Friday, 1 September 2017

One Out, One In

The 'Wimmin'. Left to right, Cousin Cathy, Steak Lady and Lizzie
It is a bit like hand-over day at a guest house here today with one guest vacating the spare bedroom and, following a quick blitz by the 'Housekeeping' dept, a 2nd installed. On the way out was Mum in Law (Friend of the Blog, known as 'Steak Lady' here) who'd been up for a couple of nights and was now off home.

Cathy and Liz (snr.)
Creature comforts - Deefer lying in a patch of sunlight while
leaning her head on the warm lit range. 
Fuller's London Pride.
Collected from her Knock Flight at lunchtime today was Liz's cousin Cathy, a first time guest. Cathy was Liz's closest cousin when they were all young children together and 2 families briefly lived in the one house in Portmarnock. They are still the best of friends but Cathy is a busy lady (all that taxi-ing teenagers about that all Mothers are familiar with) and had not, till now, been persuaded to make the trip to Ireland to visit us in our new abode.

Regular visitor Danielle (as in Dan and Dan, recently wed on a cruise ship) is Cathy's eldest and Jacob, who visited recently (April 15th) is her 2nd child and oldest son. Cathy recently had a Birthday and Danielle plus Jake conspired to arrange her flights over here and time off the home duties to spring us on her as a nice surprise present. Cathy only found out yesterday that the true destination was here and the rest is history.

Bee hive.
We love that when asked by her children what she'd do here she said, quite simply "I am going to Stop!" Not stop as in stay here (though I think that is even a possibility!) , stop as in take your foot off the accelerator, stop fussing, stop worrying about anybody else, stop with the child-taxi service and all the demands of busy parenthood. All that stuff is catered for by the kids' Dad or the older 2 'children'. We love that we can provide the sort of accommodation where guests can really relax, no demands on them, lie in if they want, sleep during the day and so on. Cathy is surely a deserving case. It will be interesting to see whether she really does slow down. Liz is currently showing her how to make Mayonnaise. I guess that's a form of relaxation.

Part of Liz's Birthday 'haul', this metal and glass owl (and a
frog) for the outside walls. 
Less relaxing and rather more alarming a story comes to us from a friend and nearby smallholder (no names, no pack drill and some 'detail' redacted to protect the innocent and guilty. No pictures, obviously). This lady went out to milk her goats a couple of days ago and was attacked, badly and without warning by her Billy-goat. She was badly hurt - rammed, knocked down several times, stomped on and bitten.

Mum on the phone.
The boy intended to do her some serious damage. He managed to bruise her all round the arms and chest and gave her some bad scratches by slamming her into sharp edges. It started when she unbolted the door to go in for the first milking-Nanny and he slammed the door back past her so that he and all 3 Nannies got out into the yard. It was during her attempts to round up the Nannies that he kept coming at her. It seemed to go on for an hour, she says, though she has no idea really how long.

An interesting birthday present - a DNA testing kit.
She talked me through what she could remember - they'd gone all round and about and between a car, trailer, 2 wheel barrows, pallet sized water butts, stacks of tyres and a fruit cage frame. The Billy had moved the trailer in his efforts to get at her and banged it into the car. Eventually, scrabbling back up from lying on her back between two water butts on the gravel with the goat towering over her with "mad eyes", she was able to grab a pitchfork and manouvre him back into the shed door. There he went all quiet.

While we're looking out, these guys are
often looking in. 
To cut a long story short, Billy goat is no longer living at that address and our friend swears she will never own another male goat. On the plus side, dozens of people have raced around to her with sympathy, help and offers of cover while her partner is currently out of the country for a few days. Liz and Liz went round yesterday and me today. She is now recovering from the shock and is able to tell the story without the tears welling up.

Soldier. The shiny redness is a reflection off Mum's car bonnet,
 on which he was sitting
It is one of those things that all we live-stock folk have at the back of our minds - even if it is only roosters, stag-turkeys or buck-rabbits rather than the bigger, heavier, more powerful rams, boars, bullocks or protective females of these species with calves/lambs/piglets to protect. They can and do turn vicious and have enough teeth, jaws, hooves, horns and claws to do a soft-skinned human plenty of damage. Stay safe people. It's a jungle out there.

3 comments:

Lorna said...

Agree that it's lovely when you can just "stop" on holiday.
That's scary re the billy goat! Hear of rams going off on one occasionally and of course, bulls have to be treated with huge respect but I've never heard of a billy goat attacking anyone so savagely. It just shows that you can't presume anything with animals. Hope she recovers okay, inside as well as outside.

Danielle Weston said...

Lush x
Danielle

Danielle Weston said...

Lush xxx