Wednesday 6 January 2016

My Ol' Man Said Foller The Van

'Mad Max' vehicle lurking under a sheet. It does good 'lurking'!
I hinted in the last post that we might be in for a busy time of it this New Year as our friends Carolyn (of the mini horses) and K-Dub had been bounced by a rather rapid house sale and the need to clear out of house, yard, out-buildings and garden by the 5th of January. This coming hot on the heels of a family Christmas and then the need to attend a family wedding up in Dublin just prior to New Year.

Billy is a shaggy, out-doorsy kind of lad, pretty close to the
feral Irish 'wild goat'.
Anyone who has tried to move house after living in a place for ten years will be familiar with the sheer amount of 'stuff' that you can accumulate, especially when you have a small-holding with associated animal-management gear (kennels, hutches, horse-tack, buckets, dustbins of feed etc) and a daughter growing up through the teenage years and then shipping off to college. Add to that, that K-Dub is a professional Master-Carpenter, so his 'stuff' comes in the form of fully tooled workshop with massive table-saw, substantial router-deck, BIG pipe-benders and various drills, nail guns and saws which come in suitcase-sized cases.

Nanny Óg - pronounce the 'O' long as in 'bogus'. It is Irish
for 'young Nanny'.
He is also a bike-nut who goes in for heroic bizarre projects like home-built "trikes". Don't get the wrong idea that a "motor-trike" is not much bigger than a motorbike. This project is based around a Ford Transit Van engine, gearbox, diff and rear axle and will have a front wheel the size of a tractor rear one. Unfortunately this was still a work in progress at removal time, and there was no driving out and whizzing round to the new place. Three of us sweated blood manhandling it onto a trailer and bringing it round to my place where it has been given dry-ish car-port storage.

The daffs down by our gate think it is Spring.
We had a punishing, bone-aching time for 4 days packing the stuff and transporting it, some here, much more to an unoccupied house near the new place, generously offered by a soon-to-be-neighbour and a smaller amount to the caravan they have bought as a temporary home while the real house is made ready. Liz, Carolyn and a couple of other friends packed, stripped rooms and cleaned behind themselves while K-Dub and I plus various helpers down from Dublin loaded and hauled what seemed like dozens of loads in a big hi-cube builder's van and a long car-trailer out to the various destinations, often starting at 8 a.m. and finishing well after we had lost the light. It always seemed faster to unload than load; none of us could work out why.

Last of the Seasonal left-overs. The last slice of pud with
ice cream and cream for my lunch today. 
We may have missed the midday deadline on the 5th (it was more like 6pm) but the buyer was cool with that as they were not ready to move in anyway. As to the livestock, they had unshipped most of that, selling off all but one of #1 Daughter's 40+ rabbits, the one going to a local friend for safe-keeping. We inherited the 2 goats, also temporarily much to the amusement of all my friends who have been hearing me shout 'No Goats' ever since we have been here. These are a shaggy, mountainy-looking miniature male and a sweet, possibly pregnant, short haired lady who are called Billy and Nanny Óg. The Óg is pronounced with a long 'o' (as in bogus) and is the Irish word for young but Terry Pratchett fans may have also noticed a pun on the name of one of his 'Wyrd Sisters'.

June born lamb Dylan (left) with Mum
Although we had applied for Goat Herd number registration way back, this number had lapsed with our non-keeping of the species. I had to contact the Ministry boys today to get goats "active" on my list, so that we can officially transfer these two animals into this holding. Nanny is in with the ewes during the day but gets walked home to her warm, dry shed at night. These short-haired 'domestic' goats are derived from Mediterranean animals and they do not thrive in cold and wet. Billy is much more of a shaggy, mountainy, 'Irish' strain, like a French 'Mouflon' (with horns to match) so he is in the pig enclosure for now and sleeping happily in the pig ark.

The Sligo house rebuild looking good now.
And in case you had forgotten, today is 12th Night and Epiphany but much more important to Irish ladies, it is 'Nollaig na Mban' or 'Ladies Christmas'. a day for the ladies to relax and be pampered by their men-folks as a big Thank You for all the hard work those ladies do over the Festive Season. Where are those frozen pizzas I bought cheap from 'salmonella corner' at Lidl's?

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