Saturday, 19 September 2009

The rain arrives and so does Gus

So last night a phone from Jonathen: "Are you still looking for a spaniel friend for Bools?" he said.
I handed the phone over to Head Man Hubs. This was a follow on conversation that the two of them had been having recently while J worked on the halfbarn.

The rains have come. The summer is now done. Farmer Foch, the farmer who has been farming our fields and who Head Gardener Hubs wants off the fields because "This is my land and I want to farm it myself", called the other day. He has been asked to plough the two fields and then sow them with grass.

Since we don't really do French, and Farmer Foch doesn't really do English, well let's just say that wires can get crossed! Hence HG Hubs fetching up red faced with frustration, and Farmer Foch kind of cross eyed with trying to make himself understood.

And, yet again, God bless the Internet. Onto Babel Translation HG and Farmer Foch went. Ah. An even redder faced HG. For it transpired that Farmer Foch was saying that because we have had no rain since April, it is not advisable to put grass seed down because it won't have enough time to flourish before next summer arrives. Therefore, a 'meanwhile' idea from Farmer Foch: "Why don't I plant another winter cereal crop in December. Then we can have a go at getting the grass planted this time next year." He went on, "But if it rains in the next three weeks, then we might get the grass in this year". What he meant was: Can I use your fields for another nine months? Lets not do the grass because that won't make me any money. Or at least, that is what HG thought he meant.

So: a conundrum: pray for rain so we can get the grass growing which means we can get the animals who will eat the grass in two years time. Or pray for no rain so the roof can be put on. Delays with that, yet again, as the wood is delayed because the mill is still getting over the August holiday shut down and there is a back log which was supposed to have been cleared but hasn't. We have managed most of last week with no rain. Some roof-work done, and a grand plan made because left and right hand internal walls didn't meet in the centre of the house properly. Thursday. Friday. Sunny weather. No wood arrived. So no builders did either.

Friday afternoon, the weather turned. Down came the rain, and we knew the rainy season had probably started. And at night-fall, as the rain exhuberantly kept us company, Gus arrived.

Living in caravans is not an extremely roomy experience. OK when the sun shines because then all the outside becomes available as extra living accomodation. But not when it rains. It was raining with Gus arrived. Gus is a cocker spaniel boy-dog of two years old. And he is homeless. Jonathen found out about him, remembered the chat with HG, and brought him to us.

Bools is a boy dog. 1 boy dog + 1 boy dog = doggy scraps. So Gus has to stay in a kennel in the office while we wait for the rain to ease, so the two of them can be allowed to get to know each other in the more open space of the courtyard. There is no room in either of the two caravans for two boy dogs to get to know each other. Bedlam would result if it was even tried.

Message from Gus: (Translated from the French because Gus us a French cocker spaniel).
"Bonjour. I would like to say hello to you, but I am put in this cage-thing, and I don't like it. I keep on trying to tell Him and Her that I don't like it, but all they do is make strange sounds at me which I don't understand. Her and Him left me in this room last night (The Hut/Office) and I called and called out to them to come and fetch me but they didn't. So I chewed up my bed instead. Her has taken me out today. Went with Big Dog (Bools) who keeps bullying me. Big Dog could run all over the place. I had to stay tied to Her. Still, I did get into the ditches, would have chased a little creature (mouse?) if I had been able to, and went into the river for a swim. Then I was put back into that cagey-thing. Which I hate. So I said so, but Her didn't seem to care. Him came in ages afterwards. Dried me off. Gave me a nice lovies. So I said thankyou and can I come out now? But Him said no. So I sat and shivered to make them feel sorry for me. I am still in this cagey-thing, but I am all toasty-warm because Him has put the fire on for me. So I am going to try 'fluffy dog cute' to see if that gets me some attention. I will smile into a photo for you next time. But I don't want to say hello to you while I am still in this cagey-thing. Au revoir!"

Things I have learnt today: that when the Universe decides to send you an animal to look after, just say 'thankyou' even if the arrival of that animal couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time.

So now the roof could be delayed although the half barn work continues on at a goodly pace, but the grass might be planted if Farmer Foch decides to oblige and it continues to rain. And we have a new addition to our menagerie, which is a gorgeous cocker spaniel who hopefully has found a new home with us, which might be up for debate if he bites Lester's hand again, which he has just done! Another Oooooops, I think!


Ron said...

I'm praying for you, Vera! Good luck with the roof, I hope it gets done soon. I've been tracking your progress.

I absolutely love how you used an internet tranaslation site to talk to Mr. Frenchy! LOL, awesome!
Have a great weekend!

Vera said...

Thanks Ron. Hope your weekend is chilled out and restful as well.

DUTA said...

The monologue of the cocker spaniel is hillarious. Hope he gets better living conditions soon.

A lot in our lives depends on rain or no rain, especially on farms. May God send you rain whenever you need it most!

Land of shimp said...

Hello, Vera! I'm sorry I wasn't able to find time to return the favor of stopping by until now. Saturday mornings, a cup of coffee, time to tour some blogs!

What a lovely one you have. Of course, as I'm sure you've heard before, my first thought upon reading of your struggles to communicate efficiently with the farmer was, "Oh, yes, of course. It's like A Year in Provence!" A comparison I'm sure you're rather sick of hearing, so I apologize for making it. It is just honestly what my mind conjured.

On the upside of the rain/no rain conundrum at least there would be benefit to either. A win/win situation (or lose/lose depending on your glass is half full/glass is half empty leanings).

Welcome to Gus, and I agree, make room in your life when the Universe knocks. We had the same sort of situation a year after one of our dogs had needed to be put down following a freakishly young instance of radical lymphoma. We still considered ourselves too sad to take on another dog when a friend called about a rescue dog she had. I refused three times and finally she called saying, "Listen, this is your dog. I know it. Just agree to meet him, and if you don't know that too? I swear I'll leave you alone."

We were in the middle of building an addition to our home, we had no yard. None. Our other, very well behaved terrier was easy to manage without one. Wanting to be left alone on the issue, I agreed to meet the dog, sure that I would stand firm.

He was my dog, and remained so until the day he died. Oh what a six months we had waiting for construction to finish! Boy dog plus boy dog does equal scrapes. Terrier plus terrier, regardless of gender, also equals skirmishes.

Just a long way of saying, "Wow, do I ever feel you on this one." Best wishes with Gus, and before you know it, you won't be able to remember a time he wasn't your dog.

I'm off to read more posts. Take care!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't that August shut down drive you mad?

Hope happy ending and no punch ups re dogs,


Vera said...

Duta, sorry to be slow in getting back to you, but have been busy with dogs, and husbands, and roofers, and mopping up. You are right about the rain, we did need it, but the arrival of the rain plus Gus at the same time made things a tad on the difficult side here!

Vera said...

Hi, Land of Shimp. Again, apologies for being slow in returning a response. I've never read 'A Year in Provence' but I guess that anyone living in France would have similar probs.
Gus, our new arrival, has already entrenched himself in our hearts, just like your terrier did for you. He has bonded with my husband, and since our original spaniel is my shadow, that sort of equals out the equation. It has stopped raining now, so at least we can get them out of the small spaces we are living in at the moment. The arrival of Gus coincided with the arrival of rain, the first we have had for four months. But both were much needed. The rain has brought a freshness to the land, and Gus had brought a freshness to our lives.
Nice to have you visit, and thanks for leaving a post.

Vera said...

Not Waving but Drowning: Hi, and thanks for popping in. The August shut down wasn't too bad, it was just that the roof of the house got slowed up. But I have accepted that French ways and English ways are different, so try to be patient when these differences come to the fore, and that includes the French way of looking at life. Sometimes, though, my patience is stretched, as I am sure yours is.
Dogs are still squabbling, and probably will be for a while yet! Bye for now.