Saturday 16 November 2013

A Farmer's Funeral

A country funeral, like a country wedding is an event drawing members of a community together.
This week the Farmer, the Sons and I attended the funeral of our good friend & neighbour who died so tragically after being attacked by the stag in his small herd of red deer.
The congregation numbered about 300 people, many of whom had to stand outside the small country church in our local village and will go down as one of largest funerals ever to have been seen in the parish.
It was a coming together of country people of all ages. Our friend had been part of the lives of so many and it was touching to see that there were farmers and others all involved in the countryside, young and old all coming to mourn the passing of a man who had in his quiet and cheerful way lived his life in the farming community and had given his friendship to so many.
I was very touched when our Elder Son was asked to be one of the bearers of the coffin to the graveside. He had known our friend since babyhood and had always had a great respect and fondness for him, so to be asked to take such a role was an honour and a privilege.
It was deeply sad occasion and the neighbourhood is still reeling from what was such a dramatic and ultimately tragic event.

Saturday 2 November 2013

Stormy Weather, Country Accidents, Labrador Puppies

This was the sight that greeted us last Saturday outside the house.
These steps lead up into the field above the house and had been transformed into a pretty spectacular waterfall which in turn fed into the river of chocolate brown that swept its way down the yard. It was an impressive sight to say the least.
The water & winds notwithstanding the local hunt was out on Saturday and came across our land...or at least the hounds did, the horses were keeping to the roads as the fields were so wet.

All was going well until the Master came off his horse on the drive and knocked himself out. As luck would have it the Farmer, Younger Son & I along with a couple of followers were only yards away so were able to help. YS called an ambulance while the Farmer did the necessary first aid. I was left to hold one of the horses, a huge 17 hand hunter  who thankfully was very calm and easy ( I'm not very experienced with horses) while the huntsman helped ease the Master. It was all very tense and we none of us were really sure how badly injured he was. Fortunately it turned out to be only a few cracked ribs and bruising...he was very very lucky.

It has been week of accidents. One of our nearest & dearest neighbours in in very serious condition in hospital having been mauled by the antlered stag in his small commercial flock of deer. His injuries are appalling and he was flown to hospital by air ambulance...a journey of 40 miles achieved in 8 minutes!! Deer are beautiful shy creatures but a stag in the rutting season is a very dangerous animal even one that is 'farmed'. What happened was a pure accident, no foolish risks had been taken but as with all male animals at certain times their tempers & instincts take over. Such an event could just have easily happened with a ram or a bull (and does). We are all praying that our friend makes a good recovery.

On a more cheerful note, the puppies have all gone now. The last one left us last weekend to go to live in the West Midlands where she will be the adored pet of some lovely people who will give it a perfect home. They have promised me they will not let her get fat! All the puppies have gone to great people & will have have happy lives giving their new families lots of fun. The puppy we have kept is a sweetie called Jess and Younger Son has already started training her. She is very quick to learn and will come on well.

Autumn is turning out to be wet & blustery though we are seeing rainbows and the trees are adopting their autumnal hues across the valley. if it stops raining long eneough I would like to be out in the gardens planting daffodil & tulip bulbs but at present we are getting sharp heavy showers every ten minutes so I shall just have to stay in my nice warm kitchen and get on with the ironing.