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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by M A Shaffer and A Barrows

My sis lent me this book the other day. It has quite an uninspiring cover. However, owing to the lack of any alternative I picked it up last night to give it a go. I crept upstairs after everyone else, still clutching the book to my greedy eyes. I lay awake until the small hours to finish it. Tears poured down my face sometimes, and soaked my pillow. On occasion I smothered hysterical laughter. To round off this emotional roller-coaster I read on the dust jacket that one of the co-authors, for whom this was a first work, died upon its completion. I hope she knew what an absolute masterpiece she has written. It is one of the cleverest, most poignant little publications I have ever had the pleasure of perusing. A joy. Spend a few pounds and steal a few hours. Read it.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

stormy weather!

What a weekend! Only one pup left, which is causing some canine management problems! The infant is unceasing in his efforts to suckle, therefore he has to be seperate from his mother all the time, but doesn't like it in the shed on his own.... so, his aunt is reluctantly babysitting, but she doesn't think much to that either. In the middle of all pup and aunt complaints the mother is voicing her concerns that her sister might be murdering the youngster. Can't wait for him to go, and he's a very lovely little chap, but he needs a family!

Last night the farmer disappeared after dark for one or two more rows of ploughing. I sauntered off upstairs to cleanse and pamper, don my night attire and dressing gown and swan downstairs all warm and clean to enjoy my gin and tonic. At 9.30pm a bedraggled farmer turned up at the door requesting emergency assistance. He had got his plough stuck in a 'wet patch' (for this, read shallow lake) and needed a tractor and plough driver whilst he towed it out of the mud with the teleporter. 'What now?' I cried. But the answer was yes. So, I donned a pair of odd socks, my pink wellingtons and headed off into the dark and drizzle to drive a tractor in my nightie and dressing gown. Thankfully, after 30 minutes of complicated backwards and forwards stuff involving chains and pneumatics, the tractor emerged from the sticky depths of the ruts complete with plough and none the worse. The same cannot be said for me. Crabby, cold, argumentative and even possibly unreasonable, I left the farmer to tidy up and headed back over the ploughed land in the dark, to the warmth of the house.

Today's stormy weather has brought down a silver birch tree, not much of a loss except it was the woodpecker's home. Shall miss seeing him popping in and out of a hole in the trunk, though that may be a contributory factor to the death of the tree. Well, that and the gale force wind which is currently blowing.

My sis and her husband are about to head off to sunnier climes for 4 weeks so I am moving swiftly into super-crabby state of mind. A busy month down at te salt mines, during September, and I never enjoy sole charge. Hoping no awful difficulties arise, though just now most likely to tell them all to go home, and come back next year!

And to round off quite a difficult Bank Holiday weekend, had to light a fire this afternoon, as its so bloody cold here it could be mid-winter!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

a morning to remember

This morning the dogs put up, among many other feathery things, a WOODPECKER! That was a first. The first puppy departs this morning with his new owners. He is going to be known as Bertie and seems to have an over-active greedy gland, which I hope will settle as he gets older. The first son also leaves home this morning. Luckily I had to depart for work prior to his leave-taking, and managed to remove myself from the house with my dignity intact, tricky though. He is soooooo excited, and the little Skoda packed to the rafters with stuff for cold weather, wet weather, snowy weather, and icy weather. Also fishing equipment, shooting licence (just in case) smart clothes (also just in case) and plenty of wellies, waterproof leggings and the like for his Fish Farming HNC. Its a big week, with two more puppy collections on Saturday morning early. Thankfully we still have one son and one puppy left for a little longer, and the yawning gap is only at half size....

Sunday, 22 August 2010

unexpected visitor!

Hiding behind the muddy, wet wellingtons this morning, and hoping no-one noticed him sheltering from the torrential rain was this rather handsome, but shy visitor! He was carefully evicted into the dyke. We had torrential, scary rain last night, somewhat prolonged, and the drain outside the back door blocked.... quite wet in the porch, though today's sunshine assisting with the drying. Eldest got up at 5am and collected a friend to head off to V Festival, tickets courtesy of some extremely thoughtful and generous friends known as Mr & Mrs B. More of their news at BlackLOG. Big boy so excited he couldn't sleep last night so by 8pm this evening he won't be able to keep his eyes open. Youngest calming down slightly after A level results, and University place confirmation. He spent yesterday evening trawling UTube for Leicester Uni student micro-films, and researching his own soon-to-be halls of residence. Forms to fill in, ID photos to send, and most importantly cheques to write and funds to find. Its going to be an expensive few years ahead for all of us!

Big boy leaving next Wednesday morning, so has produced a mountain of washing which needs to be done and packed in next 72 hours, despite his absence at the Festival! Well done mother. Pups now on countdown to departure too. Their bags packed and ready. They are a complete handful, chewing, biting, barking and fighting! Absolutely gorgeous, in some else's house!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

delicious donkey babe!

This gorgeous little fella was born 2 weeks ago, just around the corner from where my sis lives. I have stolen her photograph of the beast to blog! What a happy snap!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

chinese lanterns

Did a chinese lantern fuel cell which had not been attached to the bag properly set fire to the skylight on this caravan? We think so. And so does the Fire Officer. Thankfully the couple who were staying in the caravan were awoken by the smell of smoke, and put out the fire before they were overcome with fumes. Sometimes we are lucky, and this was certainly one of those times. It is causing us a bit of extra work dealing with the after-effects, but absolutely nothng in comparison to what might have been. I need to thank a black cat or touch wood or something!

Only 10 more days of puppies, (Hooray), they are 4 bundles of work and attention! Loved having them, will love to see them go! Yellow horse has a new pilot, a ten year old neighbour, and is behaving very nicely for her. Puppies having id chips injected under their skins tonight which I am dreading. (Squeamish or what).

Harvesting any day for the farmer, who is biting his nails with anxiety and muttering things like 'percentage dryness', 'storage charges per ton', 'yield per hectare', and 'ploughing'. All double dutch to me. Tiny cottage next door finally getting a stab at a new life. Plans now being considered by District Council. I won't hold my breath but am delighted to see drawings on the table at last.

At Melton Mowbray market yesterday I told the big boy that the only way we could bring home some pigs was if there was a litter of very pretty, very spotty, rare breed piglets who would grow up to be deliciously good eating. Unfortunately I must have had a case of foresight, because in the first pen was a litter of 8 piglets who must have been put there in answer to my description! Luckily they were accompanied by a bloody great big sow who would not fit into the back of the SKODA!!!!! Another lucky escape!

Thursday, 12 August 2010


ALL OUR PUPPIES ARE RESERVED!! Pippip. All lovely homes, so delighted.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

here's the homeless one....

Its this wee girlie who hasn't succeeded in attracting anyone's attention yet! I am so surprised as she has more personality that all the rest added together. Fingers crossed that she can find a lovely home for herself. Its double hard because she is the one we all pick up and cuddle - because she has no owners, and there's no doubt that we like her best. Come on new home - before we can't part with her!!!

Monday, 9 August 2010

just one left!!!!

Another pup reserved! Last man standing is the bigger 'more white' girl with the white half moustache, she is bold and cheeky and has something to say for herself. She is also youngest's favourite and he won't mind if we keep her..... its a thought.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Pic of the day

How cute is that? One girl missing, probably putting her lipstick on, or something.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

sale of puppies

Both of the boy pups have now been spoken for and deposits left with us. One to a Notts Fireman & his lovely family, and one to two sisters and their father in Stilton (like the cheese). Such lucky little fellows. It is customary for the bitch pups to go first apparently, but no-one has been to view our girls. Hoping that this weekend might bring a new family for one of our girls at least. Its pretty terrible, I feel like a slave trader selling my own family. Their little faces..... We still have them for another three weeks though, so plenty of time for more cuddling and petting. What is it about puppies that makes them so very attractive to the human psyche? Almost, nearly, as lovely as a new baby human! (But not quite).

All quiet on the western front of the Salt Mines today possibly due to some heavy sporadic showers today keeping the campers inside their units. Forecast poor for the rest of the week. Sadly this does mean that the wheat, which is about ready, is now getting wetter and wetter in the ears, and will take ages to dry out. Probably also grow heaps of fungi (or something else alarming like soft stems or droopy ears) and get knocked onto the floor by big raindrops. Hoping very much that the weather warms again so that the farmer can bring in a successful harvest and stop pacing the floor worrying about his grain harvest.

The yellow horse really enjoying the rain. It has banished the flies which trouble him so much, and has provided him with his mud bath so that the hippo look can return with style! Puppy lookers preventing horse outings just now, maybe tomorrow night?

It was Grandma's birthday tea today. How much cake can I eat at one sitting? An awful lot.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

lunnon town

A tired racing pigeon flapped down into the yard yesterday, so the big boy caught it and phoned its owner. He only lives in Bourne. By an astonishing coincidence we were off to London today, so we gave the (now well-fed and rested) pigeon a lift in the back of the car as far as Spalding, and released it from a layby to find its way the few remaining miles home. We watched with bated breathe as it rose into the air, and landed in an adjacent bush!!!! Doubtless it's still there! Perhaps not cut out for racing?

Up and off for 6.30am to be in the queue for Victoria & Albert's private art collection at 11am. £30 to park all day within the £8 congestion zone. The Gallery was packed to the gunnels but the collection was very touching. Indeed, they loved each other with passion, it seems. We moved on to the Royal Mews, though all the horses but two were on their summer hols! Carriages in situ though, and I was very envious of the Royal riding arena. Wouldn't half mind one of those at home! Our final ticket, for the Royal Day Out, was for the formal rooms of the Palace itself, and they were, indeed, glamorous, awesome and fab. Toilets in short supply, also cups of tea scarce so comfort a bit of an issue. The press of visitors was a real shock though the staff and crowd management techniques were really excellent. On departure we walked through Hyde Park and paused for a very late lunch in the cafe in the park. Frighteningly expensive. The Serpentine was busy and there were hordes of sunbathers enjoying the cloudy sky! Closer inspection revealed that the lake desperately needed cleaning up, the rubbish was horrible. The city was scruffy, jam packed with all nationalities, busy, noisy, crowded, rammed with traffic, smelly and a bit scary in parts. Our route out took us through North London, some areas of which seem to have been abandoned by anything even vaguely english in shopping and catering. These are ghetto areas as far as I can see. Our day out was certainly a change from rural life, and a timely reminder that perhaps we are luckier than we realise. Its good to be home!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

sale pics?

would you buy this dog????