Friday the 13th

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In a week when the world went mad yet again I am grateful for the serenity of the countryside around me. It’s hard to fathom how people have such warped beliefs that they can indiscriminately kill innocent people, and then themselves, in the name of God. No God would condone such an act and they only continue to drive a divide between Christian and Muslim people by their actions. It encourages the “them and us” mentality despite the fact that most Muslims are peaceful loving people. Terrorism is not a religion folks and the #notinmyname campaign is trying to get us to understand that. This fear is all part of their ideology – these extremists – to ensure a backlash by the west against Islam and thereby giving them a “reason” to continue their carnage.  The media also perpetrates who we should feel sorry for and who we don’t. There was hardly a word in the media about the bombings in Lebanon or in Baghdad but Paris (which is a city dear to my heart and to millions of others all over the world) receives a tidal wave of support, again skewing our perceptions. These bombings could make you fearful about travelling, but that is what these people want and then they would win, so I intend going ahead with my planned trip to Paris in August and say “up yours” to ISIL. The fear of terrorism is sometimes more insidious, creeping into our everyday lives via the media – bringing this fear straight into our lounge rooms through the TV. The media has a lot to answer for with their constant 24 hour reporting – you almost feel like you are there with all the stress and angst that comes with that – no wonder everyone is scared to death.

Rant over.

In stark contrast the only problems encountered this week in the Meadow were of an animal nature – with An Escape and A Stampede. Early one morning, having my first cuppa of the day and still in my pj’s I felt a rumbling through the ground – reminiscent of a scene from the film Jumanji or the start of the earthquake I experienced in Greece a long time ago – and I looked out of the window to see cows literally galloping by our house 3 or 4 abreast all jostling for position. They were on the road instead of their usual track and then I heard Matt The Farmer zooming up the road on his quad bike calling them every swear word under the sun as he tried to contain them. About 6 peeled off into our neighbours front garden and then a few ran straight through the dividing hedge into ours!

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This picture belies the speed at which they were travelling and there are loads of hoof imprints in our lawn as a memory of the event. As it turns out there were a few cows on heat and they broke through a gate/fence in order to pursue the call of nature! I guess cows have problems with their hormones too….. Poor Matt, he was rather sheepish when he came to apologise for his wayward cows (and his colourful language!!) but it was just a reminder that we are in the middle of a 300 acre dairy farm.

The escape artist was of course Bailey.

We have been so lucky that up until now she has been happy to stay in our garage (with the door open) on her mat with some water, a toy and a treat of some sort when we go out. Although she has always had access to The Lane she has never shown any interest in leaving the property and is usually still on her mat when we return to the house. However, this week I have been working some extra days and she has been home alone rather more than usual. The previous day she had discovered the plants I had bought at the nursery and by the time I came home they were strewn all over the lawn and the plastic pots chewed to smithereens. On this day despite the fact that I took her for a walk before I left she went walkabout a mere half hour after I had gone, trotting up the lane and visiting the neighbours, bold as brass. Luckily they are all lovely and adore the chocolate button but we were all worried that she may venture further up The Lane to The Highway which would be disastrous. As a result she got to be babysat by the gorgeous Catherine and stay and play with Wally the black lab up the road until I got back from work. She had to be hosed down before she came home as she had been rolling in the mud and was totally filthy. I’ve rarely seen her happier. She slept for the rest of the day in pure exhaustion.

In order to be able to leave the house in the knowledge that she is safe and also to allow for her to access shade and sun and grass we have installed an inground stake system with a metal cord that attaches to her collar. She doesn’t seem to mind it and despite a few attempts, it doesn’t seem to be chewable. Its about 5m long and fingers crossed it stops her trotting off to adventure down the lane.

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In more enjoyable news our long waited for library began to be installed. The base is in and the remaining units should be joining it next week. There is mess from one end of the room to the other with books, magazines and paraphernalia awaiting it’s new home! I can’t wait to have it completed and then the fun of filling it up begins. The last few boxes from the garage will finally get unpacked and we will have the added benefit of having a pull down bed/4th bedroom!!

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The garden is constantly unfolding with new plants and is a joy to work in despite also demanding constant attention. I have a kind of roster now whereby I work my way around the acerage so that no one area gets completely out of control and I must say my agapanthas are starting to look beautiful and well worth all the trouble!

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