So, what have I been doing, apart from finding dubious Mediaeval ancestors. Not a lot actually...some of this and a bit of that.
Had a panic when one of the neighbours told us Paddy the Belgian farrier had given up and wasn't trimming hooves anymore but I 'phoned him and he still is and hasn't given up so that's alright.
Finding a decent farrier is like searching for hens teeth...they are either positively ancient with bad backs or young and rough and ready with a tendency to lose patience if a donkey doesn't stand still, so Paddy is an absolute godsend...he has the patience of a saint...is good at what he does...and he's cheerful to boot.
The town by-pass is coming along in leaps and bounds...they've crossed the big river now...putting up a temporary bridge for their equipment to get from one side to another. The contrast between the soil that was unearthed close to town...reddish brown, heavy clay...and the earth they are now moving on the bog itself, a rich dark brown, is amazing. It gives more of an idea of where the fertile lands used to be thousands of years ago. The bogs are made up of the rotted vegetation of low growing shrubs, grasses and herbage which, once they'd died off, formed the thick layers of turf or peat which has been used as fuel for very many years.
I haven't heard whether or not the workmen have found anything of interest...several digs took place on known sites which were close to where the by-pass was planned so maybe nothing of interest will be found now...on the other hand someone might have dropped their gold torc while they were travelling across the bog... and a bog body would be a perfect find of course, but unlikely.
I've painted the back door and it's frame at long last though not sure why I've bothered 'cos that great lump of a dog Ben manages to brush against the door frame every single time it rains and leaves it looking frightful...the outside of the back door is scratched to bits where most of the dogs have scrabbled to get indoors...now this minute...can't wait a second for some human to open the door for them. And it doesn't fit properly anyway...the door doesn't. I don't know why we didn't have a nice plastic one installed when we had the front door and windows done actually...
Ben...who has a brick for a brain and is totally and horribly obese...is going to the dog grooming lady to have all his fur shaved off. He goes at least once a year because his coat knots up into big claggy lumps and the stupid creature won't let us cut them out or brush him. When the dog groomer does him, he sits there like a good dog and never makes a murmur...just dribbles a lot.
She has all the proper gear, including a rather posh bath/shower thingy that the dog stands in so she can wash it without getting herself soaked...how she manages our great lump I haven't the faintest idea. She could be bopping him over the head to keep him quiet for all I know or care...
It does make me laugh when people call themselves 'dog lovers'...I like dogs generally but there are some I simply can't take to...and Ben is one of those...just as well Himself likes him.
Have you noticed no-one ever refers to themselves as 'people lovers'...that speaks volumes doesn't it? You call yourself a cat lover or a horse lover or a dog lover...never a people lover though.
Don't like next doors dog on that side either...think he's pretty stupid...but next doors dog on the other side who is sort of square with a stout leg in each corner and a mashed up looking face...he looks as though he's repeatedly run into a brick wall...he's quite a sweetheart even though he's as ugly as sin and can, and does, bark for Ireland when he's so inclined.
Eilis could do with having her claws trimmed actually but I don't think I can bear watching her sitting bolt upright on the groomers table holding out each paw without a bother on her, when I try and do her claws she has the screaming hysterics and sobs and wails and wriggles so much I'm afeared of snipping off her foot never mind her claw.
And I painted a couple of old tin milk jugs...the sort you'd dip into the bowl or churn to get enough milk out for the day. They were terribly rusty so it took much scrubbing away with sandpaper first. I found little jars of enamel paint in the farmers stores that are just right for such projects with the advantage that the paint dries quickly and doesn't leave brushmarks...
The little ones have had their supper...now it's time to think about ours.