Farm or Petting Zoo?

Most of you will have read the escapades with my pet pig, Dotty, from my first blog post. However, for those of you that haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about, it might be worth taking an extra 5 minutes to read it so that you get a bit of a back story.

So, we’ve ascertained I’m a city girl living in a country world – as the blog title suggests – but I wanted to do a post about exactly what this means for my poor husband and his exasperated family…

I collect animals. Not just domesticated ones, but proper commercial, farmyard animals. And it drives my husband nuts!

Perversely, my city friends are more understanding of my desire to make every being on the farm my friend as opposed to eating them, than the country folk are. Most likely because one set don’t make their livelihood from them and one does…no points for guessing which one is which!

Let’s start with Dotty the pig – the full grown, definitely-not-a-micropig, pig. Weighing in at a good 200kg at least (leave her be, she’s just big boned!) at just 11 months old, this porcine princess is the absolute queen of the farm. We have cuddles and belly rubs (just her, obvs), we play games running around the yard and yes, I sit on her back.

Dotty is used to me now strolling into her sty in my finest office clothes and heels at 8pm for a cuddle after a busy day in the London office, and she always makes sure to be careful of my toes, love her!

She’s also a star attraction when it comes to family and friends visiting, everyone wants to meet her and feed her bread (her favourite treat), and if I’m down at my parents’ in Devon, I come home with a full on goody bag of all the scraps for Princess Pigpig.

In addition to Dotbags (you’ll soon work out that all my pets have at least 3 nicknames) there is Chewy – the calf featured in my blog profile photo – and yes, he is giving me kisses.

I met Chewbags when he was just 3 weeks old and he arrived with his 5 brothers in November. He was the bravest of the bunch and after 10 minutes, he walked up and started chewing on my coat sleeve, hence the name.

Daily visits to the barn ensued and we got kinda close, so close that this technically wild animal is as tame as you like. In fact,  my 7 year old niece can stand and have cuddles with him in an open field.

Cue exasperated looks from my husband when he’s trying to shoo Chewy away from a gate or into a holding pen and my darling cow stands there, calm as you like and totally not intimidated like he should be…oops!

Chewy isn’t the only calf with a name though, of the 21 that we (I say “we” in the loosest sense of the word, I’m more of a hindrance than a help to be fair) are currently rearing for beef, 10 of them have names. We have in no particular order:

Chewy, Daffodil, Terrance, Roy, Bump, Bubblegum (name courtesy of said 7 year old niece), Frank, Lilac, Patch and Tank.

Yes, I will be devestated when they leave, yes I am a stupid townie for naming the cute baby calves that are destined for the dinner table, but come on…can you blame me?!

As this post is now longer than I expected, I’ll leave the introduction to the dogs for another post I think!

Until next time…

Profile of a Murderer

  • Piercing black eyes
  • Short blonde hair
  • Ears slightly too big for their head
  • Always looks like they’re plotting their next move
  • Visibly pleased with their devastating actions
  • 60cm high
  • Wet black nose…
Mugshot

Yes, that’s right. There is a murderer in our midst. Rusty the one year old Labrador (who, coincidently isn’t rusty coloured at all, even though we thought we were buying a fox-red lab. But that’s another story altogether).

So far this cold blooded murderer has killed a hare, a mole (although eye witnesses can neither confirm nor deny the health status of the mole before she delivered it to them, we have our suspicions), countless flies & spiders and now worst of all…her brother Trigger’s favourite toy, Doggie.

Trigger is the chalk to Rusty’s cheese – couldn’t hurt a fly even if he wanted to as he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, let’s say. They aren’t coined Dick and Dork without reason, after all.

So when my darling ginger dork (who is very rusty coloured, by the way) was presented with Doggie as a birthday present in April, he was utterly delighted – paraded him around for all to see, laid resting his chin on his faithful friend during the day and slept with him at night. Just too cute for words.

So one quiet Wednesday evening I had a friend round for dinner and as we were chatting, I suddenly noticed it had gone extremely quiet and neither Labrador was hovering around my ankles in the kitchen as I prepared dinner. Like children, the ominous combination of silence and labradors is a foreboding prospect, especially when food is present.

Prompted by this suspicious circumstance, I started to wander into the sitting room, “what are you two up – OH.MY.GOD!!” Doggie was dead. Not just dead, ruthlessly decapitated and disembowelled with his innards strewn across the floor.

Trigger, lying there holding Doggie’s limp, lifeless body came running to me with a look of pleading to save his most favourite toy. Whimpering, begging me to help his bestest friend.

The suspect tried to flee from the scene but was swiftly apprehended by Giovanna and upon questioning, quickly confessed. Her lack of guilt was evident, a look of delight convinced me that only a psychopath could possibly have committed such a heinous crime.

Poor Trigger was inconsolable, I tried to prize the tattered, floppy Doggie from his mouth but he clung to him, desperately trying to protect his buddy from any further harm.

After a thorough post-mortem, it was evident that there was no bringing Doggie back from the dead. The murderer was temporarily imprisoned in her crate whilst I tried to comfort Trigger and break the news that Doggie was indeed, deceased. RIP Doggie.

I must admit, his grieving process was rather quicker than I had anticipated. It only took a couple of days in fact before he seemed to have processed the traumatic experience and moved on. Aided, of course, by the fact that Grandma had scoured the shops of Seaton to find Doggie Mark II for her favourite boy and successfully found a replacement.

Not quite the same model, I admit, but Trigger clearly relates to Doggie Mark II’s Orange body and look, beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyway, right?

He certainly looks pleased at least and I can confirm that no lasting psychological damage has been identified – in him at least, not quite sure I can say the same for “Rusty the Shredder”…

Until next time!

A Relatively Unrelatable Life

It was part way through herding my pet pig Dotty, who had decided to make a Great Escape style departure from the farm one lunchtime, that I stood amongst the chaos, hands on hips and puffing like I’d just raced Usain Bolt rather than a 10 month old pig, when I thought to myself, “you honestly couldn’t write this s**t!”

IMG_4331
Dotty the Escapologist

Actually, in relation to how I got here exactly, the thought process of “perhaps I could write this s**t, but it would be wholly unrelatable”, was at the point when I had gotten all 200kg of the obstinate bitch back in her sty, having broken my broom handle on her somewhat sizeable arse, after a morning of writing equally sizeable cost proposals to one of the world’s biggest financial entities. Talk about a day of two extremes!

Now, “I’ve broken the broom on my pig”, is a sentence that no self-respecting city girl ever grows up thinking they are going to have to explain to their (rightfully) perplexed husband on a Tuesday night, but there I was at 32 years old realising that maybe I’m not so much your stereotypical city girl anymore, but equal parts Cosmopolitan (yes, we still drink them) and Country Bumpkin all at once – and that’s a pretty niche lifestyle to be living, let’s be honest.

I was born and raised a city girl, so you can forgive me for thinking, “none of my home friends have to put up with this crap” whilst I’m wrestling said pig out of the neighbouring farm’s field, complete with a heard of dairy cows and their newborn calves. I honestly made a tackle that Johnny Wilkinson would have been proud of just to stop that cowbag from wreaking more havoc than a toddler let loose on a dessert buffet.

Let me give you some back story. I spent my youth either visiting the big smoke or practising my ballet at the dancing studios that my mum enrolled me in at the age of 5, when she found out I was going to be the lanky child and needed some air of decorum/grace instilled in me.

It was at the age of 16 that I discovered ponies, swapped my ballet shoes for a pair of wellies and decided that country air wasn’t all that bad. Thereafter I spent my weekends as a young adult at different equestrian events around the country, and it was at one of these that I met my (then) future husband almost 7 years ago.

Having said that, I still lived on the outskirts of the city until I was 29, before finally plucking up the courage and taking the plunge to move 100 miles west to Bumpkinshire (aka Wiltshire) and live with a smelly farmer boy.

Even now, I still have my typical “townie” job that keeps me in London twice a week, and I still get that buzz like I’m meeting an exiting old friend for some more adventures when I step off the tube. Withdrawal symptoms from happy hour cocktails are apparently a real thing…

So, having relayed a lengthier, more elaborate version of previous events to a few friends and colleagues, three of them mentioned that I should start a blog.

I dismissed it entirely for about a month, but I found I kept revisiting it in my mind, and now here I am – £36 down and having spent far too long deciding on a background colour than is healthy for a woman with a limited lunch hour who values food immensely – explaining to you why it’s worth you reading about my relatively unrelatable life…

I can’t promise there will be many times that any of you say “YES! That is so me!” but I hope that this outlet will allow me to amuse you when regaling stories that no one could think were possibly true, but could only happen to me.

Until next time!