Lady Astor

Yesterday was one of those pot lid days. You know the ones. When the clouds hang heavy and grey right above your head..  all day long.. but nothing terribly much happens in the meterological arena, just a lot of pot lid above your head. kunekune

It was cold but not too cold. Windy but no more than the usual. The morning was very icy, I got out the Swedish sprigged boots so my jetlagged bum did not hit the ground.



Here is Lady Astor. She has a rather a horsey look I think. Her belt is very wide and her hocks are white.  She is a gentle soul. Not at all as radical as her namesake. But still moves with dignity and breeding. A lovely cow. dutch-belted-cow-038

Sheila bit my hand yesterday. Through my gloves. Drew blood actually, just a little, she was quite snarly.  I think she got a fright when I appeared instead of Jake. She does not like change.  She settled back down immediately. But it is a good reminder that these big animals need quiet slow movements – they can be dangerous. dutch-belted-cow-020


Good morning. I was asked last week, by someone with a vested interest in the answer (more on that soon), what was my favourite post. As opposed to The Most Read post which is this one.  (all about steaming eggs!).  So here is a question for you. Maybe you can help me. Which is YOUR favourite post?  What pops into your mind first. From any year.. I need help .. I simply cannot make up my mind.

I hope you all have a lovely day.

Your friend back home on the farm,



110 Comments on “Lady Astor

  1. Too difficult to choose a single post. I know my “most read post” isn’t my favorite.
    Your trip to the wedding was grand.
    Best, Ruth in Pittsburgh

    • Good morning Ruth. How is the weather over there?. I am so glad you were able to come to New Zealand with me.. Choosing a favourite or even three favourites as proving to be a tough challenge for me too! c

  2. Pigs must have very short memories. Your feelings must have been hurt, as well as your skin.

    My favourite post (that I can brngt to mind immediately) is when you first discovered the Nanny qualities of Boo – in fact any post of Boo with a baby animals would qualify.

    Windows did some updates on my laptop, since when I can’t access the internet, or print by connecting the printer lead. So I have had to revert to steam radio – ie the ancient, slow, sit-up-and-beg PC. Woe is me.

    ViV xox

    • Oh no woe is you! I cannot print from my email anymore.. could this be a smililar problem? I might have to get in my computer man. I will look for that post, the one when I brought marmalade home in a cardboard box! thank you Viv.. c

    • My mistake i think.. she will settle again, plus Poppy might be coming into heat and I had Tane right behind me.. one cannot be complacent around big animals.. Thank you for the link!.. c

  3. This one. The images are exquisite. It’s the first post I ever read of yours, and clearly I have not forgotten it. It took me all of three minutes to find it because I could still see it in my head.

    I agree to keep an eye on the big pig. A bite is a scary thing. I’d have thought she would have been able to smell it was you.

    Lady Astor does have a very narrow head. Would that count off in the show ring? Was she from a line of show cows?

    • She is the mother in a breeding program, but not pure bred enough to show herself. I might take a shot of a few more so we can compare heads, it is an interesting thought. Thank you for the link.. I had forgotton about that one and those images are gorgeous aren’t they!.. are you going to the zoo today? how are my turtles?. c

  4. My favourite post is the one where you brought the baby Tima home on your lap. It was probably the very last time she ever behaved herself… I’m so sorry you and Sheila both had a fright, she because she was startled and you because your friend forgot herself for moment. Oh, and I also loved your first soapmaking post.

    • Thank you kate, funny really that Tima was small enough to fit in my lap.. she is quite the lard arse now!! c

      • Percy is a lard bucket too, just today when I was giving him a good scratch I thought if I tried to hold him on my lap I’d have no more circulation in my legs!

  5. Poor Sheila she must have been so scared..she did not mean to bite, give her a cuddle and all is forgiven. Of course it could be that she is cross because you went and left her. I have heard the when animal owners go away, say for holiday, their aniamls are quite huffy and refuse to be petted …sort of sulking I suppose….
    You are right Lady Astor does have a sort of horsey look, I think it is her eyes, they look calm and gentle like horses do. But a beautiful cow , none the less…..
    It must be great to be home again, even though you miss your family so far away, but you have plenty here to keep you busy and out of mischief…
    As for best post…that is just not possible to choose just one…so I would say none or all….

    • My small dog pouts if I leave him alone too long, especially if I come home smelling of a strange dog! Little brat won’t even look at me. I can’t believe that Sheila’s reaction was intentional, more of a ‘knee jerk’ I would say.

      • Seems that Sheila has forgiven Miss C , dogs and cats can gdt really sulky, so can pet birds..much like us if we are left alone

  6. Good morning, so good to be back on the Farmy again. Too many to pick a single one! Laura

  7. Making Lasagna, Mama’s wool, how we met our John, Mia’s ordeal….Oh my, I could never choose one. Life is a story, not a moment.

  8. I love all of your posts, I don’t think I could choose just one. Wonder if Sheila gave you a little nibble to let you know she doesn’t like your traveling? Ha Lady Aster is very pretty.

  9. I would have to say the post about of the story or you and John. So sweet. Sheila was being naughty, Wasn’t she? I suspect she was just letting you know that she needed to be eased into having you back again on the farm. Welcome home, dear Ce. Thanks for all the lovely posts while you were away. It was like we were with you. 🙂

  10. “Queenie Plays Possum” because I love Herefords and I hate when mine lay out like that, too, because I then have to call to them to make sure they are okay. Then, I feel guilty for waking a mother-to-be from a needed nap! 😉

    • She was a big round girl wasn’t she, sad that she will not breed and will be rehomed, but I am looking to buy a couple of hereford heifer calves in the spring, any ideas? c

  11. Among my favorites are: the story of Sam in the tree, when you wept in the laundry basket, and when you cooked with the old folks in the home.

  12. On your banner photo today, can you please tell me whose farm is whose?

    Also that pot lid description of the day rates as exceptionally creative and spot on understandable.

    • To the right of Lady Astor’s head is the white barn, that is my barn across the way where the calves are.. to the right of her is the crib on the same property – mine also . To her left is a collection of old buildings that belong to another branch of the family. I have only met them once or twice though, they both work off the property and are very busy. Does that help?.. c

  13. You may think me maudlin, but I loved (in a tearful, tearful way) the posts that followed the life and death of Mama Sheep and Daisy this year. It’s easy to love the posts about new piglets and kittens and nanny dogs. I was touched that you so eloquently and carefully took us along on their last journeys. Many folks think livestock owners are heartless in regards putting down the larger beasts in our care.

    • Oh carla, yes those were as hard to write as they were to read but they are honest.. losing the big animals is hard for sure.. c

  14. Goodness, hope your bite is better…naughty Sheila. My favorite post is the one with Nanny Boo and the lamb. Sorry can’t remember the babe’s name. Enjoy being back home…

  15. Perhaps Sheila slept badly and had a piggie nightmare. I can’t find the post, but the first one that came to mind was the story of your children when you were in NZ. Sops was a toddler and the boys were climbing the tree after a day at the beach and disaster was narrowly escaped. You were talking to your dear friend on the phone and making quiche. Have a good day, C.

    • Oh yes, that was a wonderful memory.. was is kids and balls? I will try to find it.. thank you kim.. my sister LOVED her knickers bag by the way.. she thinks we should market them to the NZ army! c

  16. Like Kim, I love the posts from your childhood and young mother years in New Zealand. The one where your brothers eyelashes and eyebrows were flash burned away while you and your siblings were getting ready for school. The one where your brother rode the bike with no brakes down the hill and straight into the ocean. And the sad but loving ones about you sinking into the laundry basket with the sheet over your head, and then looking up to find your baby boys dancing in mud puddles with their clothes on their heads. And of course the one with you rolling on the floor in the dressing room laughing maniacally with your Mom as your toddler crawled off, much to the dismay of the salesgirl. You’ve had such an interesting life Celi, with so many trails and tribulations that you have overcome, and fascinating experiences, all over the world! I will be the first to buy your memoir when you finish it!!! xoxoxo

    • Goodness, you remember more of them than i do. maybe I should try and gather them all together.. all the links in one post or something.. they would make for interesting reading again.. c

      • Yes! And order them in a memoir like style, so that when you are ready and have time (yuck yuck) you can go back and more easily craft your memoir. I just know that will happen someday! xo

  17. Maybe you need to move slowly but make more noise when you visit Sheila first thing in the mornings. I know well those pot lid days we had more than our share of them recently. At least the couple of days of snow, things were brighter even if it quickly turned to slushy ice. Take care and stay warm.

    • we have lots of ice here at the moment so i am moving slowly in sprigs! Hope you are too, i live in terror of your slipping on your back step in your part of the UK that is Irish.. so you be careful too.. c

      • Worry not, my back door is LOCKED and will stay that way until Spring. My bins are at the side of the bungalow so I use the front door when I need to go outside.

  18. I was most touched by your story of giving birth and giving up your first child. You painted a vivid picture of the nuns and your surroundings. Sad…very sad.

    • and wonderful too.. he is a lovely boy.. Actually Pat that is the story i should write.. it is etched into my brain.. every scent, every image.. etched. c

  19. Oh dear, how many of us hasn’t pulled a “Sheila” every now and then when in a bit of a snarl? You know your girl… her temperament and her ways. She truly adores you. It’s difficult to pick a favorite post. I love the farmy photos but mostly I love the way your words lilt me with story or thought, and my favorites are the one where you reach the very depths of my soul. For that reason I choose, It probably won’t be anyone else’s favorite, but it’s mine. Your words gently coaxed years of my patching, reapairing and fiddling with my ineptness at handling the holidays, and put it into perspective. Your’s was the voice that reached out and made it “ok” to be different. I love all of your posts, Celi. You help us all see it’s “ok” to be however we need to be with the happiness-es, the disappointments, failures, and the challenges of every day life. Your gift with words and expression is exemplary and fitting. It’s why we all come back for more each day. You are real life happening, with compassion and kindness. And I think the animals make it easier for us to relate to… we’re not so different from them, you know!

    • Oh Lori, thank you darling. That post is close to my heart too. You always say the kindest things.. take care honey.. c

      • Yes, I think that’s my favorite also, It makes me feel not so guilty about wishing it was over before it even gets here.

    • That’s my pick also. (Although there’s another one lingering in the back of my mind – I commented something to the effect that you had just written your into/chapter to the new collection. If I get time I’ll try to skim back and find which one that was)
      There’s something that flows from your farmy posts. Something organic and timeless. Farms bring people back basics of life – what is important, involving the relationships between mankind and the earth as well as the compact between domesticated animals and farmers – it’s all so much closer to instinctively readers recognize as what real life is – far from the artificial “life” man has created with business, houses, and four closed walls.
      Take care, walk slowly on icy grounds, stay warm, and forgive the animals now grouchy to show they missed you!

  20. Oh SHEILA!!!! I am shocked, but you have such an understanding way with your animals great and small, it’s wonderful. She’s lucky you are so patient. I think my favorite post of your has got to be the early posts about your Sheila trials. You explain her personality so well but also as it was becoming obvious that she wasn’t getting bred, but how you loved her anyhow, I really appreciated you explaining your thoughts.

    • I do Love that big fat pig.. she is most happy today, the sun is out and I fed them in the field so she was out for a while.. she loves to get out into the fields.. c

  21. Oh – to choose just one? I am such a lover of the silly Boo, I would have to pick one of his. Maybe the one when the kittens were all over him, or the day he came to live with you. Or maybe Marcel and Boo. But that is the photography that makes me giggle or sigh.

    Of course I love the poetry in your writing so there are so many. The sad ones of when Mamma died….. Or Kuppa…. Heart wrenching but beautiful prose. Big Dogs tribute was so beautiful also. Your most recent post about leaving your family was beautiful also.

    I’m just no help here, as I love all your posts and pictures. Good Luck.

    OH – The Christmas Owl was good too. See – it’s like picking your favorite child – how will your ever choose?

    • We should definitely get another blue peacock this spring.. do you think? I miss Kupa’s colour in the gardens.. c

      • Oh yes, that would be fabulous to have another blue, but would he and Gadot be able to get along? With another rooster? Is a male Peacock called a rooster?

  22. Impossible to choose, though I do keep NiNi, Mama on my current email list to reread. And the saddest photo ever was to me Boo standing guard over the covered body of Big Old Dog. I was neve able to download it properly, but it is seared in my memory. And the whole sequence of caring for Kupa in your bathroom.

    On another subject, Equuslover says she loves Lady Astor’s looks.

    • I saw that shot of Big Dog again today as i was searching the posts.. so sad.. but good too.. you know what I mean.. I do miss mama, she was such a good sheep.. do you have this sun today equus? it is lovely out there.. c

    • Yes that was marmalade, when she came home in a little box.. Lady Astor is standing out in the field taking the air, warming in that cold sun, she is such an architectural cow!.. c

  23. Celi, my favorite post is the one about the job you had at the old folks home and the “midnight teas.”

  24. My favourite post is so unlikely to be yours! It is the story of your visit to live with the nuns-about your granny sending you her ring in secret, and being on the plane in the white dress. I totally know about being in a balloon beyond myself and that story gave me great comfort. I am sorry I am not a help with your decision!

    • Not that unlikely Leah, I remember biting that man like it was yesterday, but I cannot find that post.. I need to remember the tags or the title.. any ideas?.. I should have everything more organised!! .. you have been a great help.. never doubt your input.. it is good.. c

  25. One of mine is the day you found Boo….at the fair? I saw the post title on someone else’s blog and as I had a newish puppy, I was drawn to come and read. I remember your description of cradling him in the car and and crooning ‘little boy blue’ at him. My next favourite, or equal?…….is also very early in my reading when you were planting trees for your long time Farmy members, naming the people and trees. I so wanted to be one of them…….

  26. Oh my goodness. I feel very privileged to be asked this question. There are so many. But here are three I love: FLUX and BEING A STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, CARRYING A LITTLE BIT OF HOME IN MY POCKET and THE STORY OF THE DAY I MET MAMA THE SHEEP. I have also found not enjoyable but infinitely moving and meaningful every single post I’ve read about the death of an animal.

    • The day I met Mama.. makes me sad – losing her.. That sheep taught us many things.. maybe our next Fellowship Book should be burial rites.. death is such a huge scepter in a Life.. which reminds me did I get your letter for Letters to my Baby Girls? c

      • No. I have been under the weight of those Big List life things. Selling and buying a house…am through the tough part for the moment…will try to write it today. Which is perfect as we are celebrating the Birthday of the “Baby” girl this weekend.

  27. The ill wind that blew no good. It was my first insight into your blog. It communicates so much. I share it with those experiencing similar things.

    • Interesting that so many remember the first post you read.. I wonder whether there is serendipity at work there.. c

  28. Hi and welcome home…..a cow with a horsey face !! I think my favorite is the laundry basket moment…….Loved the wedding photos and really enjoyed the trip !

  29. “Sitting in a Laundry Basket of Fresh Washing – a story” is my favourite post. It reminds me, even today when I am sad, that this too shall pass. My favourite photo of all time, though, is the one of Boo, giving us ‘that look’. That look is what signed me up to your blog. xx

  30. Ah, Sheila, we all bite sometimes when we don’t mean to, and sometimes we forget the nuances of our loved ones, four legged or two, and rattle them unintentionally. And the ones who don’t like change take gentle handling at those times.
    The Commenters Lounge has covered off many of my favorites across the varied themes. I don’t have a specific favourite, but I always enjoy the posts where you channel the words in the voices of the Farmy cast. There are many others as well where your writing is so exquisite that it just moves me, but I’m not sure in this instance that’s what you’re looking for. If any more specific post comes to my mind, I’ll let you know 🙂

  31. Ouch! Hope your hand is ok. Sheila says she’d better get to go with you next time. Leaving her there to read your blog, and you were feeding people instead of her, where it is warm, nonetheless! 😉 Hope she’s settled again. Godot’s tail is coming along nicely.

    • Godot has the longest and flimsiest tail.. I hope he is fertile this coming summer.. I am looking forward to his babies!. c

  32. Littlesundog is ‘wrong’: that one of yours is probably my favourite also plus every one of Boo being Nanny 🙂 ! And please no one else call the Duchess of Cornwall ‘horsey’ – actually methinks, alongside Diana’s boys she has been a very good and stabilizing influence in the Royal Family . . . . full of both sense and humanity!!

      • You are talking of the Fellowship Forest – did a certain tree I kept on following survive that dreaded winter?

        • Yes, your tree is still alive i think, though we are in deep winter so it is hard to tell, but it survived last year, grew in the summer and is a lovely strong willow.. c

          • Hmmph: takes after me naturally 😀 !!! Sleep well Milady . . . .and thanks for the news!!

    • Oh I had forgotton about that one.. wasn’t Kupa beautiful.. and those children were wee stars.. they have all shifted to Phoenix and I do miss them.. c

  33. I remember the post you wrote about death practices, and the one about how you met John. I like the ones where you took a plunge. I’ll keep thinking about this.

  34. Ouch! Are pig bites dangerous. I got bitten by a cat on Sunday (not one of mine — I was helping a friend give hers a pill) and am having to watch the wound for signs of infection.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: