When Our John goes off to work in the morning at 5 am, he brings me a small strong hot freshly ground cup of coffee. Being the romantic soul that I am the first thing I say to him before he leaves for work and won’t be seen again for a good 12 hours, is “What’s the weather like?”
“We’re in for a bit of wind” he said “Gusting up to 50 mph. Warm though.”
“Gale force winds” I said, grateful I was not at sea. “Don’t blow away” and fell straight back to sleep. I never go back to sleep!
I woke an hour later to a branch flying into the side of the house and the wind screaming past the window. TonTon was looking at me through the French doors, his doggy hair blowing backwards, saying “Are you going to Do something? What are you Like? Are you sleeping in! Sleeping IN! The barn is blowing away, all the buckets are in the North 40, the chickens are walking sideways, you have missed your blog deadline and you are sleeping IN!!”
“Bugger.” I said and rolled out of bed. When John’s grandfather’s tenant cut an enormous hole in the front of the barn to fit his new combine harvester many, many years ago, he roughly hung those two enormous doors. They were and still are only fastened at the top, not the bottom. They must be, (Oh I don’t know,) about 16 feet tall. You have seen them. Nothing holding them down. You can imagine what happens when it blows. Usually I have them jammed into place with cement bricks and big hooks and lengths of timber. An ingenious Celi system. As I swung out of bed, pulling on whatever pants were handy and ‘my cleanest dirty shirt over my nightie’ I remembered that I had unhooked the doors and pushed everything open to let the spring in. Nothing was holding the doors down, I had a 50 knot sou’west and I had slept in. I could hear the banging of them from the house.
And so I pulled and pushed and swore like a fisherman as I dragged those flying doors across and jimmied and heaved until I could lock them down and haul all my bricks and rocks and barriers and railway sleepers back into place. Without any brute to force with, I used the lulls in the wind. As each door fell I rushed in with the heavy stuff and jammed it back into place. The wind screaming as I slowly beat it, I could hear nothing but wind.
By then I was in a moody, so I decided to reorganise all the stock into pregnant and not pregnant. Like everyone I am running right to the day on feed and the pregnant girls need extra, so no wasting that extra feed on fat rams with nothing better to do but chase the girls off. Or a steer that I will fatten on green pasture later.
Moaning Mia was determined to stay with her mother and so they are now in the central pen. Daisy and Hairy MacLairy have set up housekeeping again in the Cow Side. Hairy has the best fleece so I do try to keep him away from the cows and their messes but needs must. He cannot bully Daisy. And the calves, including Queenie Wineti who is bullied by just about everyone, are in the Black Hole of Calcutta – which by the way opens onto the yards with the best trees, so why they all moan and carry on, when I put them in there, I do not know.
Later in the day we went to visit the Old Codger. We talked about this and that, he likes the unit he is in, which I am very pleased about, he is well into his rehab and asked where TonTon was. So I spoke to the staff and they said is he potty trained? I said, well yes! They said, fine, bring him in then. As easy as that.
I told the old codger and it appears that he had already talked to the staff about His Dog. He said that the staff had told him that there was an old lady who lived there, who sat in a corner with her chin on her chest and did not move except to breathe for weeks on end. Someone had brought in a dog a while back and she had opened her eyes into slits (he mimed this bit) put her two little fingers to her mouth ( he mimed that too) and whistled a fantastic sheep dog whistle loud enough to wake the whole place. Scared everyone half to death including the dog – then she smiled, patted the trembling dog and went back to sleep. The Old Codger and I looked at each other. Both coveting her ability to do The Real Whistle.
All things being equal TonTon and I will be going to the Old Folks home on Friday. Remind me to take your eyes in the camera. We will see what we will see and you will see on Saturday.
Today is dawning cloudy but thankfully calm. No smashing doors and flying branches this morning. I am off to the barn to feed out, drag the hoses across and fill water tanks then finish my relocation stockwork. Then clear another garden.