Monday, 5 July 2010


All is quiet. No movement around anywhere, including the campervan, sitting out back under the oak tree:

Ah, someone wakes up:

Tess. Foggy with sleep. Not best pleased with still being in her travelling vehicule. But here. Time to get her sorted:

Hubs is here too, after having driven her back from the Charente, six hours away, making a twelve hour round trip. And here he is undoing the electric fence wire which I had to clamber over last night to feed Max, who is at this moment eating his breakfast over the other side of the pen. 

Operation 'Get Tess Out Of The Van' begins. She is reluctant, still fazed from her recent road trip, but a pot of food under her nose is leading her forward.....

And down the make-shift wooden ramp, gingerly she shovels her way into her new life.

But Hubs rattles the pot of food, cooing and chatting to her, to encourage her forward. She comes.

And here she is. The bare patches along her back are from the scratching post in her pervious home. Tams like to rub themselves with a vigour which is quite alarming to behold. When  Max arrived and promptly took advantage of his hut by using that as his scratching post, we thought he would end up with no skin, such was his enthusiasm to have a scratch. But now he does this hardly at all. It might be because his wallow is quite deep so he is most times smothered in mud, dried or otherwise. Quite frankly this makes him look a mess, but he is living his life as he needs to live it, and if needs to have the pleasure of mud to cool his skin down, then so be it.  The sheep have their 'down between the thighs of my neighbour' habit, and also their coats of wool.  Max has his coat of mud, which, I think, also deters some of the biting insects, the dried mud acting as a barrier to the probe of the would be taker of the blood.

And Max is met. He is on the left. She is on the right. And she is big. So big, in fact, that she can go inside Max's hut and reposition it by lifting it on her back and re-siting it. Twice she has done this. The hut is very heavy. She is one strong girl. 

And the battle begins. Well, not 'battle' really, just Max showing Tess that he is The Man and this is His Patch. Round and round he chases her. But no malice, just the need for Max The Man to show her that he is the boss. 

And I fear that the campervan will never be quite the same again. But then we can't get it registered here anyway, so it may as well finish out its days as a workhorse. Who would have thought, when we first bought it ten years ago, back in the UK, that it would fetch up getting elderly on a small farm in France. Life is queer with its twists and turns, as no doubt the campervan said to itself as Tess looked out of its windows at the passing cars during her road trip.


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Not sure what happened to the first comment, you may have it, or it may be in outer space!!

I was just saying that I loved that sleepy eyed look out of the campavan. Glad they are making friends and I am now looking forward to the piglets:-)

Also I am interested to know why the campervan cannot be registered here if the lights are changed. Just quizzy! Diane

Vera said...

Diane:) I had trouble with answering your blog as well and I think you ended up with two responses from me. Ah well, not to worry. I loved that sleepy look from out the campervan as well, - it has become my favourite of her so far. As for the campervan: it can't be registered until all the gas and electric fittings have been changed at the very least which was going to cost over 1000 euros. Then there was the problem of the sliding door opening out on the wrong side. The lights were the least of the alterations to be done. If we had persevered no doubt we would have got through the paperwork, but we have too much else to do to plough money into a vehicle which at the end of the day may still not be accepted by the French system. Not to worry, it is a good service vehicle for farm use, and that is what we need her to be doing.

DUTA said...

Good Luck with the new addition! Tess and Max are going to make a nice pair.
I like the picture with your hubs and the pot of food. Very good capture of him in a a special posture!

Vera said...

Duta:) I think they will make a nice pair as well. I like the picture of Hubs as well, and am glad you posted the comment as I didn't have the nerve to! Oh.....he has just said that he was holding up his trousers! And we thought he was holding a photo-shoot pose!

Ken Devine said...

The family is growing and I should think fairly rapidly now. A lovely post Vera.

Vera said...

KEN:)This is what you wrote: The family is growing and I should think fairly rapidly now. A lovely post Vera.

For some reason your response did not register on this page, so I coped it in for you from the notification email I am sent. Thanks for visiting, and the way Max and Tess were snuggled up together in the wallow I thingk it is likely that our family will indeed grow!

Vera said...

Oh and blow me down, but your response has just popped up, Ken!!! There appear to be blips in cyber space at the moment!