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Showing posts from 2016

Snap shot

A moment from the week at La Singlarie


The last calf ( a male) of 2016 was born this afternoon.

The big meet up

All the cows are now together in our top field. It was a lot easier walking cows up the road by foot than getting them in the trailer. With a b it of horn tussling to re establish the herd hierarchy peace now reigns as they munch down the last of the grass. With hay add lib it won't be long till they are coming in morning and evening for their hay.

Coming home

The cows at La Contie came home this morning, not that they really wanted to. It took three attempts and a bit of running to get them in a position where they could be ushered into the metal field park which contains them ready to go into the trailer. This is where the seven decided they didn't want to be contained making a break for it.

Second attempt was having a long line of rope to bring them down from the hill, I was in place to stop them going through an opening to another field, I failed at my task as the seven came running towards me on a break out mission - I was not going to argue with them and let them through as they flung their legs in the air kicking.

Last attempt was an electric fence put up (but not on, which the cows didn't know) to lead them along with farmer J enticing them back again with a bucket of food - and yes before you say you should of done that in the first place we did with individual buckets but today they went all  'sauvage'. Slowly the…

Merry Christmas

Christmas wishes from La Singlarie and Fizz & Sorrel

Sshh don't tell

The weather turned today, wet and cold with snow forecasted tonight (we won't get it as it misses our sheltered valley) but it it chilly tonight. So with Christmas nearly here and the Grinch still being Grinchy and not paying for a tree we made a secret trip in the land rover over to the pine woods below us where Sorrel and I have a daily walk (or run depending if deer and wild boar have passed by) where I have been eyeing up a suitable tree.

The Christmas ones of past years all looked a bit bare of limbs and once a few baubles are added said limbs would be dropping to the floor and each year Freya complains of have thin trees. So this year I found a spiky one (that had been planted) so sorry Mr woodmen  but I made farmer J chop one of your trees down. Hopefully you won't miss it too much as you don't really look after them, which if you did would help my walking off track so much easier than fighting through the brambles in tow of a long line with a dog on the end of it…

Snap shot

A moment from the week at La Singlarie



One steer packed and ready for Christmas.

Muck spreading

Farmer J has just finished muck spreading the hay fields today. We have been so lucky with the dry weather this much needed job which has been waiting to be done is finally finished. Hopefully next year the grass will be extra tasty after benefiting from a good load of organic cow poo being spread over it.

New life

Born last night this little girl has spent her first day in the fog, it has been a damp cold day but she is doing well. Farmer J managed to tag her ears tonight and take a few photos before all the cows  became interested in what he was doing.
It is nearly time for them to come in for winter feeding, what grass there is has not got much goodness in it now. All the  cows here and at La Conite  are munching their way through bales of hay but while it is dry they are happier to be in the fields even if it is a bit chilly.

Snap shot

A moment from the week at La Singlarie

Looks like a trench Mr Stickler?

Snap shot

A moment from the week at La Singlarie

Freya was back for a few days, helping before her friends spent the weekend in the gite. Memories of being locked out of the house in Hampshire on a Saturday afternoon collecting leaves with her brother flooded back. They use to be shut out for an hour to stop them from vegetating in front of the TV. I think it is called character building.

It's just like a Kenwood, only bigger.

OK I got it wrong, today I mixed  cement for the little ramp to go inside the hanger for the cows to come in and out. Just like a cake mix with sandy gravel, cement and water all in kind of specific quantities (if you remember to count the number of shovels you put in), personally I think I know may prefer the ready made type to make your own.

 Thankfully there was not loads and load to wheelbarrows full to mix, enough for me to make a perfect first mix a couple of dodgy wetter ones and a few too dry ones or so the boss said. Still that bits done, just need to fill all the dips and holes on the drive which has washed away due to the wet weather, a job for tomorrow apparently.

Tempete and his spongy paws

Yesterday Tempete used the new cat crate I had brought (in the hope that it wouldn't get used) to visit the vets.He had a problem with his front paw in that he was lifting it up and hobbling around, thinking there was a thorn or something stuck in his pad, which was a bit puffy off we went to see if the vet could see anything.

Turns out it wasn't a thorn as on closer inspection he has a problem with his back paw as well, looking the same, bit reddish and puffy. Cat and dog medical books were brought out in, photos of his paws were sent to a dermatologist as the vet thought it was pododermatite plasmocytaire féline (French) or feline plasma cell pododermatis (English ) or in easy words common name spongy paws.

you can read about it here if you wish. His on a 10 day course of steroids which hopefully will start to sort him out, then back in ten days for paw check. Why we can't have cats that have normal problems I don't know, still it has been good for the vets to have …

Snap shot

A moment from the week at La Singlarie

We have had a bit of a mixed weather week, The colours of Autumn are lovely when the sun shines but a bit depressing when it is foggy and damp.

Thank you Point P

So as not to have a repeat of last years flooded hanger it was decided a bit of cement was needed to stop the water and hopefully make it a bit easier in the winter mud for the cattle to come into the hanger. Farmer J had been fiddling around with mud and levels for quiet a while but today saw the delivery of READY MADE CEMENT, this meant no wheel barrows, gravel , cement bags, spades water or cement mixers and in theory me to mix it. I was however collard in to moving a rake around, think I was needed for my cake icing skills as mixing cement is just like making as big cake i think, although not as tasty it is all in the gravel/ cement/water ratio.

So it was with great pleasure to watch ready mixed cement come out of a shoot, the pump was needed as the lorry couldn't get near enough. The pump lorry did manage to get stuck in the mud when reversing to leave due to its drivers lack of driving skills so an hour after he should of left he was towed out by the little tractor as the …

Snap shot

A moment from the week at La Singlarie





With Farmer J away we, Freya and I have been left in charge of the cows - and pigs, chickens, ducks, sheep, donkeys, cats and Sorrel. And we managed! (with lots of chocolate - for us not the animals)

Bonfire Night

Another La Singlarie bonfire night was spent eating, drinking, watching fireworks, lighting sparklers (you are never too old) and seeing Mr Trump go up in flames, he had a bit of a problem with his hair having a flap at the back then sliding off his face, maybe he has a wig in real life? He went up in flames pretty quickly. Thank you Freya for making his papier mache head.

A meal of French onion soup, cassoulet and sausages with treacle sponge pudding and creme Anglaise for dessert warmed us up in the gite ready to stand in the damp (or that could of been the mulled wine before hand), thankfully the rain stopped just before. Now for the washing up and tidying away.