Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Weather delays blogging

Hideous weather yesterday.  And I came to write you all a bit of blog last night only to find that the bit of string holding up my internet connection had been blown away.  Hence the delay ...  Rural mobile broadband signal is flaky at the best of times but in bad weather it just disappears totally!

So, anyhow, here I am.  And a very big THANK YOU to everyone who voted for us in the Taste of Kent Awards.  Voting closed at midnight last night and we finished in the Top Ten.  Hurrah!!!  Further results will be announced shortly so instead of voting, you all now have to cross your fingers instead and will us into the top three.  Wishful thinking!  But I am SO pleased that we got our names into the running.  Thank you!

As I said, yesterday's weather was pretty grim and I hope that you all survived the wind and rain.  I had already booked myself in to run down to our wholesaler in Sussex and so I loaded up the van in a torrent of water and drove down there.  The motorway was horrendous and then the smaller roads were flooded with trees down all over the place.  But I got there, minus a wing mirror taken out by a tree flailing in the wind, and they were very grateful.  It's a standing joke with them that every time I go there (approx every two weeks or so) it is raining.  In fact, the only time that it hasn't rained (or snowed) was the time that I managed to crash the van on the way home! 

Needless to say, the goats stayed very firmly indoors yesterday.  The only ones who had to venture out in the weather were the milkers who put Linford Christie to shame with their sprint from the parlour back into the barn.  Fortunately, the back of the barn was fairly sheltered so they didn't get too wet.

Some of the girls are starting to look really pregnant now.  I managed to snap a picture of Footsie goat standing up at the hay rack this evening .. she is the very large one in the centre of the picture:

There are 3 kids in there.  And she's not due until 4 March.  Goodness only knows what size she will be by then!

Footsie will be 7 years old this year and is a very affectionate goat who loves to have her ears scratched.  She was born in Lincolnshire and came to us at just over a year of age.  The first time she met David she walked up to him and bit him on the leg!  But, over the years, she has become very fond of him as you can see:

Francesca, who helps us with kidding, also took a shine to Footsie and you could always tell when Fran had arrived for work as there would be this loud high-pitched call of 'Footsie-Woo' across the goat shed!  Here's Fran with one of the little people from last year:

We did not kid Footsie last year and so Francesca has the added excitement this year of her favourite goat having babies.  I am sure that she will be camping out with me in the goat shed for days beforehand, just in case Footsie needs her Auntie Fran!

And finally, in all that bad weather yesterday morning, one of these turned up in our yard:

This photo is nicked from 'Horse and Hound', but you get the idea.  A poor lost hound made his way up to the farm yesterday.  We figured that he was from the hunt kennels not too far away and David drove him back down there in the truck.  Seems that all the hounds had been out for a run on New Year's Day and this particular lad had got lost and wandered off (obviously not one of the top hunting hounds!!).  The kennels had been out for two days looking for him.  So, he was reunited with all his friends - a good ending for him.

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