Tuesday 9 November 2021

Hoggy in the house

 Why do things only work when you don’t need them? At last the heat-wave has arrived here in South West France and so the fridge in our camper has packed up, once again, just as we are about to head off to Spain.  This is the second time this has happened but for a few weeks there it did right itself. Of course all the gas engineers are either busy, on holiday or on strike, so it's down to me to voodoo the thing back into working order again, or suffer with warm beer for 3 weeks. Shouting at it does not work. Talk about taking away the umbrella when it starts raining. 

Before we head off west I am back in Blighty for a couple of days, at a sheep sale, trying to buy some more of those teddy-bear things. I say trying, as a few years ago nobody really wanted Ryelands, but now they seem to be the hottest property around and prices are rocketing. I think that is called the law of sod! Once I have bred a few to sell, of course, the wheels (or legs) will have fallen off again, and we will have mutton back on the menu, but I live in hope. The trip won't be without its fraught problems, with tests and retests to organise and pay for as the government still tries to steal all our money through their medical entrepreneurialism but I guess this will be the di-rigour for international travel for a while to come yet.

Talking of overseas trips, my wife presented me with a present for my 60th birthday of two tickets to see Billy Joel, in none other than Madison Square Gardens, NYC, in January. I only hope we can travel a bit more freely by then, as old William can't have many more tours left in him and I have yet to see him live. She also bought me a new sheep crook, as my old one broke long ago, which I would quite like to take to said sheep sale next week. Basically it is just a walking-stick, only slightly longer but apparently you need to be infirm to carry a walking-stick or else I will be charged to put it in the hold? I cannot find the exact ruling on the internet as when I type in the word 'crook' and 'Ryanair' into Google it comes back with Michael O'Leary!

Back to the subject of sheep I have to report that Daisy Death-wish is still alive and well, as is her daughter, Dreda, but she won't be for much longer if she keeps escaping and eating my garden. Last night I physically chased her three times round the swimming pool as she ducked and dived - well not literally dived - to avoid capture. Then, when she gets bored with that she just hops over the electric fence like Mutaz Barshim on steroids. I was considering retiring her from breeding this year as she approaches her tenth birthday but not now, she's fitter than I am. So another year in the penance of motherhood for you, you auld goat!

Last month I introduced our new kitten, whose official name is now Hoggy, after the Scottish rugby player Stuart Hogg. However, he seems to have taken to the name in more ways than one, demanding meals every three hours and making gallant attempts to help himself wherever possible. You may recall we had two ginger cats, one as gentle and loving as a cat can be, the other a thieving wretch with the mind of a criminal genius. Well unfortunately the latter got into a fight and bit off more than he could chew, sadly coming home to die on the morning our big party.  At least he wasn’t around to steal the vol-au-vents. I only hope, in his final days, he didn't pass on some of his trade secrets on to this wee one, like opening a locked fridge for example. Time will tell.

Fridge? Don't mention bloody fridges to me.


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