I received a couple of emails asking about my goats, why are they so naughty? and WHY did Willow appear at my front door? Allow me to explain....
By the time we arrived here, to live, in August, our land had been somewhat neglected in the previous two years, on account of us only being here for a few days or weeks at a time, the brambles had run riot.
We did a little research on how to tackle this problem, and decided we would get some animals to help.
I wanted pigs, I had read that pigs will eat pretty much anything, Simon thought pigs would smell, and we read somewhere that goats like brambles too, so we acquired two goats from a couple in the area who were giving them away (now we know why... LOL). Willow and Littlefoot had arrived.
Simon built a nice fence, which was intended to stop the goats roaming into the small area in front of our house, and would also block them from coming around the lake, they were left with several acres to themselves, and plenty of brambles to munch.
You would think, with several acres of varied land to graze, open fields, woodland and tasty fruit orchards, that our newly acquired pets would be pretty happy with their lot, but no... the goats weren't interested in land, they were only interested in us, and in the proceeding weeks a battle ensued.
Simon built his fence higher and higher in an attempt to contain the goats. Littlefoot is quite small and not very good at jumping/climbing, but Willow is much bigger and scaled a 2m fence without much effort.
Every time the fence got higher, Willow would sneakily find another way around, sometimes jumping or climbing over a fence on to the lane, and then back over a smaller fence into our front garden, leaving a traumatised Littlefoot alone and bleating angrily to join him.
Every morning we would awake to find Willow's menacing face staring at us through the front door or window, almost smirking, it was written all over his face "You won't beat me!".
Goats are, quite honestly, the most stubborn animals, every time we thought we had outwitted them, they found another way, until eventually we gave up, defeated, we allowed them to roam wherever they chose, besides which winter was looming, most of my plants and flowers had died back and there really wasn't much damage they could do.... surely?
If I leave a door open, they stroll right on into the house, and I have found them stood on my dining table, happily munching out of the fruit bowl on many an occasion.
Another time, I spent an entire afternoon collection chestnuts from our tree's, left the overflowing basket in the kitchen, only to return later to find Willow had munched his way through over half, and to add insult to injury, pee'd on the kitchen floor! He could eat as many chestnuts as he wanted from under the tree, but NO, he had to have mine, such is his attitude, I swear, he totally does it on purpose!
More recently, both Willow and Littlefoot decided that in all our 10 acres of land there just wasn't enough tasty food, and that the verges on the lane looked far more inviting to their palate.
One particular morning just before Christmas, a couple we know were driving me back from the village, and as we turned on to our lane, I saw both goats and our entire gang of hens out on the lane, blocking the road and generally being a nuisance.
This couple had never been to my house before, and so didn't know they were my animals, and the driver started loudly complaining about the "Irresponsible owner allowing their animals to roam into the road" Oh the shame! "It could cause an accident, so dangerous!" He spat, I had to admit, in a very small and embarassed voice "um, they're mine", the ground stubbornly refused to open up and swallow me.
For a time, we managed to train our older dog, Nala, to chase them back on to their side of the land. She loved this new job and undertook her new found responsibility with great enthusiasm, sometimes she was a little over zealous and returned with great clumps of goat fur hanging from her mouth. After a while the goats realised their horns were far more dangerous than her teeth, and now they stand their ground while she scuttles around them, trying in vain to chase them away from the house.
Also, there are still brambles EVERYWHERE, the goats, it turns out, are picky eaters, and never eat much of the same thing in one hit, they like a little bit of this and a little bit of that, oh how I wish we got pigs!
There has been many a time that I have wanted to maim or kill those bastard goats, many a time when they have butted me in the ass, trampled over me in an attempt to steal food I am carrying (getting food shopping from car to house in one piece has to be planned with military precision!), muddied my windows trying to get in (seriously), and Simon's lovely fence lays broken and trampled on the ground, they are a real nuisance, but for some weird reason, we still love them!
We discuss the future of the goats on an almost daily basis, come Spring, the building work for the extension (remember I said this house wasn't big enough for a family...) and the goats reeeally will have to be contained. Just HOW we will do that I still do not know. We constantly toy with the idea of re-homing them, but then I see the big woolly bastard outside, play fighting with his little friend, and knocking over my plant pots, and I wonder what French country life would be without them, I think for now, they are here to stay, that's if Simon can resist pointing his gun at them next time they butt him into submission.
It has been wet and gloomy for the last couple of days, so I have busied myself in doors preparing some more dotee dolls for more swap-bot swaps.
I just finished this little darling last night, isn't she cute?
The theme was creativity, so pretty much whatever came to mind. The ART part was a final addition, since Art embodies so much that inspires me, I see art in everything, and it pretty much summed up my creative flow...
I have become vaguely paranoid that I am perhaps extending the boundaries of creativity a little too far with my dotee's, the faces are um, somewhat different to others I have seen, and I realise that the addition of a pair of legs (I didn't have enough beads for a tail - and OMG those legs were a bitch to make) my dotee's are starting to look not much like dotee's at all, I hope my partners like them :/