Tuesday, July 13, 2010


...it must be July. In Wales.

We're in the clouds tonight, up here on the top of the Long Mountain.

I may well be still thinking that we've only just got over a particularly bleak winter but in truth the past couple of months have been fantastic. I have the farmer's tan and the Birkenstock-ed feet to prove it. Rain has fallen infrequently and at night. That may be inconvenient in one respect - plants have needed watering - but has also meant we have spent much time outdoors. We've cooked outside quite a lot - and I realise that while I'm not too bothered about barbecued food I do love sitting in the garden, glass in hand,  feeling the day ebb away. Things to see, hear and smell - late birds and bats dodge and dart over the dingle and the scent of lavender and dianthus hangs in the warm air. Occasionally the rustle of a breeze or the low of a distant beast breaks the silence. My thoughts turn to the end of the day when we are on Paxos - days which can hardly be described as busy for us visitors - but at twilight the buzzing of the little boats and motor bikes has stopped, the inky Ionian is still and stirred only by the slightest slap of water meeting the harbour wall. The lights of Loggos twinkle. All is well with my world......

....Back to the here and now - tonight I am on the top of a low mountain in Wales. At hen-shutting-in time I felt the prickle of wet against my face and watched mist wind over the dark face of  Badnage Wood. It's in no way unpleasant, but rather fresh and clean.

We're in the process of moving the hens to different enclosures - in theory an easy task, but in reality a logistical nightmare involving temporary pens and much cursing on behalf of the Glam Ass. (Erecting 200m of electric poultry fencing with one's husband surely qualifies as grounds for divorce?) This complicates the shutting-in task, as does chasing a sheep and persuading the Rhode Island Reds that inside is a better bet than on the roof. (I have a theory that hens are so hard to herd because they have eyes on the side of their heads. Well? Have you a better one?)

Plenty of time then to appreciate the cool damp night as I stand in the field with my stick, alternately whupping the tops off thistles and nudging birds along. Not really enough rain to do much good at all in the garden. Those peas and beans really do need water.

Better be careful of what I wish for.....one can have too much of a good thing.

Later - Tuesday:

Well, the hens are now relocated - each in their own little enclosure, closely mown and surrounded by electric fence (though don't tell Mr Fox that until the battery is charged it isn't a threat). It looks like text book poultry keeping. I'm sending up silent prayers to whichever god is responsible for wheels on hen-houses; despite the gloomiest of the Glam Ass's predictions, which stretched to several day's worth of moaning, hauling a hen house behind the little yellow tractor was a walk in the park. We finished staking, stretching mesh and cable-tying at mid-day - and are still speaking. Call the divorce lawyers off.

Drizzle still embraces the Long Mountain. The air is still fresh and clean.


Wipso said...

Thanks for sharing your world on the long mountain. Another lovely blog.
A x

Cait O'Connor said...

A lovely post, it carried me along with it.

Jayne said...

Yesterday i was in that mist and drizzle myself! so very excited to be moving at long last to Bentlawnt!

Pam said...

Great, descriptive post as usual and always makes me want to come and sit next to you, glass in hand.
I hope by "beast" you meant cow and not a Welsh Mountain Lion!
Grounds for divorce projects are just the worst aren't they. We once tiled a kitchen floor together and spent many days doing the sideward glances, rolling eyes, and snippy remarks. Of course we can laugh about it now, eight years later.

Friko said...

I really wish we had a bit more rain, I am bored with drooping plants and cracked paths.
This morning it actually rained a real rain, not just a drizzle, for about half an hour here.

You can't even rely on the weather anymore. Tsk, tsk.

Pondside said...

A full week of sun under our belts here and it is really summer. I am so glad that we don't have to move our hens - but if we did, I'd be asking for the plans for that wheeled hen house.

Twiglet said...

We have had a drab drizzly day with the odd rainbow and sunny spell. Actually its been really pleasant and I am sure the garden has greened up quite a bit!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

well funny you should say that about hen's eyes - Jimmy Doherty had the answer last night in his in depth study of the chicken - they have indeed got independant eyes - one looks down for food whilst the other perpetually scans around for predators - that's wht you cant catch the little blighters

Fennie said...

Its surprising, isn't it how beautiful is the feel if drizzle after such period of barren dryness.
Even drizzle can feel like a monsoon at times, cleansing, refreshing, harbinger of growth and vigour. Though not for the hens I suppose.