Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Back to 'normal'

Back to normal, well as normal as I am ever going to be, living on a farm, in South West France, bless me.

Already this day I have chased the young white cockerel out of the veg plot, wherein he loves to spend the hours of his day, eating the ripening tomatoes, or half eating them, or just taking a peck or two out of the orange ones to see if they are ready for his pleasure yet. This does not please us. We have few enough tomatoes as it is, and we feel our angst rising up when we see the half pecked tomatoes, the half eaten ones, the nearly eaten ones, and the ones he has knocked to the ground. Not to worry. He is for the pot later on. If he lasts that long. Now  you might ask, 'why do you not fence the veg plot', and our answer to this is that some of it is fenced, but he squeezes through the wire because he is still but half grown. He may not get much bigger. 

And then there is Lissy and the milking saga. Every milking starts off alright, but then there is a battle when she calls a halt halfway through the process. This requires me to stand at her head to stop her from wandering away from Lester, who is down below with the bucket. It is difficult to stay at an udder when the owner of said udder has decided to go somewhere else. But I do not stand in her pen, I stand in Bonny's pen, which is the other side of the gate. 

I think Bonny has adopted me as a sort of surrogate mother. I am nuzzled, prodded, pushed, licked, and nibbled. It is delightful. Apart from her tongue, which is so rough that it nearly strips the skin from my arm. And apart from her teeth, which she likes to use to nibble on my elbows and knees. And also apart from the budding horns on her head, which indent my body when she is in nuzzling mode. The wet nose is alright though, most times. 

I am, however, free from such joys in regards to the goats. During milking it is Lester who is cozied up to, has his ears and the hairs on his arm nibbled, and sometimes his clothes, but not by me, I don't do this, well not during milking anyway, and only when I am not tired, which is not often these days, unless it is a quick little five minutes of cozying, which we actually do quite often, in a friendly way, almost as friendly as the goats are when they are being milked. 

We do not have any such shennanigans with the piglets although they do talk to us, but not when they are being taken away from their mum to go into their own paddock, because the two boys are getting bigger, and we don't want them doing things with their sister or their mum, although they are still too small to try anything naughty with either of them, but you never can tell. 

As for the wheelbarrow mentioned in the previous post: the main project at the moment is getting the sheep barn cleared of manure, the manure then being donated to the veg plot which is quite a considerable distance away. It is a ploddy job. It is a dusty job. It is an aromatic job. It is mucky. Still, after several marches to and fro the veg plot with the wheel barrow one sort of goes onto automatic pilot, after which the nose does not seem to mind so much the wafting odours. 

Signing off for now, 



rusty duck said...

I'll swop you your cockerel for my tomato nibbling mice..

Vera said...

Jessica, thanks, but no deal!

Niall & Antoinette said...

Coq au vin for canned for the winter springs to mind ....

Ohiofarmgirl said...

ah yes. the shoveling. i've determined to make small jobs of big jobs and are trying to do the shoveling bit by bit. sometimes it works but its still a lot of shoveling. and tromping along. and yes send that roo to the pot! keep up the great work!

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

You sound as if you do enjoy all the work on the farm despite it not always running smoothly and being hard work. You have done marvels since you first bought and lived in the caravan. Well done Diane