“Just put the kettle on Jo, there’s a good little wife…”
Aargh. I’m surprised the builders’ condescending croon of ‘luv’ wasn’t in there, somewhere. I grit my teeth & stomp off back towards the rain-swept farmhouse to do Completely The Opposite. MEN.
I’m not exactly in the best of moods. Unable to drift off into blissful slumber owing to Tony’s restless energy (he enjoyed an early night yesterday; & as a result can’t now sleep) I endured an even worse night during which mysterious ‘goings-on’ caused me fitful concern; although dawn’s breaking light has proved inevitably inconclusive. My main worry was an almighty CRASH! from somewhere outside, almost as if a feed bin had been tipped over; I listened out for the excited clamour of goats but all was otherwise, ominously still. I deduced that at least it wasn’t our hooligan caprines up to no good. And then a little while later something upset Dave-the-goose, sending him into a clamour of honking; but when I peered anxiously into the darkness, the butt of my rifle hefted into my shoulder the silent night revealed no apparent foxy forays. Do geese have nightmares….?
Daylight proved no more promising. Heavy granite-coloured clouds loomed above the woods & the Frenni Mountains were obscured by a thick pall of cloying grey mist. The goats wouldn’t be going out today. Dirty puddles multiplied around the circumference of the Dairy Complex as a series of stinging, bitter showers lashed in from the west, & the chunky slate flagstones in the hallway & living room were soon slick with muddy brown boot prints as Tony wandered in & out.
By the end of the day there was a smidge of light on the horizon, if not in the directly luminous sense. For we are not only almost ready to move the goats into their new accommodation; we are also almost at a point where we can actually use the new parlour in toto.
But every silver lining has its cloud; & the parlour is no exception. It would seem that unfortunately the computer which runs the whole show is actually far less ‘well’ than we’d hoped; Tony had been confident that all it required was a new graphics card but it would appear that all the bouncing & bumping in the back of the container has done far more damage than anticipated (no surprises there). An internal clip has broken which has caused part of the system to collapse, ultimately corrupting the hard drive & losing all the data therein. So Windows XP wil have to be reinstalled, after which the specific system software – held by our local Westfalia engineer – can then be added as that’s all been lost, too. But whilst the computer does run the entire parlour it can also be operated (to an extent) manually; so hopefully we’ll be able to get by until the precious computer has been reprogrammed.
Whilst Tony & Dyfrig were fiddling around with the irrigation pump which will disperse the parlour washings onto our fields a consignment of heavy-duty rubber bedding mats arrived, delivered by a friend who had made a Herculean effort to get the mats to us in short order. The perplexing puzzle of how to slot them together came next; & also revealed just how unlevel the floor was when most of the mats kinked & buckled – a concern, as the goats may lift them & damage them by chewing if they’re not completely flat.
Taking Tony & Dyfrig hot egg-&-bacon sandwiches as the light began to leach from the gloomy grey skies I offered my opinion on how we should organise the pen, & also outside it; because despite my repeated questions on the subject it would appear a fundamental element is so far still being overlooked: how the goats will be penned prior to & after, being milked – at the moment they could wander around the building with access to feed bins, parlour, bulk milk tank etc as to my knowledge goats don’t exactly respect plastic strip curtains! Tony angrily grabbed my arm & steered me out of the building – I was evidently treading on his testosterone-filled toes. Whilst my supply of bacon sandwiches & mugs of tea were required, my knowledge & experience weren’t – this, apparently, is Men’s Territory. Frustrated but not wishing to put Tony into a worse mood, I quietly left them to it.
Who was the witch who clicked her heels together three times, to make mischievous magic? I tried it (hoping that the egg yolk would burst all over Tony when he bit into his sandwich, or his tea would slop out of the cup, perhaps); but whilst there were a few sparks, it seems that rubber wellies aren’t such a good conductor for cheeky spells. A bit of concentration did cause a few crumbs to fall & the contents of the cup to shudder a little…..but I’ve got a fair bit of practising to do before I move any mountains. Just shifting the odd raincloud or lifting an overcast day of male moodiness would be a bonus right now.