Today we finaly took the plunge –
after our recent experimentation at Food Centre Wales we feel sufficiently confident to enter our produce at the Royal Welsh Show. In a state of nervous excitement we completed the entry form – although I think Tony may have sent us a little over the top as he’s entered no less than eight exhibits! I hurried out to the neighbouring town to send off our entry, although now there’s the nail-biting anxiety of whether it will even be accepted: confusingly, the closing date for entries is Monday – which of course as a Bank Holiday means the entry form cannot possibly get there in time, which under normal circumstances it otherwise would. However Tony contacted the organizers who advised that the chosen date was an oversight & that our slightly late entry should be accepted. So Royal Welsh (hopefully) here we come….!!
Being a pleasant day the goats enjoyed being outside; although unfortunately not before demolishing part of a drystone wall in Parc Mawr & unearthing yet more rubbish-tip detritus; this time consisting of a mixture of broken glass, plastic, & what appear to be some old, empty cow tubes. Shooing the cheeky caprines off the wall where they were doing a fine job of debarking an ash sapling & a mature hazel bush, I persuaded Tony to help me with some emergency repairs as the wall would quickly collapse, if we didn’t do something immediately.
Tony certainly wasn’t amused at the unwelcome interruption as he’d been taking advantage of the Milkforce’s absence to muck out their pen, a seemingly never-ending task these days. Bristling with an array of electric fence posts & armed with a reel of fencing tape we weaved a complex web around the offending area, to ensure the goats couldn’t get a purchase & scrabble back onto the wall. Only time will tell whether it’s worked……
The next crisis occurred whilst I was battling with the buffeting breeze to hang out the washing, as the line spun merrily around on its axis, wrapping me in wet, flapping material. Hearing a loud bang I looked across the orchard to see the garage doors had apparently been blown open. I clambered down the bank to shut them before any damage was done; but realised to my dismay that I was already too late, the bottom & middle hinges having already snapped with the force of the gusts. Thwarting Tony again he hurried, grumbling, into town to buy replacement hinges; & repaired the damage whilst I hurried through the evening chores & the milking. Finishing sooner than expected he took advantage of the little remaining daylight to modify a water pipe so our neighbour, whose fields have no water & therefore occasionally has to fill his bowser from our supply, would have a more convenient tap to work with as the old set-up was not readily accessible & said neighbour isn’t getting any younger.
Meanwhile, as the geese had opted to leave their jealously-guarded nest for a quick grassy snack, I quickly took the five eggs into the house to try to determine whether any of them were viable, by floating them briefly in a bowl of tepid water (which also humidifies the eggs – especially important when hatching goslings). Unfortunately I could be sure any of them would eventually hatch; although as none of them smell it could be that it’s simply too early to tell – & Roberta did turf out all the apparently unfertilized eggs long ago (though how on earth she can tell, goodness knows). But there were no tremors on the surface of the water in the bowl today, as the chick inside senses water & attempts to swim – a fascinating spectacle when it happens. At least the eggs are now hydrated; although I decided not to risk candling them to check for embryos in case the geese returned to the nest before I did!
Thus only time will tell whether the patter of webbed feet will prove Roberta’s ‘eggshausting’ efforts, a success…..& the 21st July, whether egging each other on to enter the Show, was a similarly fruitful exercise – wish us all luck!