Friday, 10 December 2010

The Ice Man Cometh

Yes indeed, we have post! I am thrilled because:
My papers have finally arrived from America. They are beautiful and well worth waiting for.
My December stamps have come from Little Claire Designs. They are little elephants and very, very sweet. I can't wait to start using those.
My pack of envelopes has come, so I don't have to panic about not being able to make square cards.
Crisis over then. Still no photo for Mr O, though. It's been nearly a month. We've decided to wait until Monday and if it hasn't arrived by then, he'll be contacting them.
Now if only the dustmen would come...
This morning I have woken up and there are patches of solid ground visible in the snow, patches of black and green, and unfortunately lots and lots of dog poo. We won't go there. There is supposed to be a thaw over the weekend, but it's supposed to go down again next week, which is going to be very, very depressing!
Barnaby is, strangely, being an absolute sweetheart while this bad weather is going on. It reminds me so much of when he was on box-rest because of the broken pedal bone. He got a bit stir crazy and used to help Mr O muck out at night. I am making sure I groom him every day, and he absolutely loves it. He has increased his actual 'scratch me' time to twenty minutes. He just loves that time with his rug off, to let his skin cool. I am his only opportunity to mutually groom. Have you ever been goosed by a horse?
He has also started doing something he used to do with Mr O, but has never done it since we've been here. He walks down to the field carrying his own leadrope in his teeth. It's very sweet. And the biggest thing was that when we came back from shopping on Saturday, he did his deep whinny as soon as he saw me. Mr O had already gone in and he didn't do it to him, he did it to me. My heart absolutely leapt. Pathetic, I know.
I tie him up before I go in to his stable and he does what I call wiffleing (I just had the big decision there of how to spell a made-up word!) He wiggles his muzzle over the leadrope and undoes it. I really don't know how it works. He can also wiffle on your jacket pocket when he wants a mint. So it occured to me, that that makes me Wiffler's Mother, doesn't it? (Snigger!)

Here comes a bit, that isn't for the faint-hearted (or vegetarians). If you are either of those, or both, you may want to wander off and come back tomorrow, and not read any further, although if you didn't blanch at the dog poo comment, you can't be too feeble!
As you know, we have chickens. And this year, they have hatched quite a few eggs. It turns out that chickens hatch 60% males. You only need one cockerel and his name is George. Unfortunately, three of the four chicks Penny had in her first batch have grown up to be fine, handsome cockerels, too. This presents a problem, because they are beginning to do what healthy cockerels do best (and it isn't eating!)
Missis has tried to source someone who might come and take these chaps off our hands, but we can't find anyone locally who can 'do the deed', so Mr O has bravely volunteered. Obviously we weren't entirely sure how to go about it, but last weekend we watched a video of a man who did it in a very calm and humane way, so we have decided this Saturday will be the time to do it. I've debated about putting this on my blog, but the whole point of it is to catalogue our experiences while we're here, and this will definitely be one of them. I'm just so sorry I've named one of them Arthur.
So think of us on Saturday evening while you're enjoying yourself at the cinema or a Christmas party...


  1. Well all I can say good luck with the cull, not sure Id want the job, though I have dressed pheasant but even that I hold my nose or try to as the smell isnt so nice so that will be your next job. But at least you will have lots of chickens to put in the freezer, good luck with the plucking to. With love and hugs Shirleyxxxx

  2. Oh dear. We used to have chickens and actually ate them. That was until my Dad choose Henrietta for dinner one weekend and I stopped eating chicken for weeks. Unfortunately, it's part of having a farm. Hope all goes as well as it can.

    Barnaby's little nicker and that bonding as you groom him would melt my heart too. Horses do not always give love easily to us, but when they do, it is precious beyond belief. I am so happy for you.

  3. Thank you for a lovely memory that your story about Barnaby has given me. Years ago when I was doing my AI training, I went to Pony Club camp, taking a horse from the school where I worked. He wasn't the love of my life, but a dear, sweet, cob x Arab, a 16.2 bumbling silly boy of a horse, but how could I not love him. I was walking down the hill to the barn where he was stabled; he saw me coming and neighed. I wasn't just his "staff"; neither was I his "mum" but oh, he knew me, in a crowd, too. I wrote a poem about it at the time, longing to have him for my own, swearing I would let him die of old age. Sadly, a few years after, he was injured on the poll and it never healed, so he had to be put down. Dear boy. x


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