Friday 25 October 2013

Our Cats Tour Around The Smallholding.

Domino exploring the Ferguson 20 tractor. 
Domino deciding on what restoration work is required.

Domino looking for rats around the cowshed.   Or maybe he's looking at the tyres?
My newly planted 'japs' Winter onions growing in a bath.  Well you don't think we keep coal in it, do you?


  1. Domino looks as though he eats a great deal of mice

  2. Yes, he is developing a rotund look. Seems interested in the tractor as well.

    Good to see one of the grey Massey-Fergies going to be restored, a good winter project.
    Even got some tread left on the tyres, and they seem blown up as well.
    Is it running?
    Looking forward to seeing it in progress, and when it's finished it'll be worth the trip to Ireland to have a play with it, can't remember the last time I saw one working.

    Cattle shed looks good in the background as well.

    Heavy rain this morning and windy, but got out this afternoon, then showers as it's getting dark.
    Raggy cat slipped effortlessly into its hedonistic fireside routine.

  3. Such a lovely cat. Onions in the bath, do they grow well on there, I was wondering what to do with ours as only one hole in the bottom thought things would get waterlogged. I can't make more holes btw as it's the wrong material.

  4. Hi John, Domino is always catching mice and rats. I always get the job of disposing of them.

  5. Hi Cumbrian. The tractor needs quite a bit of work and money spending on her. She does run but she needs some new parts and a complete over haul. The other tractor: 'Super Dexta" is coming along very slowly. She needs a complete rewire and numerous small finishing pieces. You don't what's under the bonnet (or anywhere else) when you start a tractor restoration project. I suppose it's similar to renovating old houses. A coat of paint can hide a multitude of sins. Good winter projects though. Will get there, eventually. Glad to hear Raggy Cat is OK!

  6. Hi Bedford Gypsy. Domino is as great farm cat. I haven't seen any live rats for ages.

    It sounds like your bath is made of cast iron. This is worth at least thirty pounds for scrap metal. Some people restore them and sell in antique shops and architectural salvage yards. You could drill holes in it with a metal drill. It would also make a great wildlife pond and somewhere to collect rainwater for your trees and vegetables.

    Our baths are the modern plastic/fibreglass type. They are easy to drill. I bought them (cheap) to give the cattle water. One of them put its foot through it. So I decided to make them in to raised beds. I drill large holes in them them and place some stones in the bottom for drainage. You could also place small planks or flat stones under the bath to level it up. We then fill the baths with soil and compost. A sand and soil mix is perfect for carrots and parsnips. The winter onions grow well in the baths and you can sit on the sides when you want to weed them. Some people grow onions through plastic, so you don't need to weed them.

  7. Hope you're all battened down?
    Gales here seem to be getting stronger as the day goes on.
    Hope nothing blows away, pleased I'm not out in a boat tonight.

  8. I think we will miss (for a change) most of it Cumbrian. It seems to running in a line from the Humber estuary to Aberystwyth and over the southern half of England.

    The fast ferry from Dublin is cancelled. But the ferries are still running tonight. We bought in provisions yesterday just in case it gets bad. I wouldn't like to be in a boat tonight.


  9. Just watched One Man and His Dog on Coutryfile.
    Terrible weather there as well (Cotswolds) so bad the dogs couldn't hear the handlers.
    Ireland won, brilliant performance by a young man 17 I think he was, top score in the competition.

    Keeping windy here, heavy showers and cold.
    Raggy cat gone out so it can't be that bad. gave t some raw liver today, trimmings from pate-making, wolfed it, have to get it some more.

  10. I use to love watching One Man and His Dog. It's a shame that it doesn't have its own television slot any more. We had a Border Collie who must have been human in another life. Incredibly loyal and intelligent creatures.

    We escaped the bunt of the storm. Bank holiday here in Ireland today. Damp and miserable and cold. There's a lot to be said for moving to a warmer country like Portugal.

    Cattle wolfing silage like it's going out of fashion. Hope you are Ok?

  11. Strange to say, the day dawned quite bright, only a stiff breeze and not raining, bit cold though.
    No damage here, but some parts of Southern England seem to have had a load of grief.
    Up early, my body clock's still on BST, I sometimes wonder what the advantage of playing with the clocks twice every year is?

    One man and his dog I think has been taken over by Countryfile, I watch it every Sunday, BBC1 if I remember correctly.

    Raggy cat back in front of fire, hedonistic little sod.

  12. Been watching the news. The forecasters probably saved lots of lives with their weather forecasts. Looks like there are a lot of fallen trees. Trees are beautiful but they cause so many problems, especially with leaves.

    My body clock is still BST. Don't understand why they change the clocks either. It would ake far more sense to let the schools start at ten and finish at two in the winter. Would hate to live near a rush hour place. Why have we got this obsession with 9 to 5? Also why couldn't they give people a day off when there's a major storm forecast?

    Yeah I noticed that One Man And His Dog is now only allowed a few minutes slot on Countryfile. It's about time we had country programmes on the television every night. I often forget to watch it on a Sunday.

    Range lit early this morning. Lots a people complaining about rising fuel bills at the moment. Perhaps we should rethink the idea of heating all our house? Imagine if we lived in one room with a bed settee and a range to keep us warm? Perhaps down sizing is the answer? People long a go never had central heating, did they? They would put an extra blanket on the bed and go to bed earlier in the winter. Alternatively they could always re-nationalize the energy companies in Britain.

  13. I'm led to believe, in Bulgaria, it's standard practice, at least for the older generation and those who live in rural areas, to heat one room only in winter where they live eat and sleep.
    Heating is by wood-fired stove (petchka) so they need a lot of logs close by before winter sets in, they can be snowed in for weeks in some parts, with very low temperatures.

    It's not that long ago, I didn't grow up with either central heating or double glazing, a coal fire provided heat and hot water, space heating wasn't something that was even thought about. Frost on the inside of the windows let you know it was a cold one, and milk frozen in the bottles was another indicator.

    I spent 6 months living in a rural cottage in winter, no insulation, and only an open fire and a couple of electric storage heaters, I slept in the living room with the fire, a table and chair with a very old timber door with single glazing opening direct to the outside. I'm still here to tell the tale, didn't seem to bother me so much.

    Maybe we've become a bit too dependent on all our mod-cons?

  14. I have seen a few old farm houses abroad on programmes like 'A Place In The Sun' . That had cattle byres under the dwelling. The heat from the cattle would rise and heat the dwelling above them.

    A water bottle and putting on more clothes also helps. Your house in Bulgaria with the wood stove, sounds idyllic.

    The introduction of the 'sokeless zones' in Britain allowed the energy companies a free reign to charge what they want. I bet a lot of the fallen trees will end up in land fill.

    Our solid fuel range isn't instant heat like something that comes on with the switch of a button. But at least we don't get a bill with standing charges.

    I think we've all come dependent to all our mod cons. Cars are another financial millstone around our necks. Country property wouldn't be expensive if we didn't have cars.

  15. Good to hear that yet another Grey Fergie will be saved. Surely (even with its limits) one of the best tractors ever made!

  16. Yes Harry Ferguson revolutionized farming with his Grey Fergie with its three point linkage. Will post pictures when its restored back to its former glory.



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