Listening to: Marquee Moon (Television)
Weather: windy, wet, cold
Ernie looked at me with a mixture of pleading and condemnation. The wind was howling straight into his face, his ears standing on end. He'd had enough and wanted his nice, warm shed back.
I moved the lads outside today. It's long overdue and I need to get the shed ready for the new arrivals next month. Of course, after two weeks of glorious weather, I chose to move the pigs outside in a strong wind with occasional icy showers. I'd also had it pointed out that I'd built their hut with the door facing the prevailing west or south-west winds, so I threw up a windbreak made out of an old wooden pallet stuffed with straw and three fence posts.
I had worried they might be a bit of a handful and called in my neighbour Marcus, hoping an experienced pair of hands would prevent any escape attempts or other monkey business. As it happens, the lads were good as gold. They trotted happily after their beloved feed bucket, following me like a couple of well-trained dogs. I told the dogs about this later. They pretended not to hear.
Once they were in their paddock and with snouts in the trough, we quickly connected up the electric fence, the trainee pig farmer flipped the switch and everything was hunky-dory.
The lads both had a few encounters with the fence which set off a certain amount of squealing and general leaping about. Eric was, as usual, slower on the uptake than his brother and his ample backside made contact several more times during the morning. But they had a fine old time grazing and snuffling in the dirt.
By teatime, the novelty had worn off. Eric had, sensibly, decided to explore the hut and the massive pile of bedding I'd put in there, while Ernie made a futile attempt to appeal to the big softy in the pig farmer.
I wobbled for a moment, but then imagined the hassle of returning them to the shed, so quickly got a grip, gave them a little extra feed and topped up the water and crossed my fingers.
The winds reached a crescendo about 8pm, so I sneaked out to check. They were burrowed into the straw together, out of the wind and dozing peacefully.