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Mugged by a lamb

We had to help our neighbor fix her wifi, a trip that included a drive across a sheep field.

This one little lamb was in the near end by himself. His mother was some yards away not paying attention and the rest of the flock was way down the far end. He came bounding up to the car like it was the most awesome thing he’d ever seen in his life. It probably was, but lambs are usually shy wee beasties.

I got out to shoo him away and he walked me backwards around the car shouting “MEHHHHH!” in my face like he had to tell me something RIGHT NOW. It was honestly adorable. Weird but adorable.

Sooner or later, though, we had to go home and I had to run him off. Pictured above. Excuse quality; it was dusk.

Happy Good Friday. I’ve got three more days of this!

March 29, 2024 — 7:12 pm
Comments: 3

The lambing has begun

This little scene was at the end of the drive as I went to work this morning. These two are very, very fresh.

Not pictured, just off camera to the right, a very weary, panting ewe had a lie down in the grass. The babies were hopping all around her going, “MOM! MOM! MOM! MOOOOOM!!”

I love this time of year.

I always forget Easter is a four day public holiday here. Then I have to explain why it’s not in the States and then I’m always asked how we get away with Christmas as a public holiday and I have to admit I don’t know.

Do you?

Anyway, four days off – w00t!

March 28, 2024 — 7:31 pm
Comments: 6

Good weekend!

We went to a party tonight! With grownups! I don’t think they ever realized we were imposters.

Our neighbors being sheep farmers, that was naturally where the conversation went. These days, they’re getting £90 for spent ewes (ewes past lamb-bearing age). That’s very good.

They’re getting next to nothing for the wool, though. That’s a real shame. Wool is naturally flame-resistant and makes excellent house insulation, apparently. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a push to use it. It seems eco perfect.

And with that, the weasel wandered off in search of gin…

March 1, 2024 — 9:00 pm
Comments: 4

No, really, she’s holding a cat

Why you’d call a black cat Blueberry, I do not know. But meet Blueberry. He disappeared in November of 2019 and turned up this week 200 miles away in the other end of Ireland.

They think he hitched at least one car ride. Maybe several. It’s news because they’re making microchipping cats compulsory here soon.

I have mixed feelings. I’ve had all my cats chipped, but a vet told me the things migrate all over the place. He picked up one low down in a cat’s front leg once. That doesn’t sound comfortable.

February 21, 2024 — 7:29 pm
Comments: 6

We didn’t see any

We took the backroads to go buy our coffer yesterday and spotted this on the way. England, am I right?

The purpose of the box is to hold some of the junk threatening to overwhelm the livingroom. We spent the evening digging through archaeological layers of stuff. There weren’t any nice surprises, but there weren’t any dead mice either and we did manage to purge a lot of it. I’m tuckered. I’m nearly plumb tuckered.

Thanks to all of y’all for the well wishes yesterday. Remember, back here tomorrow for Dead Pool 177.

February 15, 2024 — 7:42 pm
Comments: 5

Look, a duck!

I’ve been in a Zoom meeting all evening, so here’s a picture of somebody else’s duck that I stole from Uncle B’s Google Photo.

She gets a fresh wading pool every day and every day she jumps into it and immediately shits (pictured).

This is the same friend who had a pet turkey that was amazingly sweet and friendly. Sadly, Gloria the Turkey died. She has two other turkeys now but they’re just turkeys.

My back hurts. Stupid Zoom.

February 6, 2024 — 7:59 pm
Comments: 3

A very British amusement park

Thrill to the electrifying ‘putting your arm up a cow’s bum’ experience.

This opportunity, if you hadn’t guessed, is part of the James Herriot Country Tour. Herriot (real name James Alfred Wight) inspired a whole generation of Brits to go into veterinary medicine.

Sadly, that generation of vets is retiring and, in many cases, selling their practices to veterinary corporations. A quick Google search tells me that this process has been happening for some years, all over the West. It also tells me that there are pros and cons, both for the vet and the customers.


We are fairly involved in a number of local cat charities (because of course we are). One was heavily supported by a veterinarian who has now retired and sold his practice. In their newsletter, they talk about how much their vet bills have gone up since. Many of these practices seem to be basing their prices on how much people are willing to spend to keep their pets going. Which, for many people, is a lot.

They didn’t say this, but we know it from experience with one local practice, the vets are usually young, foreign and don’t stick around for long. We still have a good old country vet, but who knows for how long.

Back in the Nineties, my 20-year-old cat Andrew suddenly developed serious breathing problems (turns out it was a pulmonary embolism). It was a Sunday afternoon – because all veterinary emergencies either happen Sunday afternoon or in the middle of the night – so I drove him to an emergency practice. Don’t ever do this. I told them to keep him comfortable until he died. Instead, he spent his final hours enduring every expensive diagnostic they could think of. Then he died. Bastards.

Speaking of croaking, Joyce Randolph of Honeymooners fame has finally copped it at 99. That means p2 has won the dick and New Dead Pool Friday.

January 17, 2024 — 7:51 pm
Comments: 6

My very weird, very fat cat

Enjoy this view of my delicious catloaf.

He’s a very eccentric beast, like most formal ferals. He’s fat and it’s totally not my fault. He will only eat dry Iams, and not a whole lot of that. He won’t eat wet food. Not interested in people food. Eventually, he even refused treats (have you ever known a cat that turned his nose up at Dreamies?).

So it has to be the bunnies and mice doing it. The vet isn’t concerned. I suppose it’s self limiting – get fat enough, can’t chase prey.

At least, he was like that until last week, when began to reject his food. Vocally. Even angrily. We went nuts. Tried five different brands of dry catfood.

In despair, we tried pouches in jelly and…bingo. Except, he licks the jelly off and begs for more. He’s already visibly putting on weight.

I know a woman who swears her cat went diabetic eating Friskies jelly. I also went through the same behavior with my old cat Charlotte, the one I brought with me from the States (coincidentally also a tuxedo cat). At the end of her life, she’d lick the jelly off but refuse the food chunks and pointedly ignore it until the meat mummified in the bowl.

I am so not looking forward to this again…

January 8, 2024 — 8:26 pm
Comments: 5

Not pictured: another gray blob

Pictured on the way home: the two white blobs are mommy and daddy swans and the four gray blobs (brown IRL) are the baby swans. Kind of teenager swans, actually. Okay, they were far away and I only had my phone. We’ve seen the adults in the adjacent field – probably the same ones – but this is the first we’ve seen of the swanlets.

Are we all excited for the Epstein papers? No? You disappoint.

We are clear that this isn’t the client list we’ve all been waiting for, but a release of the documents relating to Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit. I spent a merry hour trying to find the original documents – not articles about them. There are dozens of articles about them, showing all the journalists knew where they were. I managed to find an individual document or two, but not the whole cache.

Finally, in a yet-unpublished Community Note on X, I found this link. I CANNOT VOUCH FOR THE SAFETY OF THAT SITE. Or the veracity of the document. I’d’ve hosted it for you, but it’s 28 megs (940-something pages) and I think that might flatline my connection.If you’re interested and you’re bold, I recommend you right click and save the document to your hard drive.

It’s word-searchable (Clinton appears 72 times). But no mention of Hawking or midgets (don’t ask), so maybe this isn’t the real deal.

January 4, 2024 — 8:16 pm
Comments: 5

The night Himself came in from the wilderness

We continue our low-effort stroll down memory lane with the first picture of Kitteh. He strolled into the house one night in July of 2018, screamed and ran out again. I trapped him next day with a squirrel trap and a pouch of food.

About three months old and totally feral, our local kitty rescue (or, rather, the big scary lesbian who runs our local kitty rescue) recommended we keep him in a cage until he was tamer. She even loaned us the cage (pictured).

It was good advice and he tamed down and acclimated to our other two cats in no time.

Today, he’s a lovable, weird, great fat pudding. He does still get that terrified feral look in his eyes from time to time (not pictured).

Rejoice! It is the weekend!

December 29, 2023 — 6:31 pm
Comments: 4