More life in the countryside
As a follow up to Part 1 of my funny experiences of living in the countryside I have written this hub. My first hub would have been far too long if I had included everything that I have experienced during my years of countryside living, yet there was so much more to tell that would bring a smile to your faces I had to write this second hub so that you would be able to reminisce with me, laugh with me and empathise with me as I recall the strange and yet hilarious countryside experiences I have witnessed during my lifetime.
Our beloved British Saanen goat had not finished with us yet, and managed to make herself a real character in our lives. Her strength was incredible, and after many months of being hauled into every hedge, flower bed and fruit tree, we had, it quickly got to a stage where we needed to do something drastic........ Enter my infant school knickers, that proved to be a perfect blindfold, allowing her ears to poke through the leg holes, whilst ensuring Trixie the goat could not see where she was going so could not drag us towards anything edible that took her fancy. This worked most of the time, but Trixie could still outwit us on occasion, and one memorable occasion included her dashing past us at high speed in her effort to chase our opposite neighbour's dog back into its own garden. I got the fun job of chasing after Trixie (again), only to find her consuming vast amounts of the neighbour's roses. I might have got away with this (at least she hadn't stomped all over their dog), but sadly the neighbours were in the process of enjoying a family barbecue, complete with female family members sunbathing outside, (albeit somewhat shocked at the vision of a large white goat having chased their aggressive black Labrador back into their garden before merrily tucking into their prize rose bushes).
It probably goes without saying that we kept a very close eye on our pet goat after that, and fortunately there were no more really embarrassing incidents that I can recall!
Some years later I had moved to the UK mainland and my Mum was still living in the same farmhouse alone. My Grandmother, Father and Uncle (Mum's Brother), had died and my Sister had also moved away. The paddock was overgrown and Mum needed an easy way to keep the grass down. Somehow she found a local young farmer who had a couple of young cows that needed grazing, and an arrangement was agreed that he could tether the cows on Mum's land in order to help her maintain the paddock. Great you might think, that is until one morning when my very elegant and ladylike Mother woke up, looked out of her bedroom window, and saw the two cows wandering happily past her window and up the road.
Her dilemma was obvious, she couldn't leave the cows walking up the road in case a car hit them, at the same time she only had her nightwear and slippers on. Luckily her concern for the cows overcame her self-respect, and she put on her dressing gown, prayed no-one would see her and ran up the road to retrieve the two cows that were contentedly grazing the hedgerows whilst towing their uprooted tethers behind them. Fortunately they allowed Mum to return them to the farmhouse so that she could call the farmer and get him to re-secure the beasts in an escape-proof manner.
My UK Countryside Experience
Meanwhile I had moved to the UK mainland, and after a few moves had ended up living in New Romney in Kent with my late Husband. We were renting a lovely detached farmhouse with no really close neighbours, only fields and country lanes. This was perfect, nobody to bother us, loads of land for me to grow vegetables and plenty of room for our dogs to exercise within our garden. All was going well until the mouse problem reared its ugly head. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind mice, especially if they aren't living in the house, but these ones were, and what's more they were taking the expression "make yourselves at home" just a bit too far! Let me explain, imagine being woken up at 3.00am in the morning by a mouse scampering across your face and over your pillow! Even for me, an animal lover this was a step too far, and having unsuccessfully tried to use sonar type devices to discourage the mice from the home we were left with one option, get a cat!
Getting our cat proved very effective, and it wasn't long before we had a virtually mouse-free home, the only remaining ones choosing to live in parts of the house where we didn't mind them, (especially as there only appeared to be three left in the large property). In fact very impressively my little Cairn Cross rescue terrier and the cat made a dynamic duo as hunters, working together as a team, each passing the unlucky mouse to the other one, at least until I arrived on the scene and rescued those that I could get to in time.
Meanwhile we had taken on a friend as a lodger after his marriage failed. Bless him, he was no oil painting and somewhat overweight. One summer's day he decided it was a perfect day to sunbathe in the large front garden we were fortunate enough to have. Sadly he forgot that in the countryside the farmers do spray their crops. Our friend stripped off ALL of his clothes, blobbed out on the lawn, and then shortly after had the refreshing experience of a tractor in the next field spraying the crops and him also!!! As if that wasn't bad enough, he persevered with the sunbathing, only to then have the unexpected embarrassment of a bus full of people gliding past our front garden with the passengers at a height that offered them a clear view of all of his personal "equipment". You can only begin to envisage what he must have felt as he looked up and made eye contact with a bus full of bemused and shocked passengers who were seeing this large, white, crop sprayed body looking back at them. I have to confess it took me a long long time to stop laughing at the vision this produced when he told us about the experience!
As many of you may know my Husband sadly died suddenly from bowel Cancer when he was just 48 years old. Circumstances then forced me to return to Guernsey where I had originally come from, before I was ultimately lucky enough to secure a rented property in yet another countryside area and later met my current Husband. It wasn't long after this we restored the neglected nearby fishing lake and began to charge people for freshwater / coarse fishing on our leased land.
This is where we still live today, and even now the countryside throws curve balls at us regularly. Only a year ago I awoke to find a whole herd of about 15 cows wandering around the car park and had to phone my Hubby to ask him to call the local farmer to come and retrieve them before they injured themselves or fell into the derelict swimming pool.
I have had a lost homing pigeon turn up on our doorstep as if waiting to be rescued, simply staring through the glass front door as if to say "help". I have fished overnight at our lake and woken up to find a rather cute wild rat attempting to crawl into my fishing bivvie (tent) so that it could munch on my hemp seed and I have rescued a wild bantam cockerel that was temporarily blinded from fighting other cockerels and taken it to the rescue centre to recover.
To this day the trio of cats that we now have bring us all manner of rabbits, rodents and birds that I endeavour to rescue whenever there is a trace of life left, (in fact the local animal rescue centre and myself are now on first name terms after a series of baby bunnies I have taken to them for first aid or for a gentle euthanasia).
But in spite of all of these experiences I love living here. I thrive off the fresh countryside air and the peaceful sounds of wildlife minus invasive traffic noises. I revel in watching rabbits hopping around our lake and wild ducks nesting and swimming on the waters. I delight in seeing Kingfishers, Barn Owls, Little Egrets, Pheasants and many other birds going about their day to day business without fumes, smog and pollution effecting their quality of existence, and even if on occasion I get muddy, or brambles tear at my clothes and I am forced to do battle with stinging nettles and puddles, I wouldn't change any of it for the city life no matter how much money I was offered.
This is how nature intended the planet to be, and this is exactly the way I would like to see it maintained in its entirety!
More by this Author
After flights Qantas Airline pilots have to fill out a form called a 'Gripe Sheet' which tells the mechanics of any problems with the aircraft. The mechanics then correct the problem before adding their solutions to the...
Finding any kind of poo in your garden is never good, especially if you tread in it, but imagine if you found a human poo in your garden!! Well we did, and here is what happened and how events unfolded...
In this article I hope to list most of the more common houseplants that are dangerous to cats so that you can either ensure you don't bring them into your home or at least you can keep them out of the reach of your...