it’s been rather a day, actually, but all seems to have come good. I have done no admin, but it’s the weekend and I’m off duty until Sunday evening.
I ambled downstairs, having pottered around a bit, soon after 8 o’clock and pottered more in the kitchen, then went outside to feed the cats and let the chickens out. I dropped most of the cat food in seconds, when I found the garden was full of bullocks.
First rule of dealing with animals is, don’t panic. That is, they mustn’t think that you’re panicking. So I fetched a stick for guidance purposes and strolled past them to open the field gate. Then went behind them and suggested they might want to go home. Amazingly five out of the eight thought that was a fair suggestion and went in. I phoned Wink for help and she hurried out. They are calm cattle and, between us (with just one minor hoohah), two more went in: one in one gate, one in the other. The final beast might have posed a problem but Wink is a fast learner and headed him off adeptly, so all were safely gathered in.
But how had they got out? I did a quick search and nothing was an obvious gap. So I phoned the farmer, explained the situation and assured him that I’d get to the root of the escape after breakfast. New-laid egg, poached on toast.
I was a bit anxious and breathless, but went round the 8 acres, bailer twine in my pocket for remedial purposes. I did find a strand of wire that had come adrift, but that wasn’t where they got out. I mended that and kept going. The 13 cattle were calm and friendly, thank goodness – noted that not all of them had got out, so no major breach.
There’s a small gate from Humpy’s Meadow, over a railway sleeper bridge to the garden. The latch of the gate wouldn’t catch. It opened inwards to the field but it was conceivably possible that it could be pulled open. There is no other explanation – also, all the cattle were grouped round the gate when I went to look, so they were probably checking the weak spot. I’ve ordered some bungee cords and have tied the gate up in the meantime. I have said to the Rector that I’ll be in church tomorrow unless I’m chasing cattle again.
Which brings me to the other news of the day. Tim’s memorial service will be in our local church on Saturday, 6th November. More to follow on that but, in short, I’m planning a buffet lunch beforehand, the service in the early afternoon and then back here for tea. At least a couple of spare bedrooms if people would like to stay. Light, warm, celebratory, because my grandchildren will be there and we will ease them through it.