The Greek fires still rage, fanned mercillessly by the warm winds in the Peloponnese;
tragically, we are told the death toll has risen to over sixty. That’s sixty lives claimed, as well as vast tracts of beautiful, ancient landscape lost forever. Arson is definitely suspected as it seems the fires started simultaneously, in discrete locations throughout Greece. Satellite photographs reveal the shocking extent of the damage; it’s amazing that people have escaped at all, & hundreds must be homeless, must have lost everything, by now. But all the tears we could weep for such loss, would not quench the voracious appetite of those greedy flames.
Natural disaster is always a shocking tragedy: with all the earthquakes, floods & fires of late it really does feel as if Mother Nature is either giving us a ‘wake up call’ or is punishing us for our casual & selfish disregard for her gifts. But this; this is something different….that man can destroy man – & planet – for the apparent pleasure of it…. (for why else has this been done? – if it’s ‘terrorism’, why have there been no political statements from the fanatics who did it, burning with their warped desire for ‘revenge’ on who-knows-what?)…. oh how much lower, can our sad species sink?
Meanwhile, Wales is having its’ own pyratical problems it seems: in the last 24 hours the local Fire Brigade has been called out to five chip-pan fires. I suppose that as it’s a Bank Holiday people have been partying a bit harder than usual; & having an attack of the ‘nibbles’ on their return decide (gawd knows why) to make some chips, & fall into a drunken stupour after whizzing up the temperature under a nice full pan of volatile vegetable oil. Hmmm, not a bright idea, methinks…..for goodness’ sake, folks – pop into the ‘chippy’ on your way home; or if it’s closed make a sandwich instead as the ‘safe’ option (unless you happen to cut yourself in which case you must be so drunk you are way beyond the reach of sustenance anyway).
Ah, well. Perhaps I’m just envious of all those happy partygoers enjoying their Bank Holiday entertainment whilst I’m here following the standard 365-day-a-year, twice-a-day routine of milking, feeding & shovelling the endless piles of poo which are the result of the aforementioned activity. Well – actually I’m not, really; whilst I may not get a Bank Holiday as such at least I’m doing, every day, something I enjoy in a place that I love; & how many of us can count ourselves lucky enough to be able to do that? (It’s the old ‘work-to-live’ or ‘live-to-work’ scenario).
It has been mentally taxing though as today was ‘Skool’ for me & Nanuk; Jean put us through our paces in order to get Nanuk to learn to concentrate with other dogs around, as next Sunday morning we have the first of our group training sessions. It all went pretty well; except that all the way there, & all the way back, Nanuk howled in my ear…..& it’s a good half-hour drive, across country. But it’s worth it to see Nanuk’s gradual transition to a happy, well-adjusted, well-trained pet. Meanwhile the goats enjoyed another day in the fields, albeit frowned upon by some heavy cloud cover & cooler temperatures. The milk yield had dropped a little; conversely the hens had excelled themselves, laying nine large, brown-shelled eggs; & I breakfasted in the Hothouse on delicious little golden ‘Sun Baby’ tomatoes as well as a handful or two of plump, juicy-sweet ‘Autumn Bliss’ raspberries.
Tony’s had an exhaustingly long day. He set off for work in foreign climes yesterday evening at 9pm; arrived home on the Ffarm at 6pm after flying & driving virtually non-stop; only to get a call from our neighbours to say that it was ‘all hands on deck’ again, to bring in their hay. Whilst there were only a couple of hundred small bales, & plenty of willing hands, he still rallied to the summons & trudged wearily off up the drive to haul yet another heavy stackful. I hurried on with the evening chores in anticipation of finishing early enough to help; but by the time Nanuk & I had set off, it was past 9pm. We intercepted him returning homewards in the dusk of our woodland-shrouded lane; so on our return we tucked Nanuk up in her canine bed with her supper, & gave the kids their last feed before closing the Ffarm for the night.
All was well; & Tony drifted happily off into a deep, untroubled sleep, having polished off another satisfying Hay Tea after yet another hard day’s work. But like me, he wouldn’t swap this life for any number of Bank Holiday parties…..our fire burns passionately, for our lovely Ffarm.