He was tall. Swarthy. Thick set. With dark, not-very-clean-looking, slicked back hair. Looked like he could have something nasty stashed away in his pockets. Like a pistol, .... or something.
The plumbers were here today. Hooray!!! And Hooray again!!! They have been fitting the water system in: boiler thingy, pipes into shower (Hooray number 3!!!), loo flushing water (Hooray number 4!!!!), water into the sink (Hooray number 5!!!). They have also fitted a temporary washing up sink in to the eventual kitchen. (mini Hooray 5 1/2) Busy they have been.
Danny, our builder, and Margolete (or somesuch name) were here as well. Megga Hoorays!!!! Margolete is a young lady. Pretty and perky. She helps with laying tiles. Not sure if she is helping out in other things as well. She is not his wife. His wife has also helped him with laying tiles. There is not so much laughter when she has been here. There were light twitterings when Margolete is here though. Unfortunately my lack of French does not allow me to investigate further what is the actuality of the situation. I have a natural investigative nature when it comes to such things. Call it nosy-ness if you like. I would prefer say that I am naturally inquisitive.
It has been raining hard all the day long today. No veg plot digging then. Supposed to catch up with indoor work, but five people here today working on the house. When we have such people here I find my space invaded and I can't get on with my work in the house. I like to keep out of the way. Let them get on with what they have to do without tripping over me. In the end I spend the day on my computer, doing some tasks related to my work, then finding a film to watch on YouTube. We do not have a TV, but sometimes the old habits relating to our life in the UK drift back to the surface. Hubs finds films to watch elsewhere on the Internet, me, well YouTube is good enough for me, and I have watched loads of films over the winter. I watched, amongst others, : The Missionary (Michael Palin), Sunshine (Ralph Fiennes. I saw his male appendage in this. Several times actually. Not sure if I will ever see Ralph in the same light again.), The Long Good Friday (Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren), Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Michael Caine), and last night's viewing was Scandal (John Hurt) and was about the Christene Keeler affair with Profumo. All riveting vintage stuff.
Ah, but I digress. It was this afternoon. A car hooted out on the Front Drive, insistantly demanding attention. Hubs was busy so I went to investigate. Three plumbers and Margolete were outside. The dogs were charging out to the car out on the drive, barking furiously in the manner of dogs liking to think they are guard duty. This worries me. Bools is well mannered, but Gus has a devil lurking deep inside him, and while he looks a teddy bear of a dog and therefore encourages cuddles and fusses to be made of him, if that devil decides to wake up then that teddy bear can turn in a snapping horror of a dog.
Anyways......with me yelling at the dogs, and the dogs barking and peeing up the wheels of the car (they like to do this....all cars get their wheels pee-ed on.) ...well, out got this big, dark, man. No handshake. No smile. Just a string of words which I could not recognise although 'vendre' I did. So....he was either selling something, or wanting to buy something. Nothing for it...Hubs was needed, even if he was in the middle of another conference call to the UK.
Lambs. It was the lambs he wanted to buy. One. To go with his ram. So one black ewe lamb was what he wanted.
We have to reduce the numbers of lambs and adult ewes if we are going to have goats here eventually. I know this. And here I am hitting a wall. I am perfectly OK with having animals here for our own consumption, but the thought of selling them on to whoever comes a-calling for them, not knowing what their welfare will be, how their end will be, well that is putting a big wall up in me. Maybe it is because I am a mother myself, and have had years of being concerned for my offspring now they are off into their own lives. Perhaps that is making me more sensitive, more concerned.
So....what to do. This man, this man was a dark man. Inside he was dark. There was no light in his eyes. He wants one of our lambs. Some of them are being weaned from their mums now. They are healthy, strong, plump lambs. I would prefer that they stay here and that they eventually go into our freezer, then they will have had a happy life. But to send one out into the world, into this dark man's world, ..........
Hubs did not have the time to spend with him, the conference call having a more urgent priority. As it was left then, ...that man is coming back one evening next week. I said that he ought to see the lambs when they are brought into the Paddock for the night, so he can choose one. He took it that he is actually going to collect a lamb.
What to do...... grit my teeth I suppose. But one thing is for sure...... I do not have the mindset for being a producer of animals to sell. I can 'do' animals here for us to eat, but not to raise them and then sell them on. I could even 'do' selling on the meat rather than the animal.
So yet another learning curve. Learning to be a smallholder is most certainly pulling out of us all sorts of learnings.
And the dark man will be back next week, oozing menace although probably is quite nice once you get to know him. One can only hope that that is so!