Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We are eggstatic!

Yes folks, The Three Degrees, those little brown beauties (I am not being racist here) have finally delivered.
This morning La D went to open the coop and noticed one of the chickens running over to a place by the fence rather than dash to the food as normal. On closer inspection La D found not one, but four eggs.
She was so eggcited as she rushed back to the house yelling, “L’uomo chi fa, l’uomo chi fa” at the top of her voice. I thought something terrible had happened such as Signor Volpe had visited in the night. But no.
She said, “Look at these beauties” and she opened her hands and there they were. Our first eggs.
Our breakfast consisted of coffee and scrambled eggs on toast. Fantastic.
After breakfast, La D took some old greens down for the hens and just had a another look at where she found the eggs and blow me, there were three more. They must have been laid in the previous hour. You do not get any fresher than that. If they continue to lay at this rate we might be in a position to give a few away to our neighbours which would be really good.
I don’t think it matters that they don’t use the beautiful hand-crafted nesting box that I made for them, as long as we know where to look for the eggs that they do lay.
We are very proud of them.
Well done girls.

Rellies Holiday and Kitten Sexing

La D’s son and his girlfriend and their two children came over to visit for their summer holidays.
We have had a lovely time. The weather has been very kind to us with only a couple of showers and then brilliant, hot sunshine for the rest of the time. We’ve been to the beach (twice), the lake, the Abbadia di Fiastra and the swimming pool (loads of times) near us at the bottom of the hill. We also visited Tolentino for a Friday night market, which was advertised for children, but we couldn’t really see that it was particularly children focused.
It has been so good for Bertie to have some young children around. The grandchildren have a big Springer at home and are well used to being barged about and barging back again. Bertie took to them straight away as they did to him. There was only one little incident just after they first arrived and inevitably it centred around food, but that was soon sorted out.

The kittens are growing well and getting very adventurous. If we try to give them away, – La D is considering, sorry, we are considering, keeping them all, more about this later – we need to know what sex they are. La D’s son’s girlfriend is something of an expert in kitten sexing. She has had cats and kittens with her for years. After a cursory inspection and then a more detailed look at their anatomies, there are two girls and two boys, a perfect split.

A Near Death Experience

As you know, La D and myself take it in turns to take out the beast first thing in the morning.
Last Tuesday The Bert and I wended our sleepy way to the campo at the bottom of our lane. I slipped him off the leash and off he went as usual. Running down the field and into the woods and back again. I just amble down the field to a particular point and then turn round and trudge back up the incline, usually yawning.
I got to the point where I was going to turn round and Bert was sitting there looking further down the field, his ears pricked. I looked where he was looking but couldn’t see anything; the grass down there is well over a metre tall.
Suddenly Bertie set off down the slope grumbling, tail very high. I looked again and I saw something brown moving about just above the grass heads.
Bertie got closer and then the brown thing became two things, ears, and they started to move towards Bertie.
At this point Bertie did an abrupt U turn and started belting back to me and this rather large cinghiale burst out of the longer grass and was chasing him at some speed. Bertie rushed passed me and shot back to the top of the field. Meanwhile this wild pig was heading straight for me at some speed on the same track that Bertie had taken.
Pictures and words flashed through my mind. All those books I had read by authors such as Wilbur Smith and Ryder Haggard, saying to me,
“Remember, they are more afraid of you.. Animals like this will not attack unless provoked. Just stay still.” That is a big ask in a situation like this without something like an elephant gun at my disposal. Anyway I just stood completely still, listening to big, brave Bertie barking at the scene, from a pretty safe position at the top of the field. Not very protective for a so-called defender to the death of his usual charge, sheep. This pig was big, and fast and it was getting closer to me rather rapidly, making a lot of noise. I’d really no other option but to stay still. When he was about twenty feet away from he veered off the right snorting and grumbling and ran off down the hill.
“Phew,” I thought to myself. I was fortunate to be wearing brown trousers.
I retraced my steps to where Bertie was still barking in a manner which seemed a little like;
“Yeah, come on then, if you’re up to it. Come on. Come on then. You big fat pig.”
When I got up to him, he stopped barking and gave me a lick then sat down waiting for me to put him on his lead . We set off back to the house with Bertie holding his head and tail high as though he was a returning conquering hero. Bah!
I think I might look at some gun websites.

Well done number 4 son, continued!

My little boy, well he’s 6’ 1”, had just got his “A” level results. The boy done good. Fantastic EMW. We’re very proud.

Ciao, mantenere la fede

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