A smidgeon of peace, at last. This evening I delivered the boys to their new home – from now on they’ll be working for fellow goatkeeper-&-breeder Lorraine, who is the Director of the highly-successful fudge, smoothie, chocolate & cheese company, Kid Me Not which boasts a 300-strong milking herd to provide all her customers with their tasty treats. Her goats are wonderfully well cared for; & they live, frolic & graze in marvellous surroundings on their Talley farm.
Although she employs three herdsmen, alongside crafting the chocolate, fudge & smoothies Lorriane takes personal responsibility for all her animals’ care & welfare; & on a par with us is wholly knowledgeable, kind, & dedicated to every last member of her extended caprine ‘family’. Not only that but those carefully-matured goat cheeses are sublime…& her ginger & orange fudge, absolutely to die for!
Having scooped up our cheeky boys from all four corners of the Dairy Complex & loaded them into the back of the truck, I commenced the carefully-planned, late-afrernoon journey to Talley through the typically scenic West Wales countryside. The hedges are just starting to come into vibrantly fresh, green leaf; the May bushes boast a froth of snowy white blossom & the gorse sports a startling clarion of acid yellow flowers which shout ‘SPRING!’ from every remote Welsh hillside.
Our boys quickly settled into the unfamiliar sensation of the vehicle’s movement; & clearly enjoyed being cooed over by the pump attendant of our local provincial garage, who expressed wonderfully warm delight at seeing such clean, healthy & robust animals in transit. Now, this is something we naturally take for granted; however….
“You should see – & smell – some of the trailers we get through here”, she confided.
“It’s awful! Poor, miserable animals that you can only hope are going for slaughter because to go on living in conditions like that; well, it doesn’t bear thinking about….”
I explained where we’d come from; & reassured her as to where these boys’ new salubrious home would be:
She waved us goodbye with a grateful smile.
I was greeted by an unfailingly effervescent Lorraine on arrival at the Kid Me Not HQ. The boys were gently carried to their new home – a big, insulated polytunnel complete with heat lamps, warm milk ‘on tap’; loads of fresh, clean straw & plenty of room & toys to to play with – both indoors & out. The poor little lads stood shivering nervously in their unfamiliar surroundings, casting accusing glances at me & making me feel absolutely dreadful in spite of my conviction that they couldn’t possibly wish for a happier, healthier home than the one in which they now found themselves. However they soon got the hang of the automatic feeders; & with a bellyful of warm milk swiftly snuggled up together as darkness fell, my treachery thankfully forgotten.
Meanwhile Lorraine gave me a guided tour of the rest of the farm, including her superb process rooms. I could feel my tummy rumbling as the glorious scent from the fudge kettles sent my tastebuds into overdrive; only to be further enticed by the mouthwatering promise of gently-tempering goats’ milk chocolate, near irresistable in my starving state.
And meeting the goats was great fun, too; plus I left with loads of ideas about how to improve our own management systems here on the Ffarm. I returned home via a different route, thankfully recommended by Lorraine; tracking across the wildness of the mountains, a stunning landscape wreathed this evening in soft-swirling mist & whispers of Old Magick & ancient mystery.
Was it just the iciness of those foggy tendrils curling outwards to embrace me in their clammy grasp, or the electricity in the air from my solitary proximity to the Otherworld; which sent such a shiver down my spine, & my pulse racing….?
Nevertheless: an evening of enchantment.