Sunday, 13 February 2011

Tunnels of Love

It's Sunday night. Mike and I are spending a romantic pre-Valentine's evening together in front of the fire...making tunnels for pheasant catchers.

I'm using chicken wire to form cone shapes. The tunnels are wide at the entrance and narrow at the exit. They allow the birds into the catcher but prevent them from getting out again.

The dogs soon got bored of watching me, but were happy to stick around and share the heat from the wood burner.

One down, another 19 to go.

The oven is still broken so no cooking for another week at least. Mike's providing Valentine's Day dinner: take away curry for two, and probably another night of making tunnels (No, that's not a euphemism).

It's apropos in a way; the catchers bring together the hens and cock pheasants so, in spring, they can mate and lay eggs which we will hatch and raise as next season's birds. Maybe that's less romance than reproduction. As the hens can't escape, maybe it's more like abduction.

The more I learn about gamekeeping, the more I realise the romance of the rural idyll exists only in books, like romance only exists in books. Real life is tough, but far more rich and rewarding, like real love. The kind that is contented to make tunnels on Valentine's Day and to share one's poppadoms with a labrador.


Maria said...

Your last paragraph is very well put! (and also had me thinking 'awww').

Paula said...

I love the way dogs look so comfortable. I really miss having a dog around the house.

I think that to see the countryside for what it really is, you need to tool around in the winter when the leaves are off the trees, and you can see the skeletons of vehicles abandoned by the house or in the field, and you see how muddy and cheerless a farm can be. I think then you get a better sense of what you're getting yourself into. Winter in some places, spring in other. Mud season. Mud is not romantic. Abandoned, rusty vehicles are not romantic.

But I think that staying in and doing stuff together by the fire is, even if it's only building game tunnels is romantic.

What's a poppadom?

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Very sweet. Nice of him to provide dinner. One of my favorite gifts!