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Wednesday, 30 July 2008

box of eggs

thought you might be interested to see half a dozen eggs produced by eldest boy's chickens, which he sells to help with his finances - pretty I think. The funny thing is, it doesn't matter what colour the shell is, the contents ALL TASTE THE SAME! Whatever anyone else tells you.

whiskery question

How hot! Marvellous. Just thinking about the horse ear thing, and moved on to horse whisker question. When Skipper came to me he was, as is customary in this country for show horses, completely clean shaven. Now, I don't believe in cutting whiskers, be they horse, cat or dog, so Skipper now sporting full set of whiskers, eyelashes, eyebrows etc. Someone told me its illegal in Germany to shave horse muzzles. Hoping Skipper enjoying the 'hairy chin' look, helping him not bump his nose on feed bucket, stable wall, fencing etc. Thinking it should be outlawed here too.

Monday, 28 July 2008

new fly mask

photos of old fly mask (repaired) being modelled, Skipper trying to eat old fly mask so he never has to wear the stupid ears again, and, a big cheer now, a new fly mask with no stupid ears! How cool is it? And only £4.65 instead of £13.00 for the stupid ear thingy.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

how hot is it?

I can't believe how very hot the last two days have been! What absolute luxury. Killing to work in, but fabulous with the leisure to enjoy. Had to 'let go' a cleaner at the salt mines yesterday, only got one speed (dead slow), but hoping to set on new one this week. Yella horse had a few days off with all party work, but got up really early this morning to gallop over 20 acres new baled meadowland. Oh, great fun! Cool enough to be really heart-stopping excitement. Wearing flip-flops, elastic waist trackies, and a man's huge white cotton shirt to keep cool looked like a gypsy horse dealer. No photo, thank goodness. Have sewn a new lot of tassles on the fly screen/horse ears thingy, and he's wearing it again. He is really cheesed about that. Salt mines visitors obviously super-happy with turn in the weather - keeping them on the beach and out of reception - excellent...

Friday, 25 July 2008

another night, another party

Oldest boy partied on down 'til dawn with 30 or so friends last night. The sick guest was returned to parents after midnight (there's always one...). Good time had by all the rest as far as I can tell, and a nicer bunch of polite, well mannered, considerate and cheery young men and women would be difficult to find and I'm very proud to know them all.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

kindness of strangers

At builder's merchant counter, being advised that its impossible to buy old-fashioned hemp rope any more (for party tug of war) when local builder interrupted to say he had one in his garage if I would like it. I duly went to his home, and he dragged out the perfect tug of war rope. Upon enquiry of the price he said he had no wish to sell it, he very fond of rope, but very happy to lend it to me for party! Never met the man before!! I took rope, and promised bottle of wine to rope owner, to return after the party, hopefully no worse for its experience. Just overwhelmed by the kindness of his act, and timely reminder that despite media assurances to the contrary, people on whole not such a bad lot after all...

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

party preparation & funeral

Hugh went to the little child's funeral this morning, all I can say is at least its over. Terrible. On a much lighter note big boy preparing for outdoor party of his own later in have gazebo, big BBQ, better catering, piles of beer & cider, childish party games, and a request for a rope for tug of war (drunken & sober), and two large empty oil barrels for barrel racing (standing on top of cylinder and attempting to 'run the barrel' in a parallel race). Hoping very much for a fair weather evening for him, fingers crossed. Yella horse Mr Relaxed today,, but the hat's back on, fly spray losing efficacy and flies crowding eyes. Yuk.

two little owls are we....

Last night two 'little owls' perched together in the road outside the house. How eciting was that! Nearly wobbled off road in car with excitement. Of course, by time camera in hand little owls had flown off hunting, but memory remains! CHanged internet SP over weekend which has proved tricky with the laptops, no-one to help with tiny setting changes etc, but helpline sorted me out this morning, and hoping to be wireless again by weekend...(some days I wonder why I bother with new technology, life had less headaches without it). No-one told me about the pinhole reset button on the back of the router...Yella horse had friend to ride alongside last night, he didn't want to part from friend at the end of the ride. Would really like a permanent friend for him, but can I do with the extra work and cost? Probably not. THink we could do with a paying guest for company - perfect solution! THink Skipper can start asking around for a paying lodger!

Monday, 21 July 2008

self cleaning horse

Amazing self cleaning horse - went to take his photo and completely clean! In manner of self cleaning oven advert. Looking very smug. Freezing cold July day, all wearing vests, coats and socks in salt mines. Typical english summer then. Brrrr

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Mamma Mia! perfect cure for stress!

Last night went to see Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia and laughed to tears! Laughter therapy guaranteed every time. So tongue in cheek and OTT you have to admire cast courage. Go and see it, highly recommend both as a trip down memory lane, and provision of feel-good factor. Campers all rushing to beach this morning to enjoy sunshine and pleasant lack of bracing gale force wind. Therefore all quiet at the salt mine, so I can search eBay for at least one pair of Meryl Streep's very flattering dungarees - the next 'must have' fashion item methinks, and you saw me in them first! News on yella horse - friend sprayed him with cattle bug repellant, which has had immediate and beneficial effects. The showery weather has meant that horse has got wet and dry at least 5 times a day in the last two days. To combat that itchy wet/drying feeling he has absolutely and completely rolled his whole body from ears to tail in mud puddles up and down his field and now looks like a happy rhino. I almost don't have the heart to brush it all out of his hair. He is recoloured mud brown. Try to get a photo tonight. Youngest son working hard now at summer job on local waterway - assisting visitors to fall in, make fools of themselves, and generally struggle in rowing boats. Eldest son desperate for end of term this week, he's having the camping party to celebrate finishing lower sixth academic year, then knuckling down to marketing and selling some of his poultry in preparation for his final A level year. Now he's a driver feeding and cleaning out poultry in every spare minute seems to have lost some of its attraction; so less feathered birds might mean time for the other kind of bird...

Friday, 18 July 2008

water supply problems

Visitors to park greeted by news that we have no mains water supply today! OHMYGOD. Departing visitors unable to flush toilets on their way out (unbelievable but true) nor wash up or clean their floors. Cleaners carrying water in buckets and cans from our stored supply - which won't last very long at this rate...Its nearly funny, but not quite - doubtless will be funnier as a recollection.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

enjoying the small things

Two children visited last night to be led around for an hour or so on the yella horse, which he tolerated kindly and with patience. Squatters in his stable roof appear to be trying for a second hatching of eggs, horse being pooped on all night again, though he doesn't seem to mind. Owls busy hunting at all hours, they must be raising young too, as well as the usual huge colony of barn owls there's little owls too - though more difficult to see. Time spent talking with friends never wasted, and very therapeutic. Its raining again, but feet dry so not a problem.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

day off in english sunshine

A normal day! Attended a brief formal opening of Japanese Garden, with Worshipfool (sic) Mayor and curly sandwiches, then a wonderful nap in the heat of the day. Canter out on Skipper the wonder horse (who really enjoys a proper leg stretch) and more resting. Lazy or what! I love days off work. Back to salt mines tomorrow, hoping, once again for cheery news to balance the sad. Eldest boy now planning his own camping party next week to mark end of school for long summer break - more beer required. And food.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Oh no

News of the death of another child, this time very young, and unexpected. Oh dear, dear. Poor smiling skills for guests today.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

rare sighting male hughjockeybird (summer plumage)

Day off work to recover, wasted half in bed 'til 10am. Unheard of. Batteries recharged so well took yella horse for half mile canter/gallop down local track. Wonderful. Shook out some cobwebs. At party last night youngest brother of 18th birthday girl whacked on head with pinyata stick at midnight (accident) so massed outing to local hospital for stitches in ten year old forehead! What a day. Enclosing photo of very rare bird indeed, sighted only once or twice in the past twenty years. Its a Hughjockeybird, recognisable by its distinctive summer plumage. Its habits are shy and retiring, it has a well modulated and repetitive call, and will occasionally show itself in exchange for a hot meal, or even a cup of tea. (These are the clean, acceptable bribes). Back to salt mines tomorrow.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

a big day

Thai meal with girlies last night, work today, emotional funeral for young man this morning, pig roast for a wedding celebration early evening, 18th birthday BBQ with flower of local youth this evening. Burnout tomorrow (if I have time).

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Skipper's flatmates

I would like to complain in the strongest possible terms to the property management company regarding the squatters living in my roof trusses. Despite the fact that I pay a fair rent I am still expected to tolerate being disturbed at all hours by fly catching parents, being crapped on morning, noon and night, and turning a deaf ear to the constant whining for more flies from the squeakers. At the same time I would also like an explanation for the influx of 16 year old youth in my living quarters, on Tuesday evening, who camped out ALL NIGHT, shouting, singing, and drinking ale, lighting a fire and generally enjoying themselves, IN MY FIELD. You would be tempted to think it was someone's birthday, but these humans neve tell me anything. No-one seemed to get much sleep, including me, and I was pleased to see the last exhausted camper depart at tea time the following day. I think it might have scarred me mentally. Offers of new, or alternative homes gratefully received, though the management company do seem to be trying to make it up to me with sugar lumps and soft words. It might be working...

Monday, 7 July 2008

the bloodsuckers on film

here are the vile tiny flies giving the yella horse trouble on his nether regions, the tiny pot is only 1 inch across, they hang in crowds of 50 or so - yuk:

skipper news

Eye excellent, but now shoe loose on front foot, so pensioned off to enjoy eating until farrier comes on Thursday to replace all shoes. Arm and leg will be required to meet cost of this visit, but no avoiding it. Yellow horse going to extreme lengths to get stupid hat off every day. Sometimes he looks like santa with it hanging round his chin, sometimes like a drunk with it suspended off one ear. I am persisting. He is being troubled by some horrible little blood sucking flies which hang in gangs off his tender, bald, personal bits and have to be brushed off. I'm going to pull a few off and put them in a jar (they may feature in a future photo) and get them identified. They are full of blood when squashed, though very small. That's what you get for having dangly bits!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

veterinary avoidance

Appointment booked for Vet. Going to take horse and cat to surgery 8 miles away to save money for vet call-out. Cat disappeared - no finding him anywhere. Horse's eye looks fine, no sign of any inflammation. Phone Vet. cancel appointment. Cat appears from nowhere looking smug, and eye starts running on horse...Might try again on Monday if critters still alive (doubtful)! Eldest son sure that last night (good light) he saw large black cat (of the panther type) at bottom of horse field. Sensible lad. Knows difference between dog and cat. There is a track, footprints, plenty of tall cover...he very excited. Has set a 'trap', hoping to get a photo at least, friend has told him there's a reward for proof. No-one keen to take dog out for final pee last night - I drew short straw, and was neither attacked nor eaten. Phew. Don't give much for chickens' chances though! Guests packed sunshine in suitcases with dirty washing today, and normal rainy service returned. My feet wet.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Difficult days

A tragic and untimely young death has rocked our little world. Supporting and appreciating what real friendship is has come right into focus. Its been a tiring couple of days, and I think I am beginning to understand the many colours and levels of friendship. Pseudo-friends, frankly, I can do without. That's not the real thing is it? I know this, money and material things cannot buy happiness and spiritual peace. Hoping for some good news to balance things out a little - and maybe another gin to dull the edges...its all going a bit zen.

The salt mine has had some unsavoury guests this week (police interest), and the dumb blonde horse WILL NOT keep the stupid hat on, and so seems to have developed a mild eye infection (I think from the flies). This means an expensive veterinary visit before it gets any worse. Cat will not swallow worming pills - is able to sort them out of any foodstuff and spit them out on the floor, so will also need to see over-paid vet for worming jab. Eldest son saves dog from vet by pulling out dog's very loose tooth himself with a pair of artery forceps. Scary stuff, but money-saving. He may have a veterinary future himself at this rate. Chicks growing and out of kitchen into utility room. This is real progress, until next hatching. BUT the sun IS shining, which means HAPPY CAMPERS. Hip-pip.