Monday, 14 June 2010

Country Mice go to Heathrow, Tragic Deaths of Ducklings, Still Waiting to Make Silage, Castell Henllys

On Friday the Farmer & I had to drive up to Heathrow to meet Younger Son off his flight from New Zealand. It is a four hour journey from here so we left the farm at about 10.30 am , should have left a little earlier (!) and got to Heathrow just after the flight landed and then the fun started! We got in a complete muddle trying to find the carpark for Terminal 1. Younger Son tried phoning us but his mobile wasn't working so he had used a pay phone and we couldn't phone him back. Having eventually managed to park the car we then had to make our way to the Arrivals Lounge for international flights at Terminal 1 which proved a complete nightmare. Going up & down staircases, and in lifts and with a smiley helpful Asian car park attendant giving directions, we could not find YS. After about 3/4 hour of fruitless searching which included going to the Information desk and having YS's name broadcast over the tannoy, the Farmer spotted the wretched boy standing near the entrance to the car park no where near where we had been looking for him!! And so we were reunited with the child who only response was, 'Where the hell have you been?' Oh how we laughed!!
Anyway, it was lovely to see him and after we had all recovered from the stresses of being in an alien environment which Heathrow most certainly is, we country mice made our way back the the depths of Wales and sanity.

To counteract the pleasure of having YS home after 9 months absence, we had a tragedy on Saturday morning when Elder Son's corgi who rarely comes into our house, found her way into my kitchen when no-one was around and murdered the ducklings that had been living so happily by the Rayburn. I was so upset.
It was no-ones fault, just an opportunistic moment on the part of the dog. Corgis are delightful little dogs but never let them have access to small squeaking creatures...we had a similar incident many years ago with a litter of kittens and the previous corgi. Apart from these two occasions we have never had any problem with them, but there must be some hunting/killing instinct in their psyche that switches on when they see & hear tiny things. The labradors and the sheepdog have shown no similar inclination. It was all very sad.

The Farmer & his Sons are still waiting for the weather to come right for silage after a damp night...they may be able to start mowing this afternoon. The forecast for the rest of the week is reasonable I think, so with any luck they should be able to get on well.
Younger Son has slotted right back into his Welsh life and has not been too jet-lagged this time. Poppy his Labrador was overjoyed to see him and he her. They go off for long walks together inspecting the farm and seeing what changes have been made in his abscence.

Today is the Farmer's birthday and I must go and make the requisite chocolate cake. A request for smoked salmon sandwiches has also been made so that makes for an easy supper.

We have some delightful visitors from Australia staying in the cottage this week and I have just given them directions to explore part of Pembrokeshire and to visit the wonderful site at Castell Henllys. It is one of my favourite places, being a reconstructed Iron Age settlement on the edge of the Presceli mountains with superb views from the lovely thatched round houses that have been built in the original post holes found by archaeologists. The approach to the cluster of houses is a walk up through a beautiful wood in which lingers the spirits of the past. Near the village there are small gardens of herbs and vegetables and enclosures containing 'Iron Age' livestock such as ancient breeds of sheep & pigs.
The Farmer tells our Antipodean (and other 'Colonial' ) visitors who exclaim at the extreme age of everything here that is it all 'Pre-Australian/Canadian/ American' which they think terribly funny.

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