Archive for the ‘The so-called “Good Life”’ Category

Rats!

Not that I spend any time talking to myself or anything, but I have come to the conclusion that either I slur my words – or Midge needs her ears cleaning out.

She is a keen hunter of El Rodent and gets extremely excited whenever you say the R word. So I tend to avoid it, which is yet another good reason to be grateful that Roland Rat is off the airwaves…

Anyway, like I said, not that I spend any time talking to myself or anything, but it turns out that in addition to the usual rhyming suspects (“Snipe, put down my hat. Immediately!”), Midge was also driven into a ratty-frenzy the other week when I tried to dissuade the Yellow Buffoon from treating the living room as her own private playpen (“Snipe, for crying out loud, calm down and relax!”) and then again when I was pondering the contents of my fridge (“Oooh, I’ve still got some of that chilli sauce left. Pasta for lunch!”).

If this continues, I suspect that there will be one of two possible outcomes. Either I’ll go (even more) potty or the R word will lose all meaning and peace will descend. Two days later, I will, of course, be faced with an rodent infestation of Hitchcock or King proportions…

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Ah, that’s better!

I only managed two hours sleep last night but today is already a better day … my head feels quite clear and I am more or less ready to take whatever the day throws at me.

So … what to blog about?

The pigs, I think.

It’s two weeks since I sent the five Kune Kunes off to the abattoir and ten days since the epic trip to collect and distribute hundreds of kilos of pork. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a Picasso sink to its knees and beg for mercy, but mine came close. The boxes of meat just kept coming … and then there were the bags containing the “bits”. You know – heads, trotters, ribs etc.

Thankfully, we were able to leave three pigs (who shall remain nameless) in Wales and returned back across the Severn Bridge and down the M5 with just two.

I didn’t keep any, still having a freezer full of Bailey, Harold and the last bits from Vicky and Albert, but I have been sampling Ally’s pork and home-made bacon and ham, which has simply reaffirmed my belief that Kune Kunes are the ideal smallholder’s pig. Yum!

I miss my pigs. I miss having pigs. I miss giving them belly rubs and watching them eat. I miss the sound of them snuffling in a fresh bed of straw. I miss their curiosity and intelligence. I miss their friendship.

But I know that I am not in a place where I can look after myself, right now, let alone livestock. I can just about cope with the dogs. But that’s my lot.

So giving them up was the mature, sensible and wise decision.

I can even cope with the thought of selling my Eglu Cube (see here if you are interested) but the thought of selling the pig arks hurts too much at the moment. Maybe I’ll keep them – maybe not. We’ll see.

The five adults and Snipe - 27 November 2009

The five adults and Snipe - 27 November 2009

Curly, Pinky and the piglets - 21 December 2009

Curly, Pinky and the piglets - 21 December 2009

I do know one thing: after delivering all that meat and sampling the end result, my days as a pig keeper are not over by a long shot.

Finally, some news about Fergie and Brini. Gardening girl, who is looking after them has described them as “the BIGGEST time wasters ever 😆 Everyone loves them, they talk to you 😳 The OSBs that are going on Thursday just don’t have such characters.”

Good news!!

It’s a long way down!

Not much to report.

I spent yesterday morning helping my new landlord’s thatcher friends stack their bundles of thatching straw in one of his barns. I’m not sure who the straw was for. None of the buildings on the farm are thatched, so either M&H (being the landlords) are going to pull one or more roofs down and thatch them or they buy the bundles and sell them on or they rent out the barn space for it to be stored.

Whatever the situation, I had great fun helping unload three trailers’ worth, the stack getting higher and higher, offering incredible views of the surrounding countryside. At one point, I was in charge of the pitchfork, throwing the bundles off the trailer and onto the stack, which was harder than it sounds. Even more complex was the transition from trailer back to stack, by now just a few metres short of the barn roof. I survived, and the cut on my leg is nothing more than a scratch 😆

All in all, t’was a great way to spend the morning. In theory, they were coming back today, but I’m round at Ally’s, using their internet as it’s going to take TalkTalk weeks to set mine up. Pft 😦

Farewell to the pigs

Yesterday was not a Good Day.

I took two loads of pigs to the abattoir, Curly, Pinky and Perky in the first load, then Tia and Scrumpy.

I pick the meat up on Friday.

Brini and Fergie were saved, because Fergie is too small and Brini makes an ideal companion for her as she is (a) kind to the little pig and (b) is not a natural-born trouble-maker. They are now living in luxury in east Somerset.

I cried when I got home.

Not a Good Day.

Kune Kune porkers and sows for sale in south Wales

Due to a change in circumstances, I need to drastically reduce the size of my (unregistered) Kune Kune herd, porkers and adults alike.

They are all extremely friendly, bucket trained, electric fence trained, wormed, and are currently living outside.

They are also rather tasty, whether as sausages, chops or the extra guest at Sunday dinner. The last porkers that I sent off at 6 months came back at approximately 70ish kg, which is equivalent to half a British pig!

Unregistered KKs tend to go in the region of £40-£60 but I’m open to offers on them all…

2 x proven sows (black and white), aged 3
1 x barren gilt (black and white), unknown age, at least 4

1 x maiden sow (ginger), home bred, aged 16 months
1 x gilt (ginger), home bred, aged 16 months

1 x boar (ginger), home bred, aged 16 months

3 x female porkers (ginger), home bred, aged 3 months, ready to kill from 6 months
3 x male porkers (ginger), home bred, aged 3 months, ready to kill from 6 months

Tia, Brini, Perky, Fergie and Scrumpy - 3 November 2009

Tia, Brini, Perky, Fergie and Scrumpy - 3 November 2009

Pinky, Curly and the piglets - 13 December 2009

Pinky, Curly and the piglets - 13 December 2009

Nadolig Llawen…

…and all that jazz

Snipe - 21 December 2009

Snipe - 21 December 2009

I hope you and yours have a lovely day.

Snow views

I know you should have the sun behind you when you take photos, but there are times when it’s the sun you want to photograph…

The sun over a snowy field - 22 December 2009

The sun over a snowy field - 22 December 2009

Cold, but bloody gorgeous.