Sunday, 30 December 2007
Listening to: Bohemian Like You (The Dandy Warhols)
Cooking: roast lamb
Weather: absolutely beautiful
Birdwatch: Turnstones, Redshanks, Herons, Common Gulls, Lapwings, Black-backed Gulls, Whooper Swans, Teal, Mallard, Wigeon.
Here's good news. The farm earned its first cash yesterday when we managed to offload some hay onto unsuspecting neighbours.
It's only 20 quid so Sally and I will not be packing our skimpy swimsuits and heading for Uncle Fidel's Caribbean hideaway just yet, and we've no illusions that we will ever be able to do much more than break even here, but it's a start.
The hay was cut just as we arrived here in July and had been put aside to feed Xena (Sal's Welsh Cob mare), but the appearance of strangles on the yard in Essex where she is staying means there's no chance we can get her to Westray until Spring. And Teddy doesn't like hay, in case you were wondering.
So, while we've got enough hay to fulfil a vegan's wildest fantasies, our neighbours have a shortage and two hungry mares (the ones Teddy has been preening himself for every morning). They phoned and promised to pop round to inspect 'the goods' before agreeing a price.
Now both Sal and myself are from the Brian of Nazareth school of haggling. Sal was all for giving them the hay as a favour, but I said we should settle for a nominal amount, seeing as they'd suggested it.
So, once hay was seen to be good, I said: "How about 50p a bale, so just bung us a tenner for the 20 you want?" We then went into haggling in reverse with the neighbours deciding this wasn't nearly enough, so they would pay £1 a bale. Who were we to refuse and the £20 note offered and disappeared into Mrs TPF's back pocket at alarming speed.
What are we spending it on? 2,000 penny chews? That Undertones compilation I've had my eye on for a while? A ticket for half a Premiership football game? A new studded collar for Spike? Ideas please.
Pig farmer and neighbour debate the price of hay