Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Easter in Dorset

We were sat around the kitchen table with our friends (and local farmers) Bridget and Dominic, demolishing another of Bridget's fantastic home made curries. As most of us are originally from "somewhere else",  the discussion rolled around to The British. I laughed when it was pointed out that, ever polite, the British stick to two inoffensive topics of conversation: the weather and the state of the roads. It hit me that my recent blog posts have covered both topics.

I wonder if that entitles me to dual citizenship?

Not to let readers down, I will give you the weather update: still zero degrees and windy, but dry. Finally. There was just so much rain! When I observed partridges pairing up, I wasn't sure if it was for breeding or if they thought someone was building an ark.

I have no update on the roads - they're still collapsed, but we're using them anyway.

However, the soil has dried out enough for me to start cultivating the vegetable patch, which is doubling as a turkey sanctuary and healing centre -

One of the turkeys ripped its toenail clean off, and prefers to sit and rest her sore foot rather than walk. The other turkeys and chickens kept pouncing on her, ever vigilant for a chance to bully the weak. So, Turkey got the blue spray treatment that I use on the sheep to fight any infection, and we keep each other company inside the safety and tranquillity of the vegetable cage.

At work and at rest

Podge is filling out. She looks like an overstuffed burrito now. I revamped the whelping box and put in Cocker pup-sized roll bars, so she won't squash her Podgelets. I let her inspect my craftsmanship -

Seems OK to both of us.

Easter was uneventful, save the daily routine of picking up pheasants' eggs which has finally started late due to - You guessed it! - weather conditions. Yesterday as I bent to fill my basket, I counted my ewes grazing the laying field and there was one extra. I counted again. Then, I noticed a set of horns on one of the ewes.

Not living in town, I don't walk by shops and look into display windows and think "Oh, I'd like that!". But I do drive by a field of Dorset sheep every day, and there are a few horned Dorsets among them (the Polled form was derived from the original horned Dorsets). Without thinking, I mentioned to Mike how much I liked the look of those horned ewes, and for Easter, that's what I got-

Every new arrival gets christened sooner or later. Well, you can imagine what the boys named the only horned sheep in the flock. I was affronted on her behalf, so decided to give her a fancypants show name to make up for it. I christened her Hortense Cornucopia. The boys immediately burst out laughing and came up with an even worse nickname: Horny Corny. I rolled my eyes. 'Boy humour' is an acquired taste.

Now, to be safe and protect what's left of both our dignities, I simply call her 'New Sheep'.

We had an Easter bunny, too -

They're in season now, and in good condition. Nearly a pound of boneless meat came from that chap.


janice bendixen said...

Jen, that was the best laugh I've had in days! Darling Husband is driving a flatbed/boom truck from Madison, WI to Palmer, AK so I've had next to zero sleep. Making me kind of punchy, which is probably how you feel frequently. I love Horny Corny! Seeing as how I'm surrounded by testosterone (except for my sweet Airedale Terrorist), I can relate to male humor now. Hurray for sun! Happy change on the WX and welcome New Sheep

Poppy Cottage said...

Hello! You've been busy. Least the Easter Present from mike won't end up on your hips!!! Cottage is looking really good but I have to admit that I am tired and fed up of painting. Fancy a cuppa if you are coming into Bridport? Have some finished tidy rooms!!

Now on the Podge front........ Are all the pups spoken for? I am VERY interested if not. I keep missing posts. I am getting in the habit of not using the Internet too much. Just so the shock of not having it very often doesn't come as too much of a surprise.


JAY said...

I've read your blog for ages and love your sense of humour. I have just read Dies the Fire through following the Cold Antler Farm blog and would be interested to know what you think of it. I reckon you would survive pretty well in the event of 'the Change'.

Jennifer Montero said...

Thanks for your kind comment JAY. I enjoyed Dies the Fire enough that I'm now listening to the first book in Sterling's Nantucket series. I'm still in two minds about the latter, but in its defense, I'm not concentrating enough to follow all the characters. What did you think? Also, always looking for recommended reads in the post-apocalypic genre, if you have any to suggest?

I would never survive The Change as predicted in Sterling's book - I rely on YouTube videos to teach me everything now, and no computers would mean I would only have access to what my tiny, forgetful brain could remember!

peppergrass said...

I'd love to have your recipe for rabbit! Bought my first one and it's been in the freezer a month. I think I'm a bit intimidated....

JAY said...

I reckon you would be way ahead in the gardening, growing your own meat, physical strength, tenacity and general ingenuity stakes!
In the post apocalyptic genre I have read and enjoyed a book by Starhawk called(long pause while I search untidy house for item in question) -'The Fifth Sacred Thing.'
Its got some similarities to 'Dies the Fire' in that there is an agrarian peaceful community and a militaristic one and it has a wiccan type theme.
I don't think either book is great literature and there is some bizarre dialogue in both but I really liked the fact that Dies the Fire made me think about what my resources both personal and practical would be in the event of 'The Change' and I like to be made to think 'out of the box', so I am glad to have read both from that point of view.

Jennifer Montero said...

Peppergrass - If you can cook chicken breasts, you can cook rabbit, so there's no need to feel intimidated. Like chicken breasts, it's a low fat meat and can be cooked in the same way. I often slow cook it then prepare a creamy mustard sauce to tip over the pieces, but any favorite chicken recipe can be easily adapted. Let me know how it turns out!

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

You got a sheep for Easter! Crazy goyim.

Nice sheep, though.

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Trying to catch up with everyone, since I've been gone. I did a post on GMO's in animal feed. I believe they are illegal where you live? Trying to spread awareness about their dangers. Hope you'll stop by! I like your Easter gift....even if she'll have to live with being called horny corny. lol