Sunday, 13 November 2016

Winter wonderland, in November

Dear Dasha, our wonderful artist has been sick this week, so we have added photos of the sheep. We wish her all the best and hope she is feeling better soon.

As soon as I told you about the rainy days, it all turned white, outside.

For some reason winter felt the need to arrive in the beginning of November. The fact that this occurred at the same time as our lovely sheep were sheared in time for winter, made it a bit hard on them.

Shearing our funny sheep Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My is hard on our friendly sheep farmers. As soon as our ladies lay their eyes on them, you can feel the collective pulse rise in the sheep pen and we are off... Mindy is the sensible one but as she weighs a ton and has the thickest coat of wool it must be like tending to a polar bear with a built in foghorn.

Mandy did well this time as the clever farmers brought a wide plank with them so Mandy could walk up to the shearing table. Her jumping days are over, having slightly iffy hind legs. She stood looking worried all through her haircut and smiled her nervous smile when she knew it was all over. Her huge head is once again a prominent feature, when she sports a sleek, glossy new coat of wool. My was her sporty self, a danger to all that tried to help her and Molly decided to show extreme attitude problems towards the whole shearing process. So when our friendly farmers are done looking after our animals, I'm the one who looks most tired. I do worry that someone will get hurt, as our sheep look more like Shetland ponies, with every passing year. Tending to them can be a wrestling match, when they don't know you very well. They are also muscular and after a summers worth of good food very, very round animals...

So now they are semi naked and snow has arrived. This made our hens "over the moon" happy as the heat is turned up in the stable and it's cozy and warm for them too. The hens do so love a warm radiator....

Ebba, the dog loves the snow and finds field mice to chase. She stands listening and then plunges in.... Mr. Chip used to do this as well so we are well trained to close our eyes and hope for the mouse to make a run for it. The mouse has a sporting chance with Ebba, because being a bit childish still, she stops mid chase to check that you are watching her brave attempt to save you, so the mouse scampers. Some mice are unfortunately now in mice heaven, enjoying heavenly cheese, I hope..

Ebba is a shy dog and spends the evenings hiding, when guests arrive. Then when they are gone, she checks every room to see that the coast is clear to start playing again. She is a funny dog and the fact that she even checks the sauna for leftover people makes me smile. Small steps, lots of humour and a trip to a shoe shop for shoes with more grip seems to be the plan, right now. We do love her to bits, already and Ebba finds dear husband to be her hero. It's lovely to watch her set out for yet another adventure with her new friend. Dear husband has abandoned any hope of ever sleeping in again. It's like in the army around here - Ebba's in charged of the wake up calls and we just do as we are told. She is not a shy dog around her own people and we are very grateful for that. She is just finding her inner puppy and it seems to be a loud, active little thing. It also seems to be a hungry one because Ebba is starting to eat her food more eagerly and that's a relief.

Being such a kind soul makes Ebba's activeness bearable. She does not bully us, it just seems to be so much fun to be Ebba at the moment and she likes to share this happiness with us. Our indoor plants look as tired as we do but after one cactus incident Ebba learned that some nibbling should be avoided. Our mittens, socks and hats are safe to chew on, apparently and I spend my days trying to remember where I've hidden them from her. Maybe it's a safety thing? I read that Siamese cats chew on wool when they feel uneasy. Maybe Ebba just finds wool to be the thing for showing her happy disposition? Who knows? We just try to save some warmer clothes for the colder days, ahead...

I will now go and try to convince our young hens that all the white stuff around the place is quite safe to step on. I do fear that they plan to stay indoors until the next spring. That will mean lots and lots of cleaning and no rest for their co habitants.

Have a good week and have fun starting the skiing season, you who share our white, cold world.

Queen Elisabeth II was given a Siamese blue point kitten as a wedding present, to celebrate her marriage to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. As wedding presents go, that was quite a charming one. I do feel for their furniture, though....

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