucking out everything has begun. Due to this being a frantic weekend this has meant getting outside by 6am at the latest and shovel like mad until 1st breakfast at 7.30am. This has created a compost corner (read area the size of badminton court) down by the bottom pig pen. This has also meant that yours truly has been a tad tired given the size of the task and the quantities involved. So tonight as we reach the end of the Bernathon there was a glimmer of a hope of a quiet night so imagine how happy I was when after delivering Techno's dinner (aptly enough sausages) there,
 atop of the newly created dung heap was Pammy Pig.
 And with her the pig club porkers, one of which was on best behavior earlier when their proud sponsor visited and fed it stolen borrowed apples, and was now intent on rearranging the carefully crafted pile.
 On seeing yours truly the naughty trainee sausages got out of harms way
 demonstrating remarkable agility and perhaps insight
 as they knew yours truly would not boldly go after pork through nettles that were some 6 ft high.
 The Berners, ever supportive, settled down for the free show as what followed was no doubt entertaining if you were an observer rather than a participant.
Tweedles Dum and Dee fell under the spell of the blue bucket (now pink after pony hoofs rearranged blue ones, actually I think its a conspiracy to make me carry pink buckets and I never believed the honest they only had pink ones for sale story) full of allure (pig nuts) and they ignored Pam's cries of "Its a trap!" and scampered after me to the pig pen. Pam caved in to the majority and joined them scoffing, and that should have been that had not a curiously recovered shitland followed me and the pork into the pen and so began a magic roundabout of equine trying to assert its authority over screaming porcines over food ownership followed by irrate man trying to remind equine how to find the gate and use it and keep porcines the right side of the wire. Finally shitland got bored and left to the applause of the Berner's and the crashing sound of a recently landed pink bucket that followed her through the gate.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

A sting in the tail

 On the day I read an article asking "where had all the wasps gone" which as the question suggests was an in depth analysis of the lack of Jaspers in the UK given the hot weather and abundance of wasp attractions or picnics, I found this nest of the vicious stingy beasties lurking in the lane.
 As it was a fairish distance from HQ and far enough from any place where yours truly would be using a strimmer I decided to live and let live.
Unfortunately the Jaspers in our lanes cousins living in the garden where little Misty the shitland is on mower duties did not share this philosophy and attacked en masse our hapless pony as she stuck her nose in their hole. First indicators that all was not well was a demented pint sized pony careering around the garden bouncing off solid objects in a frantic effort to scrape off her stripey attackers. Once the novelty of watching the dwarf equines comic antics wore thin those looking after her realised to their horror that all was not well in her world and bravely rescued her getting mightily stung in the process. Time was spent pulling wasps from her mane and tail and dousing her with aloe vera and feeding her medicinal apples. So anyone wanting to know where the wasps are, there are several hundred dead ones in a garden near us.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Action stations!

Bank holiday weekend. Its going to be busy at Rock HQ with visitors every day, not to see us, but the puppies! Bliss is doing her part by getting them clean (ish).

Thursday, 22 August 2013

An accident waiting to happen

 When not bothering other critters for their rations our Ryelands, a rare and ancient breed blessed with extremely fine wool but deficit brains are pretty much free to do their own thing on the Bonsai Mountain. This obviously includes finding new ways to hurt themselves and robbing other critters of anything that the Ryeland's feel should be theirs. Here they can be seen enjoying the garden of the ghost house (don't look back!)
 They sleep out here in various locations and today we found a new one, as stated they are of limited intellect and almost zero foresight so while sleeping in this "cave" which they have scraped out I cannot help thinking that one morning I am going to find newly pressed mutton burgers.
Unless gravity inexplicably fails its duty.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

An apology!

 This is the midway point between Rock HQ and Red Kite Fostering, where today my paid work was larking about with animals, so a real busman's holiday. To get here from the westerly slopes of the Bonsai Mountain usually takes some 25 minutes, unless you are dragging a shitland pony along. The reason for the dope on the rope (her not me)
 was that at Red Kite HQ we were hosing (typo. should read hosting but after seeing the state of the car park afterwards then hosing is also apt!)an Animal Madhouse day for all the carers and kiddies to come and oooh and aaah over a variety of critters and for some insane reason I opted to take Misty along. Not having a trailer suitable to carry a beserker equine I took the high road and walked her in so she could delight our visitors.
 After all who wouldnt go ooh and aaah over a beligerant little mare 33 inches high to the shoulder. Unfortunately she had other ideas and none of them included walking sensibly on the rope with any form of haste. So two hours after leaving HQ and already 30 minutes behind schedule, when faced with a plethora of hikers hi hoing across the mountains I really could not help myself when asked SFQ's about the nature of my journey with the pint sized equine. So a sincere apology to the 18 or so hikers who as  they passed went away with the idea that today was "National take your pet to work day" and that Misty was going along as everyone was taking dogs I thought I would take something different. All believed the lie and further embellishments such as her being house trained, has her own cat flap and that she was a Japanese Dwarf Horse. The apology is extended to all of todays hikers with the exception of the chap who geniunely said "Thats a donkey right?"
Mistys poor behavior continued and included trying to kick yours truly to death and deliberately soiling on pavements as she was frog marched through town.
 Once at the office the little terrors demeanor changed entirely to sweetness and light as hordes of kiddies and adults oohed and aaahed and most importantly fed her vast quantities of treats.  Revenge was mine though as after an intense grooming session the little sprites got a bit carried away with the whole my little pony idea.
 The day was a great success, once the pygmy goats had been caught, twice, and everyone got to fuss over Bernese Mountain Dogs, rabbits, ducklings, goats, Ryeland Ram Ice Ice Baby, a Hen called Brenda and a Jack Russell. Apologies if I have missed any species.
 Misty was seething once she caught sight of her bad hair day and I was not looking forward to the return journey so was very happy when a family borrowed her for lawn mower duties. I agreed providing they decorated her mane with ribbons and painted her hooves red.
Like a lamb to the slaughter she was led to her fate. No doubt she will get her own back but for once it feels like I am winning.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Rock HQ does the Bard again

Act 2 Scene 2 
Juliet enters balcony stage right

Elf as Juliet 
"O Romeo, Romeo!
wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name!
 Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
 And I'll no longer be a Capulet."

Chester as himself (confused) "Ermmmm...does she mean me?"
Enter stage left, Capulets garden Reuben as Romeo. "No big guy, shes looking for me!"

Work in progress

Monday, 19 August 2013

No prizes for guessing

No prizes for guessing who created this mess at our office. Little t paid a visit.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

On a mission

 Its that time of year again when, if you know where to look, there's an abundance of free food.
 So as the sun was thinking of setting little t and I took the technohermit his supper, naturally this was a mission that had an entourage of assorted canines. Preston the ancient beagle, Rippers the bounciest Berner were amongst those escorting us.
 En route we found what we were looking for, apples, and this year there is a bumper crop, something to do with the weather. Little t sampled the merchandise
then kept a lookout while yours truly gathered a free supper for the trainee sausages.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Doing alright

I got the once over from Agnes our everso friendly osteopath today who reckoned I was in great shape considering the man test I had put myself through a week or so ago. For once my spine didn't need bending into shape and once Agnes had tweaked my knee (a curious click was heard across the city, birds flew from trees etc) it flexed without me reaching for the ibuprofen. Even better than her assessment of my physical condition was the donation she made to the cause so Hounds for Heroes got some more dosh and anyone who still intends to donate might like to go to 
While my knee was being mended conversation turned to how was I going to maintain the fitness achieved this summer. Due to imminent arrival of new rug rat sportives are banned so the turbo trainer will have to suffice, and spinning training. Then theirs clearing up after little t, chasing pigs, chasing sheep, horses, walking dogs, carrying toddler, carrying buckets of allure, carrying buckets of water, fighting off Ryelands, running away from pigs, clearing the runway, cleaning out stables, fetching hay, loading Miranda, unloading Miranda, unloading the lorry with the animal feed delivery, searching for Trevor...........

Friday, 16 August 2013

Standing room only

 Having spent early doors in sou'wester and wellingtons thanks to the torrential rain it was a nice surprise to see the sun was out early evening and as the forecast is for more downpours that will no doubt add to the temporary swimming pool in the workshop (the one that always appears when the rains hard enough, the frogs like it though) little t and I set out for a quick clockwise ascent of the bonsai mountain.
 Stopping to take in my favourite view on the English side of the border something was very different.
 Legend has it that the Whet stone on Hergest Ridge sprouts legs of a night time and walks down the hill for a drink, presumably non alcoholic as a drunk belligerent rock would be a nightmare. It would seem that this is the Whet Stones little brother (or sister, hard to tell with rocks) as it has appeared from nowhere. It is about the size of half a washing machine so its a big piece of rock, not liftupable by mortal men so how it got here as my new favourite standing stone is a mystery. I could solve it, it probably involves militia, farm machinery, ground clearance, and gravity but hey  lets not let facts spoil a good story.
 The weather was fine, so were the views
with hardly a cloud in the sky little t and I descended by the North Face Gully in time for tea and medals.