Monday 23 October 2023

Harvey, Hoggy and Haggis

 Hot, Hot. Hot, that’s all I am saying about the weather at present.

Yes we are back in France and thankful for a handy swimming pool, as well as a bit of space after 7 weeks cooped up in the camper. The sheep show tour continued on into Wales with yet more rosettes and shenanigans, all in all a very enjoyable but tiring time. The house was in reasonable shape when we returned to Chauffour, as are the cats, all well looked after by our house sitters. Unfortunately the thistles were 5 feet high as they slowly take over our fields but after a prolonged wet spring at least we do have 15 large bales of rather spiky hay to sell, and now we can once again see the sheep through the grass. However, they too have a dilemma as we no longer have a vet, should we require one, since ours has stopped treating large animals for reasons better known to himself. We then had a visit from a rather official looking man saying it is obligatory that we are registered with a vet, by law, or else suffer a hefty fine. Since then the hunt has been on but none of the ones within a 40 mile radius want the job, so we are in a sort of catch-22. The fact that we can prove that we haven’t used the service of our vet for the sheep in the 15 years we have been here, save for buying a bit of worming drench, cuts no ice with Monsieur Government man and his bureaucratic team. What a load of nonsense.

This week we have family staying which has involved yet more late nights, as well as long stints with the stove and the corkscrew. My niece’s fiancé is quite handy on the guitar so one evening we decided we should write a song about our pets, as you do after a few sherbets. Me, being the designated wordsmith, rapidly penned a few lyrics while Kris worked on the chords and next thing you know, something quite catchy appeared about Haggis, Harvey and Hoggy, (it all begins with H). We even previewed it to a selected audience at the dinner table a few nights later to rather rapturous applause! Needless to say, we are now working on an album in my new found venture, as if I don’t have enough to do already. So who knows, watch this space...but perhaps not to closely! Meanwhile the large cattle history project that I have been working on is starting to reach a conclusion, still aiming to get his 400 page tome out in time for Christmas, so plenty of overtime to get in the next few months.

And there in hangs yet another problem, that of the Rugby World cup, just around the corner, both metaphorically and geographically. Early September will see us once again load up the camper as we head for the French Riviera to follow the oval ball. I will admit I hold out as much hope of England winning the competition as I do of ‘Haggis, Harvey and Hoggy’ making it into the charts, based on their recent atrocious performances. Thankfully I have dual allegiance, now being the owner of a Scotland AND France shirt and flag, qualifying through marriage and residency respectively! I might even go so far as to dig up a long lost Irish ancestor too, well not literally, obviously. My mother’s maiden name was McCormack so there must be a link there somewhere, to be sure. I think it’s what you would call a spread-bet supporting this time round.  Allez les Bleu, Blanc, Bleu and Vert; has a kind of ring to it, maybe we can include it on our new album. By the way, after an interesting incident the other evening, our band is now named Don't Lick The Toad! 

See you all in Paris for an aperitif.

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