Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Milk Of Smallholding Animals Kindness.

Here's one of those rare pictures that you get once in a while.  Both my ratting and mouse contractors decided to share breakfast.  If you could speak dog or cat you would probably hear them saying to each other:

"After you."

The picture was taken in our 'Utility Room' or the 'Boot Room' if you're posh and you present Escape To The Country.  We still use it for storing the old welly flobs (my saying) for wellingtons.  Here in West Cork quite a lot of the natives call them the:

"The Rubber Boots".

I haven't complained this week about my vegetable garden looking like Morticia Addams garden (no rose heads to prune) or that I found some wire worm in my potatoes.  No it's a happy post this week.

See you next week.

PS.  For those of you who love Idioms, the Milk of Human Kindness comes from the 'Witches Play' by Mr Shakespeare.  Think his family make fishing tackle these days.  May be not.


  1. A rare picture indeed. First time I've seen a white farm cat. They both look fit though.

    We have a utility room as well, it's a conservatory at the back, with washer, small freezer, drawing board, fishing rod and wellies. Few bits of junk as well.

    Garden's looking well after 10 days total neglect, very green. Landlord's been and cut the tree back from the back wall with a view to getting the outside painted. He didn't do the grass though.

    Weather seems to have improved since I went, bright and sunny last night and this morning.

    Drove up from Southampton yesterday, saw the big Claas harvesters busy in the Southern counties, and hay-making proceeding further North.
    Noticed some pure black stirks, in Berkshire, big blocky animals, wonder what breed they were?
    M6 a nightmare, 3 sets of major rosd-works and 2 accidents bewtween Birmingham and Manchester. Massive delays, hence a 9 hour drive.

    Norway and the North Sea in friendly mode, didn't rain or blow for a full week, but a couple of days with low-flying cloud down to sea level, scary.
    Seems to be silage time there as well, with the piles of big bales where there's a bit of level ground. Fields all sloping up from the fjord edges to towering very steep mountains; not many of them either. Didn't see any animals or crops apart from grass.
    Very expensive country, had a look at a cafe menu (Stavanger) they were offering a burger at 195 Krone, about £20 or just over. Norwegian knitwear, (Bergen) high quality to be sure, but cheapest sweater I saw 1290 Krone.

    Back home to what classes as sense and normality here, tired after an early morning and long drive, couple of pints of ale and a King Edward on the patio sitting in the last of the sunset, an early night.

    Raggy cat came in late, looking fit and fat, asked for milk then curled up on the kitchen chair, waiting to be let out this morning. Doesn't seem the least peturbed by our abscence.

  2. Hi Cumbrian. Thanks for that.

    Alan the cat seems to have done a disappearing act - not seen sight nor sound of him for two days. I just hope the fox or a car hasn't hurt him.

    We would love a conservatory/sun room. Is yours south facing?

    It's misty mizzle, blight weather this morn. The grass is growing very slowly in the silage fields and I am serious toying with the idea of feeding the cattle some of the bales in the yard. There is a pick of grass but you can see hoof marks in the turf. We are giving the them a bucket of cereal to supplement the lack of grass. They seem OK but I don't want any poaching of the pasture.

    The black stirks sound like Aberdeen Angus (McDonalds probably?) or Limousin. We have one called Sooty. Will take a picture of her and post it in a future blog for you.

    The 'pit silage' contractors over here seem to drive big Claas harvesters.

    Been looking at cheap property in Ireland (dwelling in countryside for sixty thousand Euro, Roscoff (France)(32000) and Portugal(24000). You just type in a figure that sounds reasonable and you are amazed what's for sale. Think I would buy somewhere abroad if I could afford it.

    Home brew bitteris now bottled. We made it 8 days a go Will write a blog about it tomorrow. Could do with your advice Cumbrian.


  3. Bottles should be OK, in my experience, most failures are due to lack of steralising (or sanitizing as they say now)
    The teaspoon of sugar per pint bottle should give a slight secondary ferment, I think this is called bottle conditioned, and remember when some bottled beers were like this. Worthinton White Shield was one that springs to mind, it was an art pouring it and getting it all in the glass without any sediment as it came in a brown bottle.
    Dunno about best temperature, I keep mine in the garage, it's cool but not too cold, if you like it cold maybe put it in fridge for a bit.
    I'd be trying one after about 10-12 days in the bottle, pour carefully into a jug bigger than the bottle, saves waste when you can't get it all in the glass because of the head.

    Conservatory is South-facing, gets hot in sunny weather, the door stays open all day. It's not that big, maybe 8' x 9', built on what was the garage but is now an extension of the Living room, and a garage built on the side. Car's never been in it, so it fills up with bottles and junk. We must be the only country in Europe that fills the garage with £100 worth of rubbish and leaves £10,000 worth of car out in the rain?

    Been out this morning, hay-making is proceeding apace, it's being turned and looks to be drying well.

    Have a look at Bulgaria for cheap property, I've even seen them on e-bay.

    Raggy cat came in, just to make sure it's not missing anything I think, then gone out again, probably sun-bathing.
    Hope Alan the cat turns up OK.

  4. Thanks for the home brew advice Cumbrian. I can't wait to drink it. So Monday night will be the 'Tasting of the English bitter night'. Any excuse for a good drink what?

    West Cork is very similar with all the cars parked out in the rain. Would love a conservatory to read and eat my tea and sup my ale in.

    Good luck with the hay. I reckon you will be able to sell that to the lady who keeps the horses. Wish we could have made some hay. Not a chance this year.

    Thanks for the cheap property advice. There really are lots of cheap rural houses for sale. I would definitely buy one if I could. Oh to live in Ireland or England in the summer and disappear to somewhere warm in the winter. I will have to start going on the lottery again.

    Glad Raggy cat is in good form. Will say another prayer for Alan the cat tonight. Thanks for the kind thoughts for Alan.

  5. Dave, sorry to hear that Alan the Cat is missing. I like Alan a lot, because he's really laid back.

    I also like your story about Fido visiting her mother, Waggles, regularly. Any chance of reminding us about this story on here?

  6. Hi Pat, I have been reassured by neighbours that Alan will return from his travels. They have male cats who go walk about.

    Fido still goes to see Waggles her mother on the neighbouring farm. She also followed me down the road to see the cattle and nearly got knocked down. She seems to have an American's road sense walking on the wrong side of the road.

    I like your blog Pat. Great photographs and very well presented.

  7. Thanks a lot for the tips on the template stuff, my blog now looks dare I say it 'incredible'.

    Do you ever go to visit Waggles with Fido?


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