Sunday, August 03, 2008

Tea for the Wild Indians (part 3) The final instalment. Thankfully.

As I write this I can see the lights of a truck in the gloaming. It's criss-crossing the fields to the front of our barn - it's the Thomases checking the stock. Most of the cows up there are in calf - indeed most days recently have seen a calving, a new beast on the field. Generally it's a straightforward affair; mother takes herself aside and gives birth, the calf suckles and all is well. These are animals bred for meat and muscular progeny is the order of the day - (remind me to photograph a Belgium Blue by way of example) - and problems can occur when the calf is a big 'un. It's always worth checking to make sure there are no problems out there....

Sorry - got distracted....

OK. The Day arrived - and with it an unnatural tidiness. The last lawn was mown, floors were swept, tables laid and dogs put behind firmly closed doors. The sun crept from behind fluffy clouds and the threat of heat was tempered by a gentle breeze from the south.Food arrived by the plate and trayful - the tables were soon laden. I feel most inadequate in the face of those WI ladies who produce such wonderful desserts, savouries and flower arrangements and who pitch in to make an event such as this run like clockwork. Blessed be the gatherers-in of crockery and washers-up. A heartfelt thank you to you all. I think I shall specialise in venues. I can do venues.
Guests followed shortly afterwards - some chose to sit in the sun and others to stroll round the garden. This was somewhat scary - we had some experts on the loose here. Granny Thomas can be seen below (3rd from right) pointing out the thistle in the little triangular field which her son had neglected to strim on Thursday's tidy-up.Tea was served - a frantic hour of eating and drinking and another of tidying and chatting. Then suddenly all is peaceful again - the last guest has been waved off up the hill. We are left with an empty house and garden. The dogs are released from their confinement and rush around trying to make sense of all the unaccustomed smells. Echoes of disjointed conversations ring in my ears. 'Pinch out the tops of your broad beans' 'Why do you have a tower on the back of your house?' 'What sort of dog is that?' 'There was a cow house and a muck 'eap there once' ....

....and in the midst of this partying, one of the 6 cows - the black one - gave birth during the course of the afternoon on our new little field. Later on as the light fell I went up to shut the hens in and saw the little calf, which is the curious colour of a field mouse, tottering along beside its mother. Box-fresh, brand new. Which is kind of where I came in.

Finally here's Chester looking decorative sitting on the folded Indian dhurries we bought to throw on the (as yet unfinished) floor of the 'hovel'/summer house. The perfect dog's bed. No - the perfect bed for a dog:

16 comments:

Lindsay said...

Lovely post and I love pic of your dog. We had visitors to stay for four days - in fact we had to clear out the spare bedroom of all our juck for them. They have left now - yes peace and quiet has descended but I am left with very very tired knees and shall be forced to put my feet up - there is the long grass to cut - it is raining - so I will be able to put my feet up!

LittleBrownDog said...

Is that your house, Mountainear? It looks absolutey GORGEOUS!!! (The dog's not bad-looking either!) Sounds like a great party - the calf being born in the midst of it all was a lovely touch. I'll bet the "hovel" is nothing of the kind.

elizabethm said...

sounds as though it all went off famously. The pictures of the house and garden look wonderful. And yes, as one who has been there in the flesh as well as virtually, the house really does look that beautiful!
I think you have earned a little lie down now.

Pondside said...

Oh that was a really good read! I read all three WI posts from first to third and felt as though I was in one of those country novels that the British do so well. I'm glad your tea party went so well - the laden tables were gorgeous and your house.........I'd like a tour please, and will be over one day to take it!

toady said...

Just love your house, green with envy. And why is there a tower?

Pam said...

I liked looking at the ladies in your garden. They all dress so well, even wearing tights on a warm summers day!
Chester looks like a lovely dog too.
I'm so pleased your party went well.

Elizabethd said...

I've read each episode, and am so glad it all went well.
With the planning you , and the WIs , put in,how could anything go wrong?
Even the weather was good. Well done!

Rachel said...

What a lovely house! I would love to see the shelf of blue objects in more detail - why not do one of those Corners (they don't really have to be corners either) of My House posts for us nosy/intrigued people?

And the saga of the special day was riveting; I feel complete now that I have actually seen a picture of Granny Thomas....

snailbeachshepherdess said...

The WI certainly know how to party dont they? Looks wonderful but did we ever think for one moment it would be anything else? and a calf born in the midst of it all...

Frances said...

Let me start by praising that portrait of Chester at rest. What a handsome fellow!

Now, well done on the garden tea party. Your photos show the beauty of your home and the gracious atmosphere with your guest gathered in the garden.

Having done it once ... might you consider an encore next summer. Wouldn't it be easier then, knowing that episode one concluded so well?

Congratulations. xo

Irene said...

One of my wishes is to go to an English tea in someone's English garden. I would really like to taste some genuine English food that is served then. I think it is one of those wishes that I will make come true one of these days.

Your dog looks splendid laying on that blanket like that.

Ragged Roses said...

It sounds like it was wonderful, much enjoyed by everybody. Your house looks beautiful. I loved this post
Kimx

ChrisH said...

Oh, well done. I really enjoyed the three part tale of tea for the Wild Indians and I hope they had a good time. If that's your house I am swooning with envy... and that's a tonking painting in the middle picture.

ChrisH said...

... or even 'stonking'.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

There you did it and now all that stress and worrying is over and you have lovely memories instead.

Aren't the WI amazing - I too have witnessed their 'spreads' and yours is no exception . . .

So well done you and I bet you suggest it again and then remember that it was a good idea at the time

Cait O'Connor said...

What a lovely house and garden!