Weekend salvation

Hello hello! Lawdy, it’s been longer than I thought. Thank you very much for the ahemings and nudgings – it’s lovely and reassuring to know that I’m not blithering away entirely to myself.  Truly.  And actually I’ve thought about posting umpteen times recently, but the landscape around here has been too stress-sodden, too desolate to be worth relaying.  Any post I might have written would have been a litany of despondencies,  unspooling in long ribbons from here to the moon and half way back again.  Though actually, to talk in terms of ribbons is too smooth and silky-sounding when the texture of time has more resembled a mountain of rusty nuts and bolts –  a mountain that must be ascended, one bolt and one knee-breaking nut at a time.

But fear not! I do not come Ancient Marinerishly – I shall uphold (sort of) the fifth law of blogodynamics and not pin you to the wall with my litany of woes.  In any case, for anyone outside the tiny circle of involvement it’s all rather so whatish.  It’s the usual stuff – you know – builder being difficult, plumber being difficult, the contract that we get pressured to re-negotiate, the other contract that seems to have a large sum missing from it.  It’s being expected to pay for scaffolding when we no longer need it.  It’s the giant hoohaa-ery about exterior colours.  You know – that manner of thing. The kind of thing which wakes you in the middle of the night, which causes you to vow ‘never again’, which looms suddenly at you while you’re eating your breakfast and has you in a lather.  Stress!  And the trouble with stress, in my experience anyway,  is that it shrinks one’s world to a tiny claustrophobic chamber in which tap fittings and floor tiles loom vastly, and you become some distracted Alice in her not-so-wondrous-wonderland, tussling to get them back to size, the buggers.

And stress makes you behave badly.  Or at least rudely.  And sleep like a lunatic. And become tired.  And therefore behave even more badly.  Or at least rudely.  And maybe turn to drink or other noxious solutions. (Having just picked out all the good nuts from the nut packet, I suggested to Mr Pimp that we had peanuts and G&Ts for supper.  He thought I was joking. But you mark my words – tomorrow he’ll suggest his own variant).

So anyway, to upkeep my undertaking to the fifth law of etceteras, I give you some things which are keeping the boat semi-sane and bobbing at the moment.

I give you the fifty hyacinth bulbs Mr Pimperwonderful bought and planted in staggered lots so they could bloom over us all through our Period of Need.  I should confess that I  completely  and utterly adore hyacinths.  The colour of them.  The smell.  I could live in a hyacinth-induced swoon all my days.

I give you the dining room floor, now (almost) dressed once more with its sandstone flooring.

I give you these glass mosaics, with which I am having a delirious, shiny interlude.

I give you Hans Coper with whom (or with pictures of whose pots) I spent a surprisingly ecstatic morning.  Simplification of form – I am convinced it’s where it’s at.

But mostly, dear Ladles and Jellyspoons, I give you Salvation by Calf. And this is how it happened.  We were stressed.   We were unhappy.  We did what we always do at such times.  We went to the farm for a spot of rustication, a top up of chlorophyll. A little rose pruning is what we envisaged, a little bad-potting. A lot of nothing very much at all.  And what did we do instead?  Life saving is what!   Think, if you would, tiny calf with paralysis ticks. Think sleepless nights with a sick baby. Think nail baiting will-he-or-won’t-he suspense. Think injections, dried colostrum and conflicting advice. Think midnight trysts by lamplight on straw bales with bottles of milk. Think anxious mother hovering, shiver-me-timbers cold, plumes of huff.  Think flooding relief when finally, FINALLY! the teat is chewed and then sucked, noisily, by the hairy little beast, streams of milk flooding down his coat.  Think Mr Pimp holding  a bib of straw beneath his determined little chin so that the spilled milk doesn’t freeze on him over night. Think the first thought you have in the morning being the calf, the last before you drop off.  Think jealous Remingtons and anxious Miss Elsies bellowing at you over the fields. And then you’d have the gist of our weekend.

We found him like this, almost dead, on his way to total paralysis:

 Mr P scooped him up to take him where we could look after him, bringing on the wrath of his mother Molly and the Grand Matriarch of the herd, Miss Black (a scary thing):

The vet shaved his neck to check for more ticks.  He looked somewhat like a ponderous tortoise thereafter:

Finally, finally on his tottering feet again:

On the last morning, a day later than we were planning to leave, we were able to open the gate and let them both out, Molly to show off her baby (for the second time) and he, to his second shot at life as a tenured lawn mower.  I hope they don’t tease him about his neck.

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17 Responses to “Weekend salvation”

  1. What better to jerk you out of your woes than saving a precious calf! I thought of you yesterday when my basement flooded. Argh! the swamp!
    Best,
    Liz

    • Absolutely right Liz. New lesson learned – when glum try to find a life to save!

      The swampy basement doesn’t sound good at all – pipes? storms? I hope it’s easily fixed and has caused no lasting damage.

  2. That is too lovely for words…..thank goodness you needed the BREAK!

  3. You are back! I restrained from pestering you this time, one doesn’t want to sound too eager you know. And my, a lot to get off your chest. The flagstones are beautiful, the little calf is rather cute and I am glad he was saved, very brave to take on the mother, those mother cows are a tad terrifying. Chin-up, and all that. Down the hatch etc.

    • Oh, I love to be ‘pestered’ Rosa. Come and pester me anytime. I’m up for it. As for the scary cows – I know! The mothers are very fierce when it’s their babies at stake. Rather as I am, really. Upset my baby? Off with their heads!

  4. What a wonderful post, makes me want to stand and shout ” we humans are truly magnificent beings.” Well done I say.

    • There are times when I’d stand with you and shout the same Suzanne. Thank goodness. And thank you.

      Just listening to the radio and news of the ‘free range’ debate – fingers crossed for a large spot of magnificence there.

  5. Thank heavens for new life what ever form it takes. A baby calf is just what you need to distract you from house woes and grumpy builders.
    But now I have tile and flower envy! I melted with those magnificent blue hyacinths. I am a habitual “stalker or loiterer” (an apt word in this case) of florists as flowers are my first love. Bravo to Mr P who knows how to enjoy such splendor and to you for sharing it.

    • Dear flower stalker (ha!), it would be good, wouldn’t it, if the shop were to be reincarnated as a florist. We could buy you a selection of false noses and hats and you could stalk away to your heart’s content! Glad you like the tiles.

  6. penelopebianchi Says:

    What great news! What a lovely story!

  7. Darling darling,
    grrreat imagery as always, such drama too! what fabulous prose!
    ‘Think injections, dried colostrum and conflicting advice. Think midnight trysts by lamplight on straw bales with bottles of milk’
    where else would we find such writing?
    love those glass mosaics too, so glamorous – you’ll have to ensure the cleaning lady applies lots of elbow grease and grout cleaner on a regular basis non?
    Ralfonzo is currently in intensive training – competing in the annual Shoreditch dog show next Monday

    • How lovely to wake up and find you in my inbox! Glad too that you like the glass mosaics. Mr P and I are off today, as it everso ‘appens, to order vast swathes of them. A dark mocha for Miss P’s bathroom and a slithery silver for ours. But but but! The Shoreditch dog show?! We need photos! Transcripts! Imprints of the inevitable rosettes! Go Ralphonzo! All power to his four elbows. I shall have appropriately logo-d t shirts printed and wear them on the day. Please to keep updated by telegram.

  8. Adore the photo with the little girl behind the curtains! And thankgod you saved the calve!

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