Dogs and cats

I don’t really know why some people dislike either cats or dogs (speciesism!). My cats and dogs don’t seem to have a problem with the other species. Miniputz goes for walks with me and the dogs. She and Schlafmütz sleep with the dogs on my bed or on the sofas. Yes, I admit it, we’re like in Off the Leash. And Rudi and Farbexplosion think they are father and daughter. Sometimes they got different ways of amusing me and themselves though. Miniputz and Schlafmütz are now both convinced they are Marquises. They spend a lot of time in the castle, when I’m cleaning it. While the dogs prefer to stay outside and walk with me.

Miniputz kneads the air on a baroque chaise longue and purrs. She thinks that’s where she should be. Sadly we won’t be here very much longer. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Bach is proud of this old apple tree. I guess he marked it. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

You think he has a lot of tongue? That’s nothing, compare the top ten tongues-quiz at Animalcouriers.

Mütz checks if I cleaned the stairs. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

And Phex checks the lawn. He seems to approve it. Phew I’m glad. He’s such a good employer, no wait, he’s only my dog. Dang. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Miniputz stares at me. Have I been too loud? Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Rudi is exploring the garden of friends in the village. The children have decorated this wonderful old cider mill. The decoration represents an alley and a house. I think it’s some kind of fairy tale setting. The prince walks over the beam that holds the mill stone, to the castle in the centre. All the little fairy tale trees are in full bloom. The princess is waiting at the castle, probably drinking tea or whatever princesses do. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

With the photograph above Rudi made his way into Wikimedia Commons again. Pspsps, don’t tell anyone.

And if Frauchen compels you to go a mile over the pasturage, go with her two and don’t forget the bushwhacker. (Brad 5:41) Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Rudi at the well. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

We had loads of rain in Mai. I got serious problems to poison the bad herbs on the gravelwalk. It’s not always raining all day long, but every day a bit.

On May 8 we had a surprise when we were walking through the fields. There was some sun, chased by clouds in dark Payne’s grey. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Payne’s grey was always one of the colours I loved the most, I just had to mention it in a post.

The bank of dark clouds is coming nearer. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

The the clouds started to pour buckets of water on us. We were soaking wet in some seconds. Luckily the camera survived. We were on top of the hill when Rudi decided he needs to shit. Thunder rolled and lightning was flashing and Rudi tried to shit. I got to add, that he has some health problems and can’t shit normally anymore, but he sometimes has the feeling, that he needs to shit. That was not really the right time and place for senseless pressing at the side of the road.

Back at home Phex and Rudi immediately climbed on the sofa. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Blossoms and dogs. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Bach on the meadow behind the castle. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Miniputz, the dangerous predator of the jungle. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Miniputz, the fearless rider on her big horse Frauchen. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Miniputz, the shepherd. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Tangophex. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Phex in a strange position. he has lots of place for his business. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Lawnmowers are wonderful

It’s spring. That means the grass and the bad herbs are growing and I have to cut them. Right in time, my brushcutter broke. Just for the record. It’s my brushcutter. I bought it with my own money. I seriously need it, because the sheep do NOT eat stinging nettles or any poisonous plant. Sheep aren’t very clever animals but they are usually clever enough not to burn their mouth and not to eat poison. Stupider sheep die young. The motor of the brushcutter is still running, but the head doesn’t turn anymore. This reminded me so much of Eleenie and her lawnmower. A friend told me, in France are no cheap repair services. Repairing something costs as much as buying a new thing. But there is hope. Me and Rudi visited Mr C. Rudi loves Mr C.’s cats, but those cats don’t love him. Mr C. thinks there is hope we can repair the brushcutter. Then he showed me his awesome collection of grass-cutting-machines, a brushcutter, a lawnmower and a ride-on mower. I cut the grass around some trees in his garden, then he let me ride his ride-on mower. I found out, that it is much more difficult to cut straight lines with the mower than I thought. He took some photos of me.

Lawnmowing is fun. Photo by Alain Cardinal, all rights reserved.

Lawnmowing is fun. Photo by Alain Cardinal, all rights reserved.

Careful stanze, don't drive the lawnmower into the pond. Photo by Alain Cardinal, all rights reserved.

Careful stanze, don’t drive the lawnmower into the pond. Photo by Alain Cardinal, all rights reserved.

And this is how I look if I try to concentrate on something. Those corners were really difficult to mow. Photo by Alain Cardinal, all rights reserved

And this is how I look if I try to concentrate on something. Those corners were really difficult to mow. Photo by Alain Cardinal, all rights reserved

After I was undulating on the lawn long enough (unsure if I can say it like that in English but I like the word “undulate”), I gave up. Thing is I love waves and curves, when I cut the hedge I always cut the corners round, but Mr C. hates waves and curves and wants everything straight and perpendicular. But waves or not, he lent me the normal lawnmower. That was yesterday, I’ve cut the lawn for the rest of the day yesterday and the whole day today.

It’s a funny lawnmower. It is quite special, to start it I got to open the starter and close it half with my hand or foot. It’s a bit tricky, but once it’s running it runs. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Another part I’ve mown yesterday. The park is up to 2 hectars big? The whole property is 4 hectars big. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Rudi and Phex were terribly bored, the lawnmower is too loud for them. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Can’t remember when it looked that good last time, but it was probably after the 200€ lawnmowing last year. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Lawnpride. It’s green, it’s short, it’s lawn. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Bach always helps me when I work. He is never bored. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

I got to say it again, I can’t remember, if it ever looked that good. Sadly it won’t stay like that for long. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

The noise of the countryside

It’s very quiet here, usually, if it’s not harvesting time and if me and Phex don’t sing. Yesterday the bird syndicate visited us again. And turned the quietness into the soundtrack of The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963). The 50 years have passed in the blink of an eye.

I took a video about Phex’ singing as well, but sadly I was singing more than Phex. I tried to make him sing, it worked, but it’s also possible, that he made me sing and it worked. I spared you that howling woman and deleted the video.

Phex laughs about me. He says: “birds are tasty.” Haha. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

This afternoon I got to go to the public library. When the library had anniversary, they gave every reader a special anniversary-bag to carry the books. Miniputz loves that bag. I used to store it on a table, but she was climbing in it with her dirty feet and printing the book with muddy “catletters” (aka pawprints). So I put the bag high on a cupboard in a corner of the living room. Guess what..

Eye of the tiger, sings: “döts, dötsdötsdöts, dötsdötsdöts, dötsdötsdööö”. Needless to say it scared me when I suddenly heard muffled sounds from the top of the armoire. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Speaking of “birds are tasty”, that reminds me of the presents I got from Miniputz two days ago. Two dead mice and a dead bird under my bed (yuck). Miniputz truly loves me. Sadly I can’t appreciate it like I should.

Oh no human servant, let me stay in this wonderful bag! Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Meanwhile an evil dog (Phex) steals the good sleeping place of Schlafmütz. How dare he? It’s her sofa. At least in her opinion. Schlafmütz is used to cloddish dogs and doesn’t make a fuss about it. At least he has a lot of warm fur. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Isn’t he handsome? And he looks very happy (when he’s not singing). Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

After a short visit elsewhere, winter came back

Like I already wrote in Snowdrop cushions and snowdrop thieves, the winter was long and cold. Up to 5 days with temperatures around +10°C followed and everybody thought it’s spring. But no, we were wrong. I should have chopped more wood, bought more paraffin, bought birdseeds. The French optimism seems to infect me. Where did that pessimistic me go?

Sheep are clever. When the waterbucket is frozen, they melt a hole in the ice with their soft warm muzzles. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Winter came back during the night. And it contained lots of snow. It was snowing all Monday. Even at the time I took this photo. The snowflakes were very small though. I didn’t want to ruin my camera and took only photos under some kind of roof. This was taken in the entrance of the cottage. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

And the snow was lying heavily around on everything. One of the trees in front of the castle fell to the side. I’ll have to call someone with a tractor to pull it up again after this -insert bad names for winter here- has gone. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Rudi runs to the hayrack (upper left corner). Bach thinks this is hilarious! The stone to the lower right always makes me wonder. There is never snow on it. It must be warmer than the rest of the ground. But why? Maybe it is so deep in the ground that it gets warmed by the inner core of the Earth? Okay, I might exaggerate a bit. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Rudi finally saw us and changed the direction. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

We were supposed to have nice visitors, but because of the traffic chaos on railroads and in the streets, we’ve been hanging around bored on the sofa. Especially Phex was disappointed. He loves cigarettes and always hopes that visitors come and smoke a lot. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Last Saturday Stirnlöckchen had digestion problems. She’s an old ewe, maybe 12 years old. On Sunday she didn’t want to stand up. I gave her sage and a massage for her tummy. On Monday she felt better. On Tuesday she didn’t want to get up. This photo was made on Tuesday and she was lying in the sheep barn behind me. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

On Tuesday the snow flakes were bigger. Hungry sheep gathered around the hayrack. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Today it was snowing less. The sheep had already walked their typical paths into the snow. From the hayrack to the buckets, the waterbassin and to the park. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Around noon (today) the sheep invaded the park, where patches of grass made their way through the layer of white. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

But after a short exploration tour they stayed under the trees and waited.. for me. Mäh, the goddess of hay. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Where’s the snackbar? Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Girls, I don’t think that human will bring more food. Let’s go back to the hayrack. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Kleinfleckchen looks quite happpy though. In the background you can see Rudi walking in his beloved sweater out of the picture. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Die another day. On the afternoon Stirnlöckchen decided that she wants to live. When I brought her food on the pasturage she was up and running. She even had crossed the approx. 200 m long field. I cancelled the appointment with the vet and went immediately with the car to a nearby village to buy sheepfood. Even the bigger roads like the Route départementale to Brionne were still clogged with snow. It was one hell of a ride. On the way back I bought a cake, chocolate and Earl Grey to have a party and celebrate life in general. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Snowdrop cushions and snowdrop thieves

February was cold. Too cold. The winter seemed to be endless. In the middle of the month the snowdrops started to grow. And daylight was “growing” as well. Me and the dogs had some very nice walks and visited our neighbours. I don’t think the cats of Mr C. like us much though. When we meet them, we always meow or wag our tails. But they sit in the bocage and hiss at us.

Snowdrops are a good seat. According to Phex the butt of a dog smells better if it sits on snowdrops frequently. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Snowdrops (aka dog cushions) in Villeret in February. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

While Phex is enthusiastic, Rudi is rather a sceptic scientist and examines the snowdrops. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

He doesn’t seem to be content with the little flowers. He looks a bit grim. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

At the end of February a car stopped at our property. A man opened the trunk, took something out, went back to the trunk, to the bocage (wallhedge), to the trunk.. We had just visited someone in the village and were on our way back. When I saw this man, I thought he was putting garbage at the road, bulky waste or something like that. People do that sometimes. We hurried. When we reached the car I greeted the man and he stopped to do what he was doing.. digging out “our” snowdrops. Phex immediately showed him, what to do with snowdrops and sat down on them. I allowed the man to dig some flowers, that was kind of difficult though. Phex was sitting on them. It turned out that the man was the son of someone who once lived on the pasturage in what is now the sheep barn. But I must have scared the man somehow. He suddenly told me his wife waits for him and off he went. I swear, I didn’t do anything. I’m rather harmless, but I look like a valkyrie and that scares little French men sometimes.

And the wild birds were dining ivy fruits on the pasturage (poisonous to humans). Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Bach and Schlafmütz have something going on and I don’t want to know what kind of relationship they got. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

She’s a dangerous cat. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Young Salix catkins on the pasturage. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported