Today’s Open Afternoon visit for the South West Wales Goat Club unfortunately had to be CANCELLED.
This was due to the fact that a Severe Weather Warning was issued for the neighbourhood, with a forecast of gale force winds gusting 80-90mph accompanied by torrential rain. So yesterday evening, after long discussions with several members of the Club, the regrettable but necessary decision to postpone the event was made.
The day broke with tranquil blue skies & the sun casting soft golden rays over the valley; & I felt extremely disappointed that it appeared the forecasters had got things wrong & we’d cancelled the event for nothing – especially as Tony & I had put in so much hard work preparing for the event (although as he was flying today I would’ve been ‘singing solo’ anyway).
The first visitors were due to arrive at midday; but all was quiet so I assumed that the message of the cancellation had successfully been passed around. However, whilst emptying sacks of feed into the big metal bins in Dairy Complex (& not exactly dressed in my best) the first vehicle soon trundled carefully down the driveway.
Anxious not to disappoint visitors who had clearly travelled a fair distance for the event, I offered a ‘consolation’ guided tour of the Dairy Complex. During the visit to the Milking Parlour yet more guests arrived; so in the end I was occupied for a good couple of hours. However, it was lovely to have such interested visitors; & all-in-all it was a thoroughly agreeable (if bitterly cold) afternoon.
As we walked around the facilities the clouds piled in; & the wind stirred with increasingly threatening unease. As the last of the visitors departed it was growing decidedly gusty; & I anxiously abandoned my feed bin filling & instead conducted a hasty ‘health check’ of the farm to ensure that everything was safe & secure.
It was just as well that I did; for within the hour the wind was roaring like a lion around the buildings. I scuttled out to give my charges an early supper, providing plenty of extra hay (for goats, sheep & ponies) & corn (for poultry) to ensure everyone’s digestive systems would continue to function comfortably throughout my potentially prolonged absence.
An abrupt crash on the roof of the Dairy Complex sent both me & the goats scattering in alarm; however on tentative investigation I was relieved to discover that only a smallish beech branch from one of our two massive, ancient trees had been hurled onto the roof, clattering noisily downwards (hooray – more much-needed kindling!).
Having closed all the livestock housing doors & checked the ponies (already in a field with high hedges for protection against the weather but also no trees) I thankfully shut myself in our warm cottage with a sigh of relief, just as the icy rain started to sting with a vengeance.
And yet, even with all my care, I watched in dismay as some of our sturdy wooden garden chairs were picked up as if by an invisible giant hand & hurled towards the veg patch (thankfully missing the duck house en route), the slats smashed to matchwood.
Domestic animals & humans alike, forgot their cat-&-dog differences; & huddled together with storm-fearful solace in front of the woodburner’s welcome warmth, a feeble attempt to shut out the wild weather outside. Oh, what a night….