Saturday, 27 February 2010

8 Plus 4 Plus 1

Heads down, Hubs and me are tapping industriously away on our PC's, Bools in prime position infront of the fire, Gussy in secondary position behind him but comfortably reclined upon his bed.

Bedlam. Crashing out of the door go Bools and Gus. A commotion at the front gate ensues. 
Hubs goes to investigate. I follow more slowly, having become tangled up in my headphone wire. 

A man stands at the gate. Monsiour T. Firm hand shake. Seems OK. Conversation ensues. Hubs rattling off some French. Me not so ept. 
A date is set for the next day, at 7. 

7 the next day arrives. So does our neighbour Mr B. Plus his sister in law. Plus his daughter. Cake is requested, and small slices given out. me not having baked today and not wanting to tomorrow either, so the need for frugality in the donation of cake is a necessity.
Mr T arrives. Me busy entertaining, so off goes Hubs with Mr T. 
Makes a return, brim-full of enthusiasm. A date is set for the next day at 2. 

11 the next day sees us in the local Brico in search of clips and other fencey things, and espy a log burning fire.  End of season now and fires being shoved over to make room for gardening stuff like sit on mowers. Hubs looks at one sit-on with loving longing in his eyes remembering the huff and puff of last year's efforts at turning a lumpy field into a flat lawn which subsequently did unto death our ancient lawnmower although Hubs is hoping that it can be resurrected by the tender touch of a mender of lawnmowers. I think not. I remember Hubs stoicism in pushing that lawnmover over hillocks and dips which no lawnmower should ever have to deal with. 

So while he gazes at one bright red sit-on, I look in the opposite direction and espy the fire. It is a pretty thing. Just right for the office. It was cold the previous night, so winter is still hanging on. Hubs has also espied the fire. He is captured by the thought of the warmth it could ooze into us. 
It is bought.

1.30 arrives together with buckets of rain. 'Cancel' Hubs says. I say 'No, let's do it'.
2 arrives, as we are heading down country lanes.... 'I think it's this way' Hubs says, then reverses the car as he remembers it was t'other way. 

We arrive. Mr T welcomes us with a warm handshake. Leads us through his veg plot, all muddied and forlorn waiting to be tended after the recent weeks of neglect as most veggie plots are at this time of the year. Round to the right, and there are some empty rabbit cages which Hubs does a mental jig over. Money is mentioned. 'We've got some rabbit hutches' he says. 'Oh strooth', I think. Eating rabbit is not one of my 'must-do's in life. 

Then Hubs espies the pigeon pen. Inwardly I groan as I see his enthusiasm for another possible food table item. But Mr T is walking on, into the orchard, and pointing at this tree and that tree and the other tree over there. I feel smug because I had said to Hubs / Head Gardener that I wanted more plum trees when he decided to buy yet more apple trees 'Because the picture on the label looks interesting' he said. Quietly he issued instructions to buy more plums from the man in the market next week.  So, thankyou Mr T. I love plums.

Walking on. Round the corner of the hedge. Down aways past a pollytunnel, clambering up a large mound of soggy earth, and spend a few moments observing Mr T's new project which at this moment in time is  the hugest of square holes half filled with water which is going to be his carp pond beside which he can 'sit in the summer and watch the ducks while he and his friends fish for the carp', he said. Ah bless. 

We reverse our steps, slithering down the muddy slope, and now into the polly. And there they are. 8. Plus 4. Plus 1. 

Mr T instructs us to go back outside. And then they come. Past us they go. Into the field. 

Eight white sheep ladies, four baby sheeplings, and one manly sheep only I didn't get to see his manliness but Hubs said he had quite a big one. 

Back into the house. Coffee. Black. French. Could stand a spoon  in it. Delish. Cheque done. Bees mentioned in passing. Back outside we go. Into shed out front. Full of bee hives and other stuff. Mr T said not to worry about getting bees, just get a hive, put beeswax in it, citronella out front of it, and bees will come live there. Wow! Just like that! 

Handshakes all round. 

Projects to do: 
Keep digging up the docks in the side field. That's my job. 
Make a little house in middle of the field. That's the job of Hubs.
Keep talking to the grass in the side field, encouraging it to grow nice and high. Thats my job.
Because: when it has grown high enough, coming to live with us will be 8 lady sheep, 4 baby sheep plus possibly some more, and the dad of the baby sheep, and they will sleep in the little house which Hubs is going to build in the middle of the side field.

 And this is our new flock of sheep, purchased from Mr T, a retired policeman who used to gallop over the roads on his police motorcycle but is now the mayor of his village, who is going to spend his time not tending his sheep but gazing at the carp swimming in his pond. Well he will do when the mud settles in the pond and he sorts out the little stream running into it which provides the water from the bigger stream which he has to dam first. Bless. 

Things I have learnt: that you can go careful or you can leap when opportunities arise. 

We have sheep! 

And bless Mr T because he is going to look after them until we can feed them ourselves.

PS. Under orange alert for high winds with massive gusts. Possibly no sleep tonight!

Loads of hours later: Yep! No sleep while waiting for the worst, which didn't arrive! All of France had a horrendous time, but we must have been in the only relatively quiet place in the country! 




Ken Devine said...

Glad you got the fire Vera...a very wise choice. really are going for self sufficiency. Is there anything you haven't got?

Really nice read. I'm building up a mental picture of the place.

Ken Devine said...

Typed a comment and lost it!
A very nice read Vera. I'm building up a nice mental picture of the place.
Batten the windows (have you got any?) and pull down the hatches.

DUTA said...

Your post is written in mystery format; only close to the end of it ,do we know what it's all about. Well, only someone made up of writer's stuff like you can do it,

Good Luck with the new members of your family -the newly bought sheep from Mr. T the former policeman!

Vera said...

Ken, we have jammed shut all the window shutters (not having any actual windows), and wait in anticipation, last years hurricane still being etched in our minds.
Is there anything we haven't got? A proper loo. A shower. But we manage. And stay in faith that everything will work out OK. But sometimes it feels like we are jumping off a very high bridge!

Vera said...

Ah dearest Duta. Didn't intend to write in 'mystery format' - the words just arrive in my head! Thanks for the 'good luck', I think the sheep will need all the luck they can get to have me and Hubs looking after them!

Roz said...

Sheep! How exciting - this hasn't taken over from the tamworth project has it?
I look forward to hearing how you get on with them x

Vera said...

No, Roz, as well as! But sheep still with Mr T for the moment, as grass not long enough on the field. Gives us time to 'psych' ourselves into having them. 9 plus assorted babies is quite a flock to have as beginners!

Tommo said...

Best of luck with your sheep. They make great lawn mowers.

Land of shimp said...

Oh you shall be a shepherdess, Vera!! I have to confess, I had no clue what was going on for most of the post, and thought I'd missed something rather key...and kept going back to the beginning. Finally I decided to forge ahead. You'd pulled the wool over my eyes hadn't you? It was a sheep mystery all along.

I'm sure I've never had occasion to say that before in my life, but having said it, I've likely broken some key barrier and I'll be hip deep in sheep mysteries from here on out :-)