Friday, June 5, 2020

Gentle neglect

First light. Four cars from Toulouse park on the village green. Eight walkers emerge and disappear down the ox track that  runs alongside The Rickety Old Farmhouse. They joke and laugh as they go. A sound we've not heard since last autumn. Sophie observes them - torn between wanting to bark and wanting to see if they've brought sausages. Normal service is slowly starting to return to our little corner of France. The same can't be said about the UK where yesterday the number of Covid deaths was greater than all the 27 EU countries combined. I've yet to see a good reason for why the UK has been impacted so badly. Can it all be down to the governments slow response ?

We head off to the valley in the car. A herd of cows has been along the old roman road earlier in the day. This provides the family diva with a British Library of scents to sniff. Our progress is slow. Nor so much a walk as a cathartic ramble. At the stream Sophie finds a spot where the deer have been drinking overnight. Mud, water and scents  a near perfect combination to start the day. If only those walkers had brought  sausages.

We detour so that Sophie can observe the chickens in the new hen run. In the village pond four tiny moor hen chicks. The second brood of the year.

The 'recreated'  sixteenth century pottery furnace is looking forlorn. It was fired up once but due to a design flaw the hot gasses from the chimney blew the tiles off the roof covering. The villagers enthusiasm for the infernal thing never quite recovered from this trauma. It now has an air of gentle neglect.


  1. My husband has always regretted that Cherry has no tail, but looking at that second shot today, I'm thinking there might be some advantages . . .

    1. These two were the first PONs we've ever had with tails and surprisingly we think it's a much better arrangement. You know immediately the degree of happiness they're feeling and what's a little extra grooming with a PON ? If there's another generation of PONs they'll have tails.

    2. Well, that is one benefit of Cherry's recent skinhead clipping - we can now see her tiny stub of a tail and confirm that it wiggles. I have no idea whether she was cropped or whether she was born without a tail - from what I've read, either is possible.

    3. Our previous PONs were born without. Thankfully is now outlawed. PONs born without tails have such different proportions.

  2. The number of Covid-19 deaths here in the UK is truly shocking and undoubtedly now the worst in the EU. But is it really true that we have had more deaths than all the EU combined? I'm wondering where that statistic comes from? As for why it's been so bad here, I could theorize, but no time for that today!
    Bertie is happy anyway to live in a country where tail docking is totally banned, as his fine, if slightly non-standard WFT tail is an important means of self-expression.
    Cheers, Gail (still confined to 5 miles from home and no eating out).

  3. Humans have a lot to answer for when it comes to animal modifications. Tails aren't just to express with (although they are very useful for that - even on cats) they are also great extra balancing equipment. Your village looks idyllic - a lane not unlike my old home in UK. I guess I should be glad we are not there in these strange times, but it has ended up splitting up our household. Mr B remains in UK and looks likely to have to do so for quite some time yet. This part of Greece is (to all appearances) back to normal.

  4. Hari OM
    A huge part of my angel Jade's personality resided in her tail... and I am disappointed at the kiln failure. Would be interesting to have seen what came out of it, had it succeeded! YAM xx

  5. According to experts interviewed for the Channel 4 Despatches programme, starting lockdown just one week earlier would have saved thousands of lives. It's plain that the government thought we would somehow not be affected like other countries and delayed all the measures taken.
    I do wonder if the numbers are measured in the same way in every country but even if you ignore the rest of Europe the death toll here is shocking and frightening.

  6. The covid 19 death toll here in the US escalates so quickly, it's difficult to keep up with the numbers. I think I heard 110,000 yesterday. Experts are saying it will be two to three weeks before we see what effect all the milling about of the protesters has had.

    I keep waiting for photos of new spring calves.