Archive for October, 2009


I’ve been doing silly shifts at work (t’is the season and all that), hence the lack of posts recently.

In lieu of having to engage my brain, I decided to cheat and took some photos this morning that I thought Lec and Jan would appreciate!

Leaves - 29 October 2009

Leaves - 29 October 2009

Snipe - 29 October 2009

Snipe - 29 October 2009

The pigs continue to play happy families!

If I’m honest, I’ll admit that young Master Curly is a pain in the backside and I spend half my time wishing I’d sent him off before Bailey, instead of waiting for the freezer to empty so I can fit him in.

However, I spend the rest of my time marvelling at how gentle he is with his piglets:

Curly and his piglets - 23 October 2009

Curly and his piglets - 23 October 2009

Pinky is, of course, as doting as any sow:

Pinky and her piglets - 23 October 2009

Pinky and her piglets - 23 October 2009

If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see that she even dropped down in a large pile of pig poo to feed the piglets when they started telling her that they were hungry!

Good times 🙂

A law unto themselves

As you would expect, our three cats have differing and distinct personalities.

Queenie keeps herself to herself, fighting off unwanted attention but never able to get enough … when she’s in the mood!

Horatio is a softie, gentle, loving and sweet.

Mac is a hunter, as much of a cat’s cat as it’s possible to be.

Mac, Horatio and Queenie - 29 April 2009

Mac (with his head popping up over the fence), Horatio (on the fence) and Queenie (on the top right on the wall) - 29 April 2009

At night, Queenie sleeps in her own bed and woe-betide anyone who gets too close.

Horatio would love to come under he duvet but is scared of the dark (!!) so instead curls up at the foot of the bed.

Mac is actually banned from coming under the covers on the grounds that he’s a sadistic little git who thinks that human feet exist to allow him to hone his hunting skills – stalk, pounce, disable using teeth and claws!

The ban worked well over the summer but now that it’s getting colder at night, I have discovered a fatal flaw. The so-and-so waits until I’ve fallen asleep and then climbs in beside me! So far, he’s been more interested in snuggling up than feet-baiting but that doesn’t stop me waking up whenever I feel his soft fur brushing up against me, just in case I have to call an ambulance or something!

Cats! Horatio would be the purrfect (sorry!) feline hot water bottle: why do I get the psycho?!

Corn flour rules OK!

One of the runts of Pinky’s litter of piglets, Rufus, has had a touch of the runs all week but I wasn’t too concerned until yesterday when “a touch” became something more, well, there was more of it!

Scour (as diarrhoea in animals is known) can be fatal to piglets so it should never be taken lightly or dismissed but there is, I believe, a time and a place to call the vet and I didn’t think this was it.

The reason I didn’t seek veterinary advice was quite simple. Although he was clearly having poo problems, his eyes were still bright, he hadn’t lost his appetite, he wasn’t spending all his time alone or asleep and he wasn’t dull, listless or insipid. Yes, he was understandably more hungry than usual, which meant he spent more time eating and less time playing than usual, but he was still himself, if you see what I mean.

So, I decided to give him one more day and instead, I used an old remedy that hasn’t yet let me down: corn flour (or corn starch as it’s also known).

You simply make a runny paste and use a syringe to get as much as possible down the piglet’s throat. In my case, I ended up wearing half of it, which was much more preferable to what I ended up wearing from the other end of him…!

I gave him a dose at lunch time and then another in the late afternoon, deciding that if he hadn’t dried up by morning, then that was that and we’d be going to the vet’s.

But I was all smiles this morning when I lifted his tail and saw that all was dry. I cleaned his bum before I left last night, not just for his comfort but also so I could easily tell if he’d scoured again. But he hadn’t! I last checked him an hour ago and all was well, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it stays that way. 🙂

Stand up straight!

There was a soundtrack to my childhood, repeated daily – hourly! – that became such a familiar sound it just went in one ear and out of the other.

Stand up straight! Stop biting your nails! Tidy your bedroom!

I finally stopped biting my nails in my late twenties and am perfectly comfortable with the fact that I am not one of the world’s Tidy People but never gave the idea of standing up straight a thought, let alone a second one, until I saw this photo of me:

Jo - 18 October 2009

Jo - 18 October 2009

The camera is level.

It’s me that’s wonky.

So, after thirty years of slouching, I am finally listening to my mother and standing up straight. Head up, shoulders back, don’t stoop.

I know it’s working because my back muscles are screaming in protest.

And I know when I start to pitch forward once more because my back sighs with relief.

I have adjusted my car seat so I’m sitting bolt upright in that.

Even now, sitting at the breakfast bar, I have realised that I lean forward to use the computer!

I think this will take some time to correct but I am determined to do it.

Maybe it’s because I want to, and not because my mother’s nagging me, that makes it easier?!

Just don’t ask about the bedroom!

Mobile themes for

I’ve just seen this on my dashboard:

As technology advances, mobile devices are playing a bigger role in our lives. Thousands of you have been using the iPhone and Blackberry applications to post and edit content for your blog, and over 60 million page views a month of blogs have been on mobile devices. New smartphones do a great job with most web sites, but older phones have many problems and may not display anything at all.

Today we’re launching a couple of mobile themes that will automatically be displayed when your blog is accessed with a compatible mobile phone.

The first theme is a modification of WPtouch and will be displayed to phones with modern web browsers like those on the iPhone and Android phones. The second theme was developed from an older version of the WordPress Mobile Edition and will be displayed to all other mobile devices.

Read more here

So there you go. If you view my blog on your mobile, things should look better or load faster, depending on how modern and funky your phone is!


As cute as she may look when she’s curled up in her bed or sitting on your lap, Midge is a “real” Jack Russell Terrier, with razor sharp instincts and lightning fast reactions. She’s two and a half now, and in that time has killed more than her fair share of mice, voles and rabbits (and, sadly, chickens), not to mention all the toads she’s found in the field, which having found out what happens if you attack them, she won’t touch but still loves hunting! Oh, and there was the snake she found, but that’s a blog post for another day.

So yes, she’s a proper little terrier and never was I more pleased about that than yesterday afternoon when I spotted a rat at the farm! It heard my footsteps and sought refuge but having seen its hiding place, I ran and got the dogs. When it decided to take its chances and scuttled off at top speed for the hedge, Midge shot off after it and successfully caught and killed it in seconds!

Midge - 17 October 2009

Midge - 17 October 2009

Snipe, caught up in all the excitement but not knowing what to do, ran off and came back with a stick…

Growing up fast!

Blimey, has it really just been one short month since Pinky farrowed?

Pinky and her piglets - 18 October 2009

Pinky and her piglets - 18 October 2009

The six surviving piglets are simply wonderful. They are extremely friendly, genuinely delighted with human company and are very curious about the world around them. They now tuck in to Pinky’s pig nuts when I feed her and are most enthusiastic about the bucket of fruit and veg that is miraculously delivered to their enclosure every evening!

The piglets - 11 October 2009

The piglets - 11 October 2009

When you’re four weeks old, everything is a game and it’s exhausting just to watch them tear around, chasing one another, play fighting, running here, there and everywhere, and then back again…

The piglets - 18 October 2009

The piglets - 18 October 2009


We’ve had a couple of frosts this month, nothing serious, just a dip closer to zero* rather than below. Personally, I love cold and frosty nights and days, from the crisp blue skies to the clear air to the way the frost sparkles and glitters in the sun. Not forgetting the fact that if it’s cold enough to freeze, it’s not raining 🙂

Of course I make sure the pigs have nice thick beds of straw in their arks (the chickens have their own feather quilted duvets and don’t need any help from me!) but the wildlife can suffer, as you can see in this photo:

Frozen! 12 October 2009

Frozen! 12 October 2009

* Celsius, for my American readers!

Missing dogs

Of the blogs I read, two dogs have gone missing. Shadow came home in the most dramatic style, Annie is still missing.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on mine (especially after last time).

Please do the same with yours.

Snipe - 17 August 2009

Snipe - 17 August 2009

Midge - 18 August 2009

Midge - 18 August 2009