Sunday, June 15, 2014

For once, rain would be appreciated

Still it has not rained.   If one was on holiday at La Chaise, this is happiness.   But we live here and have a golf course and around 60 sheep, with their lambs, to maintain.  Green grass is essential for both.

Fortunately, la grande Kim, was free to shear the ewes, relieve them of the extra weight of winter wool.  Not that either were particularly pleased with each other.   Clun Forest sheep have a bad reputation amongst shearers for they will not sit still, they wriggle and bawl.  And when you are trying to hold still 80 kg of irritable sheep, with electric shears whizzing in your other hand....One can understand why the sheep are ambivalent about the process. On the one hand the weight of wool must be unbearable in the heat, on the other - they do look angular, almost silly, without it, especially the ram.

now we are all skin and bones we refuse to pose...


 Meanwhile I have been 're-colonising' my house.   After many months away, insects inside and birds outside are taking liberties with my space.  I have resumed the never ending battle against spiders, soon to be joined by flies, the fruit flies have already arrived.  Two sparrows suddenly decided to come look/see inside and got themselves stuck at the top of the stairs, beating vainly against the plasterboard ceiling.   It took the tallest of us - Alexandre - armed with the pool net - nearly an hour to persuade/frighten them out through the bathroom ceiling window.

Meals on the terrace are delightful, as always - but the birds have got into the habit of picking buds from the vine and the wisteria and continue to do so whilst we are eating.   OK, so that is just extra greenery with our meal - but we cannot leave the food unattended, not even in dire emergencies such as having to get more wine, for there will be birds on the table.  We may even have to invite Cha-Cha le chat  to visit from time to time - but even then we could not leave food unattended.
Birds lurking in foliage - no, I cannot see them either

And now Alexandre has had another idea....he would like to add some nanny goats and a billy to the 30 breeding ewes plus one ram that are already here.  He has learned how to make goats cheese, sometimes even using some of my marmelade as a counterpoint flavour. The cheeses are very delicious.    But, whilst ewes and nanny goats may be compatible, I have my doubts about a ram and a billy.

Alex's mixed range of goat cheeses

The next challenge is the annual ear-tagging and weighing of the lambs.  And for this we really, really would appreciate seriously cool weather if not necessarily rain.

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