Friday 6 October 2017

Whirlpool's Oven Men

Dead oven heater element. Melted split circled.
Let's hear it, then, for the fitters who work for 'Whirlpool' and come out and fix the Nation's IKEA built-in ovens. Cynics may say that at €155 a call-out (incl parts and half back if they can't repair it and declare it a write-off) they OUGHT to be pretty good but we will hear none of that. The guy came within 2 days of my first shout, texted me to say when he'd arrive and arrived then. He had the suspected element in his van and was in and out within 20 minutes. He was polite, friendly and very professional. I'm calling that a success.

We have been celebrating our return to oven-ness by baking a sponge (Liz) and a sourdough loaf (me). The oven is doing exactly what it is meant to do. I only had to "buy" loaves for the three days.

Dogs get a run around in the East Field at sunrise
Where there is livestock, so they say, there is dead stock and also, just as often we hear "you can't win them all" I am sad to report the loss of one of Stumpy's 4 second-brood chicks. This one never looked like she'd thrive; you develop an eye for these things and can quickly spot that the baby is just a tiny bit smaller, slower, less 'bright' and less active around the feeding lessons. You worry for them and sometimes they pull through but often a 'non do-er' just gets left behind and fades away.

This little Buff-Orp chick seemed also to cling much more closely to Stumpy's feet and was often in the way when she clumsily (she only has one good leg) demonstrated scratching at the ground. We saw her kicked flying many times and once she seemed to get tangled in Mum's flying feet, so was smacked back and forth with each 'scratch'. Ah well. Today I was not surprised to find her lying out on the cold concrete, barely able to keep her eyes open as Mum and the three thriving siblings moved off to find food elsewhere. I picked her up and held her in my hand for a while to see if it was just cold/shock but then passed her to Nurse Lizzie and the sick-bay. Sadly, she only lasted a few more minutes, but at least she died warm and cuddled, not stretched out in the cold.

Pedro paying close attention to Polly.
In the sheep department we have better news. Yesterday morning I spotted Pedro the Ram playing close attention to our old dark-grey ewe, Polly and a few minutes later was mounting her repeatedly. This is the first time I'd actually seen the act so I hope you'll forgive the photo. If all this outdoor sex offends you, then click on by! That gives Polly a likely due date of 5th March. We have no idea whether Pedro has done the deed on ewes Myfanwy and Rosie but it's all looking a bit promising. One small fly in the ointment - the ewes might be a bit 'fat'.

A first for me, seeing the ram doing the deed. The fence rail
nicely censors the rude bits!
The Party Line is that ewes are much more fertile if they are a bit skinny and are commonly "flushed" on poor mountainy land for a fortnight or more just prior to the ram being introduced. Well, I have no Mayo mountains on my patch, so my sheep have had to make do on good Roscommon grass and if they are a tad rotund then there isn't a lot I can do about that. As we go through Winter the grass will fade and they should be at the correct weight come lambing.

Taking a break. Pic by AB
Meanwhile, little to report though we are quite busy, with all three of us (we and the Help-X lad, AB) doing plenty of jobs. It is just that most of those tasks are the hum-drum everyday life. In AB's and my case it's all about clearing up for Autumn, mainly pulling un-ending stinging nettles and dragging out piles of old prunings and branches for onward processing. Of course there is also cooking and shopping and the usual round of helping friends and neighbours.

AB's take on that clichéed Irish-Rush-Hour postcard scene.
We caught up with these escaped ladies on the way back from
Sue and Rob's place. AB was laughing out loud. 
I will do us all a favour and keep this post nice and short. Have a nice weekend.
Soldier borrowed AB's bed. 

No comments: