Thursday, 22 March 2012

A man, he came a-calling....

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!

15 comments:

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

Great news about the plumber, what major changes, you will not know what has happened to you :)
There is nothing worse than meeting a person that you take an instant dislike to. Generally women have a much stronger feeling about this than men I think. The only consolation is that he wants the female for breeding with his ram so maybe it will have a better home than you think!
You are lucky you can watch YouTube, our connection is too slow videos are a no no!! :(
Diane

Jean said...

What an awful dilemma.
I would not have let this man have any of my lambs either. If someone looks like they care about animals it would be different - they may turn out to be nasty people but you can sleep easy in your bed if you feel confident about them. But to let one of your cherished lambs to go to someone who looks mean and nasty to begin with......although I'm sure there are as many caring people in farming as there are heartless ones and you can't save the world's animals all by yourself.
A difficult decision.
I suppose it's things like this that bring people to vegetarianism, which I could never be. Rearing, caring for and eating your own animals must be wonderful, to be able to control their quality of life and they way they are despatched from it.

Vera said...

Jean, it is a dilemma, but writing a blog about it has sort of evacuated the worry from my mind! All we can do is do our best for our animals here, and when we have to sell on any extra animals, then I shall have to pass on the responsibility of looking after that animal to the new owner. Thanks for your input on this.

Vera said...

Diane, thank you for highlighting the fact that the dark man wants the ewe for breeding, so she might perhaps be able to live a decent life. Oh, no YouTube! But do you have TV?

John Gray said...

So....what to do. This man, this man was a dark man. Inside he was dark. There was no light in his eyes

I found this phrase truly chilling!

Vera said...

John, I found him chilling as well. He looked like someone who would be associated with old ways. You would not want to mess with this man. I shall have to work at sending him some blessings to lighten him up. Perhaps that is why the Universe sent him here!

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

Vera we do have TV, but not many programmes worth watching. If we could afford to have Sky (which is officially illegal here anyway) I might bother to watch it. I love sport and can't watch any of that. Sport is really the only thing that we both like, other than that I just do not bother and Nigel watches what he wants to!!
The French TV is completely over my head!! Diane

Nezzy said...

Woohoo!!! Sounds like some real plumbin' progress has been made!!!

Yep, we women have that strong inner voice and need to heed to it!

You have yourself an awesomely blessed weekend sweetie!!! :o)

Vera said...

Nezzie, that strong inner voice sometimes get drowned in a sea of day-time doings so is hard to hear sometimes! Ah well, love being a woman nevertheless!
Wishing you great weekend as well...

Vera said...

Diane, I think Lester would like to have TV, but only sometimes when he is very tired. But we had dreadful TV-watching habits in the UK and do not want to slip back into that same pattern of behaviour. But Lester does watch French TV on his PC. That, I think, could be quite valuable in helping to learn the language so I might get him to put the same product on my PC as well. Wishing you a lovely weekend....

DUTA said...

I'm also 'naturally inquisitive'. Now, you've made me curious about Margolete and Danny.

Congratulations on the vast plumbing work done in your house! That is real progress.

As for your dilemma - it sounds like the kind of man that is capable of taking the lamb, whether you sell it to him or not.

Vera said...

Duta, me too! I would like to know what is going on between Danny and Margolete! As for that man, you are right. I think that he is a man that once he makes his mind up about something then he will get what he wants. Will be glad when he has come and gone next week.

Niall & Antoinette said...

Wow all that plumbing in one go! I bet you'll revel in it :-)

Humm the dark man ....not too sure I'd give him one of my lambs either; but if he's after breeding stock he'd be stupid not to take care of her[at least one would hope so].

Impressive rotavating by mum piggy BTW.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Diane - you should consider freeview. We have a double headed receiver on our dish. One head for freeview; other for the basic French canalsat. BTW you can use the yellow button on your French remote to get some programmes in [original]English: House and such-like

Vera said...

Antoinette, we are also hoping that he will take care of the young ewe, after all she will not breed if she is not happy. Plumbing is good to have around - going to and fro a cold water tap does get a bit wearing after nearly four years of doing so!

Have forwarded your message for Diane on to her.