Yesterday was one of those days.
Very, very hot and sticky, with a strong wind blowing, and hundred of flies on every surface. The kind of day when you long for a good downpour to dampen the dust and perk up the lettuce. The pygmy goats had found a way – which I have since discovered is via the roof of a car, onto a fallen tree, over a corrugated iron roof – into the garden of one of our neighbours. I had extracted them twice.
With the busticated toe the exact shade of deep purple that I have been considering matching with dove grey for dramatic effect in the living room, I walked the dogs, shovelled out the goat shed, put out all the recycled stuff for the binmen (who call at 5.00 am), and by 9.00 pm, rather early because I’m a bit of an owl and usually keep working quite late, I was ready for something to eat and perhaps something stronger than tea to drink.
Final task of the day is to lock up the chookies and goats, but Sammy, the black pygmy, had managed to get himself trapped in an old vegetable patch within the neighbour’s garden, which was well and completely surrounded with fencing. How he got in there will always be a mystery.
How to get him out was even more of a mystery, because he was charging around in a state of needless panic, when, if he had only stood still long enough for me to get hold of him, his troubles would have been immediately over. Our new and delightful neighbours Janice and Tony had heard the bleating and nobly come to help, and with head collar, rope and bowl of food, we chased and cajoled Sammy through weeds, for what seemed like hours, in the fading light, until finally he was captured and carried back to his field by Tony.
It was dark by the time I’d locked up, and just after 11.00 pm by the time I’d cooked some fish and chips and poured a few gins. I slept well.
This morning I awoke, with several mosquito bites, one on the end of my chin. The humid conditions seem to be giving the flies and mossies supernatural powers to defeat all the electronic and chemical powers that are employed to destroy them.
I went down to the field and began re-knitting the ancient sagging fence, with the help of several metres of baling twine, hoping to thwart the goats from forcing their way back into the next door garden. It meant scrambling through shoulder-high stinging nettles, sharp thistles and scratchy brambles, and dealing with strands of rusty barbed wire that have probably been there for 30 years.
So in the space of 36 hours I have collected a broken toe, myriad mosquito bites, arms covered with lacerations, and nettle rash. Somehow, too, there was a flap of skin hanging from the side of my index finger. In the bathroom I found a small spray can of liquid elastoplast, so I poked the flap back into place and sprayed the liquid onto it. This was like putting my hand into a naked flame. It made me yelp. I read the directions. There was a warning: May cause a slight burning sensation. Maybe I’m just a bit of a wimp.
Ah, country life. You can’t beat it.
Don’t even bother trying. 🙂