Sunday, 16 September 2007

Chicken run

Listening to: Paint It Black (Rolling Stones)
Eating: bacon and cabbage
Not mentioning: the rugby (Georgia! Get a grip lads)

Small signs of progress here on Westray, just when I feared we were grinding to a complete halt.

The chicken wire finally arrived from the agricultural merchants in Kirkwall - only four weeks late - and we set about putting up the fence around the hen run which we did in galeforce winds and bright sunshine.

I'm pretty damn pleased with the poultry set-up and the first inmates are due to take up residence later this week. We are getting six hens from a family on the west side of the island. Three are laying and the others are due to start soon.

It's a tiny step forward, but one which has done my morale a lot of good after the foot and mouth business. The area around the back of the house, which was covered in 5ft nettles when we arrived in July, is actually looking reasonably well organised with chicken wire, pig fencing and the start of a veg garden. With our neighbour Marcus keeping a few cattle in the top field, it's starting to feel like a farm.

I've also managed to put a front door on the place. Up to now, the porch door kept the weather out, but with the porch leaking like hell, the water was bouncing back into what we like to refer to as 'the hall'.

The front door-less frame was rotten, so, after a little thought and a great deal of world-class swearing, I bodged up a new one and then managed to hang the door. Should keep the water out for the winter while we wait to put a nice smart new one on next year.

And, with the arrival of a new hot water cylinder, it looks as if we might have hot water some time this week, so no more popping down to our friends for showers, although I'll miss the Ailsa's coffee and currant buns afterwards.

The only cloud on the horizon just at the minute is that my dog appears to be turning pink. Spike, as regular readers may recall, is not a big one for the words 'heel','walk', 'good boy', 'come by'. He's keener on 'pull', 'choke', 'gag', 'attempt to dislocate owner/best pal's shoulder'. Actually I'm not his owner. We have a kind of agreement that I'm allowed to live in his house.

We can't let him off the lead because he would be down a rabbit hole faster than you could say "where's the little sod got to this time", so we decided that a harness would be a good idea.

Mrs Wannabe Pig Farmer went off to Kirkwall on the ferry with instructions to visit the pet shop. I had visions of something in good, old-fashioned brown leather with studs and maybe a slogan (Bone to lose?). A kind of doggie biker jacket, if you like.

What came back was red with pictures of green, yellow and blue puppies on it.

It's very useful, but looks very girlie and Spike hates it. Now he's been out in it a couple of times in the rain and the colour has run. I don't know which of us is more embarrassed.

1 comment:

Fish said...

You Brittish realy do name all your dogs Spike now, dont you.
Do you name all the horses Prince Albert?
Buy him a collar, with nails coming out of it. He wount be embarrassed, and you can just nail him to the fence when things seem to get borring for him.