Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Howlings, freezings, and it's not so bad....

There's nothing quite like being suddenly woken up in the middle of the night by two rottweiller girls, with very loud voices, howling as if all hell had been let loose.   

Why did they make such a din? 
Was it because they wanted to go outside for wees and poos? No. Standing outside in minus 3 temperatures with hardly anything on, watching the girls watching me to see what the hell I was doing outside in the dark, in the cold, and then the girls turning round and going back to bed because they were getting chilled, leaving me outside to get cross at them. The most smallest of tiddles would have been worth being woken up for, and might have spared me some angst. To have them look at me as if I was daft to have got them out of their warm beds was not pleasing to my humour.
Was it because they had had a nightmare? Do dogs dream? Well they do, because their eyes twitch, and their noses move about, as do their legs, and they do little woofs, not great big howls. So, no, not a dream.
Was it because they were being put into a fright by something or other? No, because they are developing 'I am big and fierce and not afraid' barks, these often being done just before they turn and run off in the opposite direction to the offending frightener, and have never stopped first to have a howl.

Why was it, then, that both of them punched out these hellish howls? 
Easy really. Because they could!

Just off to see if we have a stiffo goat in the side field. With the main field still being blocked by water, all the gang have to graze out in the side field. No probs. Except that Blackie, one of our goats, has been going through a ' being awkward' stage and will not come in at night, unless she is allowed to come through the field gate free of all encumbrances, such as being put on a lead, so that she can eat here, eat there, have a little jaunt around the place, and then finally, when she is ready, allow herself to be shooed into the pen with the other goats. 

So last night, she was offered the choice, several times, to come onto the rope or be left in the field. Her awkwardness persisted. She was left in the field overnight.

It was the coldest night here so far. She must have shivered. Perhaps her needing to be awkward will have disappeared away. Perhaps.

But for all of the winters we have experienced so far, we are less cold than what we have been. We could put the electric fires on of course, but there is a lack of effort on our parts to so do, and instead, we continue to pile on the layers of clothing. I will think of myself as being cold when all the layers are done. So far, it is socks, thermal longjohns, wincyette petticoat, thick corduroy skirt, thermal vest, another thermal vest, a t-shirt, a sleeveless top, a fleece jumper, a knitted cardi, a crocheted blanket, and sometimes a crocheted hat. Oh, and a pinafore somewhere in that lot. 

And I think of you experiencing much colder weather, and snow, and think to myself that it is not so bad here, and count my blessings. It is easy to get down in the dumps when the body feels chilled. But we are managing better than in previous winters, and will hardly be able to cope, I think, when the Rayburn stove goes in for next winter. 

So why not get the stove in for this winter? Because work from the UK, via the internet, has come in for Lester so he is occupied at his computer, and I am busy with my writing and website re-development on my computer. It is hard juggling the time needed to work on the house, work on the computers, and work on the farm. But then there are many of you who are also having to make this juggle, and it helps me to be patient my juggling knowing that you are also having to do a fair bit of juggling yourselves. It is always nice to know that one is not the only one. 

But I delay. Grass needs scything for the pigs (which will be easy this morning because the grass will be frozen stiff), dogs needs getting out (so they can have a romp), Lester needs someone to hover around him while he freezes his fingers, and probably everything else, as he milks Lissie, (just to help him stay cheerful), and I need to have a word with Blackie about it being unwise to carry on in such an unhelpful manner. Hopefully she will not be lying on her back with her legs pointing skywards and frozen stiff.

I hope you have a really lovely day.


Ohiofarmgirl said...

when the dog barks/howls at "nothing":

hee hee hee hee hee
we always figure its something we cant hear. ;-)

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

I gather there was a little snow in the village up the hill this morning, certainly our bird bath was frozen solid!
I really hate winter and cold regardless of how much clothes I have on. We are just praying that the roads will all be passable and that we do not get stranded in the UK. We leave this Friday to go and I want to get back to France as soon as Christmas is over.
Keep warm, glad Lester has some work to do, it all helps. Diane

Vera said...

Ohiofarmgirl, it is un-nerving when dogs bark at 'nothing', and howling is even worse! Hope you are keeping warm.

Diane, hope you travel to the UK safely and that you have a lovely Christmas.

Horst in Edmonton said...

Hi Vera, is it possible that the dogs are howling in the night because they hear sirens or another dog howling. That's what normally happens here when dogs howl. The dogs have way better hearing than we do so they may be hearing things that we don't. Keep warm.

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

I was lamenting the fact that we would not be in France this Christmas, but after reading this post my feelings have changed. It frequently gets to - 20 deg C in our corner of France and we have yet to renovate the fireplaces and call in the chimney sweep!
Warm wishes

Vera said...

Horst, didn't think of that!

Elizabeth, we are down in SW France, near to the Pyrenees, so our temperatures tend to zoom up and down because we are near to the mountains which can make us very cold overnight. But we are also on the same parallel as the Mediterranean, so during the day we can get quite warm, even in winter. We have crazy weather here! But -20! Crikey, but that's cold.
We lived in a caravan and gazebo the first winter we were here. That got us acquainted with the cold. And we still don't have any fires here, apart from two small electric heaters, so we just wrap up with loads of clothes. It is very healthy!