Thursday 31 January 2013

Saturday 26 January 2013

Dozing pups, etc

For some reason Elise, our young heifer, decided to try to mount me yesterday. It was quite something to suddenly feel her hot breath on my cheek and feel the rest of her following on. I quickly side stepped, so she missed her target. After that she took it upon herself to have a go at mounting the ram. Both of them ended up having a head to head barging session, but it was half hearted and without malice.

Meanwhile, Blue and Maz, our two rottweiller puppies, have discovered that they can get up the step into the Tall Barn, in which can be found the living quarters of the goats and Elise, in particular the humungous piles of cow poo. I am not sure why our animals seem to like each others poo, apart from the sheep who hold a particular fastidiousness towards what they will eat, or rather, where they will eat it. We have a problem at the moment with grazing because there is still a lake lying across the field gate entrance to the Home Field and we can't get them on to that field to graze, so at the moment they have to stay across the lane on Station Field during the day. This they don't mind, although the grazing is getting very lean. However, the Paddock in which they rest up for the night does have grazing, which they will not eat at all. We often have to mow that grass to keep it down. Sheep, it would seem, can be fickle. 

To support the grazing we are scything fresh grass from elsewhere on the smallholding, and then taking it to the field. We have become a fan of scythes, they are not noisy, are good exercise, and the swishing sound as the blade cuts the grass is satisfying to the mind, as is the rhythm of the scything action such that I am able to remain oblivious to the stares of passing motorists. The goats will eat the cut grass, as will Elise, perhaps the sheep will, perhaps they won't, perhaps they will just stand and moan about 'there not being not sufficient grazing and why don't you give us the maize, we could live on that all the time'. 
'Well, no, you couldn't sheepies, because you can't properly digest the maize, and it ends up in your poo, which the birds or chickens will then eat depending on who gets to the poo first.'


The water is still running swift and deep in the river, and has eaten a chunk of our land in the far paddock of Home Field. Since we can't do anything about this force of nature, we are trying to adopt an attitude of 'what will be will be', and that as long as we have at least five acres left then we can still feed ourselves and anyone else who stays with us. This is an exaggeration. We would probably be left with about ten out of the thirteen we have at the moment. 

I must try not to build a negative energy in the area of that erosion. It is one of the prettiest places here and overlooks the convergence of the Adour and the much smaller river Louet. On clear days the Pyrenees can be seen, and sometimes even otters. I must try to concentrate on the peaceful prettiness, and not keep thinking 'Oh damn, that ****** river is taking away our land', so that each time I approach that area I walk  back into   good thoughts rather than thoughts of a stressful nature. I think I shall have to work on this, because I built quite a high level of negative energy there when I was scything in that field last summer. I kept walking towards the edge of our land, seeing if the river had  nibbled away another chunk, which was making me more and more irritated with the river, thus robbing me of my joy about living alongside it. 

Message to self: Go down to the far paddock of the Home Field, and make friends with that area again. Look at the erosion, and see it as nature continuing its re-landscaping of the land, which it has always done, and will continue to do so when you have departed this world, because if you don't, then you will spoil your enjoyment of such a wonderful place to be living in. 


There is nothing like holding two snoozing puppies on one's lap, knowing full well that in a few weeks time they are not going to fit on one's lap any more. 
- Trying to be patient with pee and poo training. Oh why is it that one can stand outside in the cold for ages, waiting for the puppies to do their business instead of which they prefer to go on mini adventures and explorations, then as soon as they get back into the kitchen they realise that they need to squat. 
- Trying to be patient with Gussy, who does fiercesome growls whenever those puppies are within half a metre of him. He is a rescue dog, is very pretty to look at, but has a corner of his heart which is black. He has taught me to be wary of dogs. I am having to unlearn this wariness with Maz and Blue. 
- Using absolute bribery to get Maz and Blue to do the right things according to the rules of the house. Also getting Bools and Gus to remember those rules. 
- It is easier to get two puppies to learn the rules than one. 
- Time slips by when one has puppies. It is the rompiness of them, the naughtiness of them, the sweetness of them, which seduces one away from other things which need doing.

There is nothing like watching two sleeping puppies to send one off in to a doze as well!

Thursday 24 January 2013

Nearly gone!

Need to rethink the positioning of the new pig pen and hut, the temporary hut nearly going under water when the river became too full. Now going to enlarge the small veg plot and join it up to the existing pens to make an L-shape overall. Still keeping the drowned pig pen where it is, but to make a walkway over the path between that and the ex veg plot / pig pen. This will give Max, our Tamworth boar, at least two areas to wander about in. On the other side of the two existing pens there will be access on to half the total size of the big veg plot area, so that the girls can have space to move about in, as well as digging the ground up for us. We were going to put the pigs down in the woodland, but we can't afford the fencing at the moment, so that plan has to wait. 

 The chicken hut was going to go by the pig pen near the woods, but that would also have become drowned should we have built it there, so the new plan is to convert The Hut back to its original use. The Hut (the small building on the left of the porchway, this is on our first day of being here, and much tidier it looked then as well!) was first a storage space for stuff. Originally it has been the chicken hut for Labartere.

....then we converted it into an office...

.....then we moved into the house, and The Hut was used to house piglets for a few days...

...then used as a wood shed....

....and is now the night time stopover for the geese, and a temporary hay shed. 

So now the chickens are to have it back, with a walkway going from the upper side window, over the wall, and down out onto the side drive, thus removing them from the courtyard. 

The courtyard will then be tidied up, wahoooooooo!!!!!!!, and a garden made, wahooooooo!!!!! again. We so need to have a better space outside the front door, and although it looks quite impressive to visitors when the chickens and geese are all clustered together in the Courtyard at feeding times, the wear and tear on that area does make for a general crappy mess. We might also feel inspired to get rid of some of the building detritus as well. 

Thank goodness the river overspilled when it did. So why did it become brim full? Continuous rain on the already fallen snow in the Pyrenees produced avalanches and a sudden and massive Spring melt which started coming down the rivers. This was joined by drainage water from the sodden land, especially from the hills near us which had been suffering from days and days of heavy rain. So all the water joined  up into a huge flurry, and gracious me but it was indeed a 'huge flurry'. 

Apparently this really rarely happens, the 1950's being given as the last time the river was so fierce. Not to worry, we know how high the water can come, and how close to the house it is likely to reach. Like all our neighbours we shall ever after be aware of the possibility of inundation from the river and take necessary precautions in the future. And over time the image of that water glinting so close to the house in the middle of the night will recede into memory. 

Things I have learnt:
- that it must be truly dreadful to have water come into your home, whether be by burst water pipes, a collapsing roof, or an influx of river water. 
- that if that happened, you have to pick yourself up and get started all over again.
- that living near a river means risk, but that all life carries risk, that that is the way of life. 
- that our house is built on a mound, the original builders having been fully aware of the temperament of the river at a time when the river would not have been so well managed, therefore it really has only minimal risk of flooding. Will have to work on this one. 
- not to get cross at the managers of the river when they send men in their diggers to take away the shingle bank in the middle of the river. To understand that this shingle bank acts as a brake on the river flow, thus encouraging the water to back stop, the end effect being a flood.  The shingle bank is very attractive in the summer, but it has to be removed periodically when it gets too high, and not to get tetchy with the men for doing so, like I did last time, which was three years ago. 

- that I am building a respect for nature. That we, as human beings, are only fragile little things when nature is roaring away at full force. This is a good thing to learn. Makes one less arrogant.
- that all the animals stayed dry, and that we would have got wet before they did, should the water have got any higher. 
- that experiencing natural forces can shake your confidence in your own powers of survival. This is not a bad thing. Humility is good. Makes one respect other living beings as well. 
- that this was not a catastrophe at all, nor was it ever going to be. The house is built on a hillock, therefore the water would have only been a dribble should it have got nearer to the house, and since we are the highest house around here, then others would have had greater trouble than us. Will need to work on this one.
- that it is unfortunate that for years I have had 'water- based' dreams, during which water rushes towards me or flows around me in various scenarios. That they had nothing to do with the actual water approaching us, but to do with stress. Will need to work on this one too.
- that having things to 'work on' is good for the soul. After all, it is better to be a wiser older person, who has acceptance of the way of life such that in their heart and soul there is happiness and contentment, rather than a miserable 'oh woe is me' type of person who has only misery and darkness in their heart. 
- that on the whole, the river experience was a good thing to have. Perhaps will need to work on that one a little bit as well!

Tuesday 22 January 2013



.....well the river got into a raging torrent, tumbled itself through our woods, 
blocked up the ditches, flowed onto the land....

...... and started to make ever such a big pond. 

There is nothing quite like taking two puppies outside for their last pee and poos, and in the dark seeing the glint of water a meter away from the house. 
It was 11 in the evening. 
I put a marker down by the water's edge,
put the puppies back in their kennels,
didn't want to worry Lester, 
so just said to him in a very quiet voice,
 'I think you need to come and have a look'.

There is nothing quite like seeing evidence that the water was still on the march,
the marker now floating away.

So we put on our gear and set to work. 
Block bricks and sand we hauled from out on the front drive, 
not that it would have made any difference,
if the water was going to come in, then it was going to come in anyway,
but still we felt the need to block the back gateway as best we could.

It started raining. 
The water was half an hour away from the house.
Nothing we could do. 
In my head I could see water where there was none, 
so knew I would not sleep, 
and periodically checked on the rising water, 
but in the early hours it stopped, 
then starting gradually sinking back down.

In the scheme of things we got off lightly. 
Our house stayed dry, the water did not stay, all is well. 

Monday 21 January 2013


We don't think that we shall sleep much tonight. We think that we shall be up every few minutes checking to see if the water has reached the courtyard. There is a lot of water everywhere. 

Sunday 20 January 2013

Puppies! Water!

Sometimes the puppies are quiet, sometimes not. Sometimes they are naughty, sometimes not. 

Sometimes they are bold, especially when Bools is around. Bools is not sure of the two girls though, especially when they decide to romp over him when he is in his bed. This particularly applies to early in the morning, as he is not an early riser. Gus has abandoned the kitchen altogether because he can't handle the girls at all, and would prefer not to see them, nor to have anything to do with them at all. There is much room for improvement between them and Gus at the moment. 

Lester is besotted, as I am. They have given an injection of energy into the home, despite the puddles and poos which are to be found only after one has stepped into the wetness or sludge. Not to worry, when it stops raining we will start potty training them in earnest. 

Oh and the water! Well there is always a plus side to any situation, so although the sheep can't get onto the Main Field because of this newly formed lake, at the least the field is having a rest, which enables the grass to put on some growth which the sheep can then eat when it is dry enough for them to be put back on that field. And the geese! Crikey, they are having a grand time! 

Sooner or later the rain will stop, and then everything will return to 'normal'. 

And here a few vids for you to look at if you have time. I hope the definition on the vids is OK, only I think the camera I am using is starting to get worn out, so at some point I think we will have to find a few pennies to replace it. Anyway, hope you enjoy the vids:

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Come inside and have a look round....

I thought you might like to have a look inside the house.......

We are under Red Alert today for winds. Brings back memories of the last Red Alert when a hurricane descended on us on 24th January 2009. We were living in a caravan at the time, and we really got smashed up in more ways than one. The Red Alert is for avalanches as well. Since we live in the flatlands at the foot of the Pyrenees I don't think we need worry about having a ton of snow dumped on our heads. 

Some of the fields are flooded, but not too much, and the loo is not emptying properly because the ground is saturated which is stopping the fosse from working efficiently. The puppies did four hours of early morning hooliganism before they collapsed in a heap. They are now asleep. They do not like the world outside, but Blue did a tiddles outside. Hooray! Meanwhile we continue to mop up from the floor  puppy rear-end spillages.

I feel a need to be very strict with them, and refuse to be seduced by their plump velvety-ness, so I am not picking them up and cuddling them any more. I am mindful that in a few months time they will have grown bigger and will squash me if I allow them to sit on my lap. I am also encouraging them not to jump up, again mindful that one not does not want to be knocked over by a leaping lump of a dog. They are gorgeous, but they will be trained. Gussy does not like them at all, and has removed himself into the Hallway. Bools is good with them providing they do not wake him up too early in the morning. Lester is besotted. 

Hope you enjoyed  your wander through our house. Once again, apologies for zooming the camera around.

Monday 14 January 2013

Two more then.....

Went to Sara's place along the lane yesterday, on an invite to lunch. She has a sort of children's farm with camels, lamas, goats, pigs. Crikey but the mud though. I thought we were swamped enough, but by crikey they were soupy everywhere. Was nice to share someone else's mud though, and the meal was lovely.

Busy day today after the cutting up of the lamb yesterday. Mince to make, head to sort out, puppies underfoot, a reading this afternoon, and various assorted farm tasks. I would never have thought I would be able to work with the insides of animal, nor to do the deed of finishing its life. It is surprising how one can pull of one the strength to do such things if need be. 

Ummm, puppies? Yes, two. Gone and got yesterday from another friend. What type are they? Rottweilers. OOooohhh dear, you might say, but Lester has experience with them, I have YouTubed them, and I am glad we have them. So two new ones to the pack. They are asleep in their puppy kennel at the moment, so I have a precious few minutes before they are up and doing again. Blue and Maz are their names. Short names which can be spit out when they are being naughty. Blue is the needy one, and Maz is the calmer. Maz and me bonded immediately we met, whereas Blue was the one Lester did with, so one each then. 

They have learnt the word 'No', have already been stood on accidentally by Boolie, Blue has howled her annoyance when she is not being fussed over, they have decided that they do not like it outside and prefer the kitchen, and Gussy is horrified about it all. 

I have stopped picking Blue up every time she wants a fuss, as picking her up when she asks in six months time is not going to be something I shall be able to do because of her weight. She is already a tubs. Maz does not ask. 

Cold and wet here. Apparently it has been the mildest and wettest winter for a long time. River is up, slight seepage of water on to our fields, but not much. Soggy, soggy, soggy.

Stood and watched the lambs cavorting on the field yesterday, all in a gang, chasing here, chasing there, meanwhile the mum goats introduced their goatlings to the bramble patch. The mum goats have also introduced them to the delight of making an escape, that a fence is something which needs to be got through if at all possible, this being obvious when we got home from Sara's and saw the goat crew munching on the grass of the front drive. We still do not know their escape route. 

Sunday was a delight for us, hope you had a good weekend too, and hope the days of the week are splendid ones for you.

Saturday 12 January 2013

I should have (again!)

I should have stayed where I was, guarding the two rams who were in the small fenced off portion of the Sheep Paddock, stopping them from jumping over the fence to join the rest of the flock as they were let out into the Side Field. And I did, for forty minutes actually, not leaving my post despite the wetness of the ground seeping into  my socks, and the slight chilliness of the morning invading my bones. I had been put there at the request of Lester / Head Farmer-man, while he went off to sort out the rest of the animals.

I should have been more gentle in behaviour when Lester/Head Shepherd, tried to catch the younger of the two rams, then blamed me because I would not stand in front of the ram as the ram jumped the fence and escaped into the Paddock. I did not want to act as a physical barrier, that was all. And it was not my fault that I could not dart and weave as fast as Lester in an effort to catch the ram. After all, Lester is the one who has had rugby training, all I have had is hockey. 

I should have been less of a diva when Lester/ Grumpy S-man issued his commands to 'Go get that gate of the hinges and bring it over to me while I keep these two in the Barn'. Oh  yeah! What gate. That gate. That big gate. The one which has a metal frame and is covered in wire. Oh that gate. So I feel that I was justified in being huffy and puffy and generally ticked off as I hauled that gate off its hinges and lugged it over to Lester. I did grand diva, which much amused Lester. But OK, I should have been less of a diva, after all we had a task to do. 

I should have been willing to stand beside the young ram, holding on to his horns, calming him down, and I was. And I watched as Lester dropped him to the ground, giving calmness to all, but with a heart beating fast nevertheless. 

And now the young ram is in several pieces, some in the woods, some was hanging from the tractor but is now hanging from the beams in the house, and some is in the tummy of Bools, Gus and the chickens, and some is on the pot on the stove. 

And I should have had a go at using the head of the ram, and I did. I removed some of the fleece, and was soft in thought about the task. I felt quite in awe of that head as I laid it into the cooking pot, a little emotional, very reverent, very aware of the cycle of life, and intrigued by the way in which the sum total of the parts make up a whole being because we had just dis-assembled those parts. 

The pot will be turned off soon and left to go cold overnight. Tomorrow it will have to be sorted out. Best not to think of that at this time.

I should have smiled my way through all of the doing of this task, and I did, apart from the first part when I didn't, because my feet were wet, my  body was chilling, I had not had my breakfast, and I wanted to go to the loo. 

Apart from that, I should have, and I did.

Sometimes I do get it right!

Friday 11 January 2013

I should have....

I should have been digging in the veg plot today, after all Spring will arrive and with it the need to plant seeds. Instead I sat outside and did some crocheting. I said to myself that I was keeping an eye on the chickens. Ha! I was being lazy, that is what I was being. 

I should have been picking up the poo in the Sheep Barn today. Instead I leaned on the gate into the Side Field and watched Ice Cream chase after any ewe which happened to come within ten metres of her, Ice Cream being the smallest of the goats and this being her first day out on the field with her youngster.

I should been scything some grass so that the sheep, goats, and cow could have some for their supper, this being the time of the year when what they eat from the field has to be supplemented. This is normally done by giving them some of the hay I cut last year, but the stocks of hay are dwindling away frightfully fast, hence the cutting of fresh juicy grass. Instead I watched the clouds and sunshine play tag with each other up in the sky.

I should have stood in the middle of the lane, so that when Lester opened the gates of the Side Field and Paddock everyone would commute seamlessly between the two. Instead, I became diverted when Bools and Gus decided to help as well. Unfortunately this meant that Elise, our young heiffer, was able to wander off aways down the lane, and one lamb missed the Paddock gate entrance completely and refused to be caught for ages.

I should have been cleaning my floors. Instead, I sat down and knitted. 

I should have been working on my PC, writing the tome which will provide us with the means to live here without Lester having to worry about where his next day of work is coming from. Instead, I wandered off into YouTube and thence into a film, etc. 

I should have......
...................but I didn't. was grand day

Tuesday 8 January 2013


Bottle feeding two lambs last night because their mum wasn't able to give them sufficient milk. Brought them indoors, fed them during the night, one hasn't made it and is just breathing his last breaths, the other one is doddery and may or may not make it. The mum is off in the fields, having forgotten that she has lambs. 

This is hard. Part of me wants the remaining lamb, a boy, to pass over because of the hardship he will face as a virtually orphan lamb. Because he is bonding to us he will have to face the rejection of us when he is older and he has to be out with the rest of the flock. He would still need a milk feed so I would go and find him so he can have it, but then he will want to follow me to stay with me and I shall have to shoo him away. I don't like doing that, but it has to be done otherwise he will not integrate properly with the flock because he will think he is not a sheep but a human. 

So he is on his own now. He needs frequent feeds and to stop him from becoming depressed and giving up we talk to him, let him know that there is someone around albeit of a different species to him. I have encouraged him to walk up and down to exercise his little body, and I have given him a pillow so he can 'pretend' he still has his brother to snuggle up to. I am trying not to let him bond to me, but I suspect that he is. It is difficult not to pick him up and cuddle him, but I try not to. 

As I have said, part of me thinks it would be kinder to let him go, but the other part of me needs to try to make him live. 

All the adult goats have had their young, but are still fighting it out as to who is now going to top of the herd. I thought that goats were the most gentlest of creatures, and it was a surprise when they started knocking each other about. Head on clashes was the mode of fighting plus some in-close wrestling, body against body. At first we intervened but a search on the Internet said that female goats will fight either before or after the birth of their young, so that a pecking order is established. So we left them to get on with it. Crikey but their heads must be made of concrete! The force with which they clashed horns would do credit to the biggest pair of stags who are fighting. 

The two brothers:

The one who remains to fight on:

Friday 4 January 2013

The 'Hope' word.

I wrote this on the 30th July 2009, and I thought it a good idea to post it up again: 

'Now here's a strange thing: all the day long, well for two days actually, everytime I close my eyes I keep 'seeing' the word 'HOPE' inside my mind. 

Now I shouldn't be surprised at this really. I am, after all, 'psychically well-endowed'. But this 'HOPE' word just seemed to stay stuck fast. 

So it came to our afternoon 'stretching of our backs' in the bedroom caravan, which some people may call a 'siesta' but I think a siesta is a state of being whereby one drops the eyes shut for a space of time. 'Stretching of our backs' is just that: giving our spines a rest from the hours of sitting working at our PC's. Our eyes remain open, although may have a momentary droop, but definitely do not shut completely. Lester will be listening to his Ipod, and I will be drifting about in my thoughts, or reading French, or we will be having a family pow-wow. 

As soon as I was lying prone on the bed, straightway into my mind came 'HOPE' again. And this time the letters of the word became split up: 
H is Happiness: that living in hope will bring long term happiness. 
O is for Opportunities: that living in hope will not allow for any opportunities to pass you by. 
P is for Prosperity: not necessarily with copious amounts of money, but a richness of self. 
E is for Excitement: which is how you are going to feel if you live in HOPE because you will be living your life, not sitting on the sidelines and watching the days of your life pass you on by. 

But like all things, being Hopeful requires effort. No gain without pain, as the saying goes. What I mean is, that it is hard at first to learn to be Hopeful. But with practice, it becomes easier. 

I have been thinking of these words often over the two days. When I push them out, they pop back into my head. So I pass them on to you as well. I have definitely become filled with more optimism, something which had become drizzled away with the effort of making a fresh start in somebody else's country, and I feel my feet stepping lighter as a result. What I have been doing to achieve this state of being, is every time I have a worrisome or negative thought drift into my mind, I turn it around on itself by Hoping for a good outcome. 

I have found that the HOPE word is a very powerful assistance in lifting one's spirits. As I put on my Facebook page yesterday: to HOPE is to be a travelling-forward-in-life person. But to be without hope, and therefore HOPELESS, is to be a going no-where person.'


Max and one of his girls had a long five minute 'moment' yesterday, with him on her, and both off in a land belonging only to the two of them. Not one movement did they make, nor one sound. Him on her, the way littl'uns are made.

One more lamb, black and white, born this morning. Now have three young goats, five lambs, and more to come. All is well so far, and all mums are managing without any assistance from us whatsoever.

An overcast day to day. Reminds me of those grey UK winter days, which used to have me down in the dumps and minus any energy for days on end. But it is not cold enough to have a fire on. I have, however, two thermal vests on (a white lacy one of mine, and a sensible   man-type one borrowed from Lester), a long sleeved t-shirt, a fleecy jumper, a thick home made aran cardi, a thick homemade knitted scarf, one fleecy petticoat, a long  corduroy skirt, home made socks, and boots. Over all of this, I have a crocheted shawl,  which is huge, more like a blanket really!  I would switch the fire on if I felt cold, but I don't so I won't. And if I do feel chilly I go sit in the bathroom which has a low heat on all the time, and is often the warmest place of the entire property, and there I sit on a chair and do my knitting. 

Now off outside to see if we have any more little ones. Having trouble with the goats at the moment, who are fighting all the time. Apparently this is what goats do, something to do with the pecking order. Very worrying though, when we hear that almighty thud of head on head, especially when there are little ones about. Love the little goatlings. They look like little puppies with the floppy ears. 

Anyway, must go, so bye for now.

Thursday 3 January 2013

4+2, and a welly goes astray

First of all may I wish you a happy and successful new year, and hope that you make headway along the pathway of your lives. 

This is my boot / wellington. It was not on my foot. It was stuck in the mud of the sheep paddock. My foot was in the boot / wellington, then it was not. My foot became in the mud. Mud is sticky and sinky. It had embraced the welly like a long lost friend just at the moment when I was lifing up my foot, welly and all, but the welly did not come with my foot, it stayed in the mud. Hey presto! Foot crashed down in the wet, cold, slurpy, poo filled mud.  

And then came the long hobble back to the house and the wonderful warmth of a bowl of hot water in which my foot became cleansed. Such a simple task, the washing off of the foot, but it was delicious. We might still be having mild and quite sunny weather, but the ground is still awfully cold on the the naked foot. 

Meanwhile, Lester was out in the Back Field rotovating this year's veg plot. We have promised ourselves that we shall make a stirling effort all through the growing season and not run out of steam mid way through the season like we did in 2011 and 2012, both years becoming very busy during the summer which diverted us away from tending the veg plot.  

..... and we have four new arrivals, two goatlings and two lambs. All were OK last night, but had to be left out in the field, their mums not wanting to come back into shelter for the night. These little family units need to bond, so we did not interfere, hoping that no fox would take it into their heads to rob the mums of their youngsters. Continually we are having to take a step back and adopt a 'wait and see' approach to our animals. A couple of days ago two ewes refused to co-operate with their companion members in the flock .....

..... both were limping slightly, so we left them to it. There has been a lot of bashing and barging going on lately, especially when the goats were with the sheep, the dynamics of the two species resulting in some rough behaviour, especially at breakfast and supper time. With the sheep being so plump with their unborn lambs they are top heavy so any bash on their rear can make them quite sore. Anyway, that is what we think, as we keep a watchful eye on these two. One is moving better, but the other one still prefers to stay in the field at night. 

We also had problems with the mum of the two lambs born last week. An overnight barging left her with a damaged leg she could hardly walk on, so we kept her penned while we watched her. Up until the moment she received her injury she was busy rejecting the second born lamb, but we did not interfere, thinking that nature needed to take its course,which it sort of did, because by having the injury she could not move around hardly at all and spent two days lying down, which gave that second lamb an opportunity to make her attach to him. We did not intervene. We stood back. It was hard to do that and not charge in and 'save' the lamb from the roughness of his mum's rejection, but the wounded leg of the mum saved him from becoming an orphan and he is now a hooligan with his sister, with a mum to snuggle up to when he needs to. 

The goats are now in the Tall Barn at night, so the barging has lessened. The ram is still running with the ewes, and he is also responsible for roughness, but we can't do anything about that at the moment. He needs to be put in a paddock away from the girls, and that we shall do when time and money permits. There is a continual drain on our finances as we continue to sort out our house and smallholding. Not many people do the two things at the same time. We are. The Universe gave us this opportunity to live a different sort of life, and we took up the opportunity when it arrived, even though we did not know how it was going to work out. We still don't. Lester's work with the UK is diminishing, so we don't know where funds are going to come from, all we can do is keep faith that they will arrive from somewhere. And I hope that when the Universe presents you with an opportunity to change your life around, that you will have the courage to take that opportunity up, even if you don't know how the hell it is going to pan out, and that is what I would wish for you this coming year of 2013.