I haven't written much lately because nothing much has happened, well apart from a man asking to buy one of our lambs so now we have four lambs left out of the seventeen we had in February. And then there was another man who stopped by yesterday and asked to buy two adult sheep which he collected yesterday evening, turning up unexpectedly just as I was getting ready to set off to my French choir rehearsals which made me fret about arriving late which always makes me arrive strung up but not to worry because the rehearsal was enjoyable although the pressure is on now because we have two major concerts in the first two weeks of June, one of which is in Bayonne, and that requires staying over night with the members of the Bayonne choir so I hope I get to stay with someone nice but I hope they do not expect to stay here when the Bayonne choir returns here later on in the year as we don't have anywhere we could put them up apart from a tent in the field.
And there was the other lady who turned up today and asked if she could buy a lamb, so we said probably yes, and she is going to come back at the end of the week.
And then there was news from our roofer, Jean Pierre, to say that Danny, our builder, had met with an unfortunate accident whereby he fell three metres through a ceiling as it collapsed beneath him. The bad news is that our bathroom is now not going to be completed although it is probably half a day off finishing, but the good news is that Danny will live to see another day despite having a wound in the side wall of his chest from the wood floor boards tearing away at him. Ah well. Have managed with a flannel and bowl to wash in for nearly four years so can manage a few more weeks.
And then there was almost an accident at the airport. Having booked my flight to go back to the UK for a few days I had decided that there were things I needed to get a move on with before I left, one of them being to open a French bank account for myself. So was in the middle of doing that, bank account was no probs according to the nice French bank manager, but as he handed me back my passport after taking a photocopy of it a voice in my head said 'Have a look at the expiry date' and horror of horrors it was almost a year to the day out of date. Ooops. Can you imagine how awkward that would have been if I had been stood in a queue waiting to board the plane to the UK only to be denied being able to board because of the out of date passport. Worse still, the airport authorities in France not noticing, so off I would go to the UK, only to be refused exit from the UK when I wanted to return home. Crikey, but that would have been horrendous, so God bless that voice in my head for nudging me into looking at that passport. Have to delay the flight now, but no probs, just cost me an extra few euros, sixty to be exact.
And then there are the hens in the Middle Barn who have hatched out three chicks, one hen having one, the other hen having two. But somewhere in the night one of those chicks vanished, eaten by something or other, so that left two chicks. Because the hens are together those chicks have become confused by which is their right mum, and the hens have become equally confused. So the upshot of this is that the hens are sharing mum-duties and the chicks sort of hang about both of them. But those chicks are not going to survive. It is only a question of time before something gets to them. It is madness here at the moment. I think the wet weather has made hunting for food difficult for those creatures who are raising young. Never, in our four years of living here, has the pressure from local predators for food been so strong. Even Gussy, one of our spaniels, launched himself at a chicken for no apparent reason yesterday. Feathers flew everywhere so he must have got a mouthful of the hen. Now he is not a predator, but Bools, our other spaniel, and him seem to be unsettled, possibly because of the amount of scent trails they are finding about the place. Or perhaps they are feeling the surge of spring in their bones and they just feel like being naughty. Either way, Gus got a spanking for attacking the hen.
And then there was the deer who got herself trapped in the Main Field. Saw her running up and down, round and about, not able to find the way out. Couldn't help her so assumed she would eventually escape the same way she got in, wherever that was. Two days later and she was still trapped. Thought I ought to help her get out. Thought that if I took Bools and Gus into the field with me, that that might encourage her to get into such a panic that she would then take a leap over the fence, although it is very tall. With enthusiasm did Bools and Gus join me as we jumped the ditch to get into the field. Unfortunately the sheep were in the field as well.
As soon as they say me and the dogs they took it upon themselves to do a panic which then panicked the deer which then had the dogs joining in thinking it all a good game, which then had me yelling at them to come back because I didn't want the sheep overheated because it was a hot day and they have got very thick wool coats now because of the very cold February temperatures, even when walking about they are huffing and panting with the stress of the heat and they still have a few weeks to go before they are sheared. Anyway, Bools and Gus did not take any notice of me at all, so the deer darted off in front of the sheep, and the sheep darted off after the deer thinking that the deer was one of their gang rather than being of a different species. Fortunately, though, Gus did a right hand turn which separated the sheep from the deer, which encouraged the sheep to turn right, and then they all disappeared into the hedge copse, no doubt to cool down.
By this time the deer was totally freaked out, took a sharp left turn, raced towards the fence, going to jump....but no, she didn't. What she did was jumped in to the fence head first. Through her head went. The rest of her stayed in the field. With legs going this away and thataway she set up a fierce struggle with that fence. The fence stayed put and did not give way. By now Gussy was yards away from her. I, fearing that he would bite her, was yelling at him to come back to me. Gussy, being Gussy, deaf headed me. Carried on. Strooth. All I could do was try to pick up my pace so I could get to the fence to help the deer. Not sure how I was going to do that. Those legs of hers were kicking about all over the place. Gussy was nearly on her. I yelled even louder at him the word 'NO'. And then....wow....she was through, and bouncing through our neighbours field at great speed, wanting to get as far away from us as possible. By now I had almost reached the fence. The hole she got her body through was no bigger than a dinner plate. Having a Gussy dog up your bum must have done the trick, gave her enough of a spurt to push the wire open enough to squeeze through.
And then there is Lester trying to get another pig pen made because Max, our Tamworth boar, needs to be moved so that the two paddocks which are side by side can be the domain of the two girls and the two piglets. He is doing well, has cemented in umpteen poles, with umpteen left to go. Max, meanwhile, has taken to roaring his displeasure at not being able to bully anyone now he is on his own. Meanwhile, I am trying to get the veg seeds planted. Now here is a funny thing. When the seeds were not planted I raged against the unending rain which prevented me from getting outside. This has reversed now I have got some of the seeds in the ground. Now I search the skies in the hope that we will have a shower or two!
So no, there is not much happening here in SW France at the moment.
Blessings to little Eva, born to my son Shaun and his wife Christina. Love you both. xx Will try to get my passport sorted out assap. Looking forward to seeing you soon.