For this day of paddling in the mud my feet were more sensibly shod in boots that had been so kindly donated by a friend who had no further use for them since they were too small for her feet. She had been inspired to donate them because she had caught sight of me in my other boots which were falling apart, and by 'falling apart' I mean just that. There were more holes than boot but they had been good friends and had walked many a mile with me and I was loath to dispatch them to Boot Heaven, but to Boot Heaven they went once the new ones arrived, sent there by fire having been put on the heap of our last bonfire. It was a good end for those hard working boots. Better than dumping them in a bin bag.
It had rained a lot overnight. To do some more sloshing about in the Sheep Paddock was required. Not wanting to expose my toes to a mud bath again, the wellies were ignored in favour of the new boots. And they were new when they came to me but now they have been baptized in the Labartere manure-mud. They will never be the same again.
So this has been the ongoing Mud Project:
All that water would have ended up in the Sheep Arbre so at least it stayed outside. At the bottom of the wall to the right you can see my engineering attempts to stop the flow of water going through into the barn. All I did was dug a small trench, not very deep because I have lady-arms which comprise a goodly balance of fat and muscle, well rounded I suppose you would call them, but lacking the greater force of man-muscle. So the trench was more a scraping away of the top layer of soil, which was quite rock hard there being loads of stone in the ground.
But I managed about six inches deep of scrape along the wall, and made it about eight inches wide. I borrowed some plastic bin bags from the kitchen and lined the trench, then put some upturned roof tiles over them. Then I espied some useful wall bricks at the local Brico and made a line along the edge of the mini trench to act as a barrier to the water, sort of like a dam wall which I think was quite effective seeing as how I did manage to achieve quite a sizeable puddle the other side of the wall, and the floor of the arbre, although quite damp, was kept puddle free the straw managing to absorb whatever water did manage to seep through.
But I solved one problem only to have another one appear, which was that I involved the old used straw in my engineering project. OK when it was showery summer weather. Not OK once the winter rains came: straw + sheep poo and wee + copious amounts of rain = sopping wet slush.
Yesterday I had already made little streams in the manure-mud to get the water away, but it was not enough. More effort needed to be made, so boots on, everyone to the Sheep Arbre except Hubs who was reluctantly glued to his PC earning us a living, 'everyone' being dogs, chickens and geese most of whom remained on the grass outside the Sheep Paddock, them being the sensible ones, although several chickens did tiptoe over the mud very delicately to do a raid on the Sheep Arbre floor.
This hen has had her fill of sheep poo and is now evacuating the muckiness
With fork and spade and other implements I reformed the rivers I made yesterday, the sheep having collapsed the banks with their feet. It started raining. I carried on, shovelling the muck into the wheelbarrow, then wheeling it round to the new veg plots.
Gosh, but it was mucky work. It started raining harder. Hubs called out 'Come in now Vera, I've made tea for you'.
But I didn't want to go indoors.
Because I flippin well was enjoying myself!!!
Yes I was!
At nearly 65 years of age I seem to have developed a passion for messing about in the mud. Is this some frustrated urge that was not resolved when I was a child do you think? Was I denied the 'mud pie making' stage? And does this mean that I am reverting back to a child-like state of being again?
I very much hope so!!!!
And here is the 'harvest' of my efforts: