Monday, August 31, 2009

The Good Life

From 17th-27th August I was invited to housesit for friends of my workmate out in Templeton on their little 10 acre farm. The house is beautiful, big and new with SKY tv (a bit of a treat for plebs like me). The farm consisted of 5 sheep (two of which were pregnant) 8 chickens (1 was sitting on 10 eggs), about 24 bantams, and two cats. It was my own little slice of heaven for 10 whole days. The chickens/bantams had a great set up with pens I like to call 'Chicken City'.

My chores included feeding the chickens/bantams morning and night, collecting the eggs, feeding the sheep in the mornings, feeding/patting/talking to the cats. One cat was hardly seen as she is very timid and prefers to sleep in the barn only coming in at night to eat. The other cat, Duddie, is the complete opposite. He even followed me into the toilet one day and jumped on my knee!! We had to have a little chat about boundaries after that. He was great company and followed me EVERYWHERE. Even out to feed the chooks - they weren't bothered by him and he wasn't even interested in them.

The 10 eggs under the hen were due to hatch on Saturday 22nd August and sure enough, when I went out on Sunday afternoon there were 3 little chicks. Soooo cute! Now, those of you who are lucky enough to have SKY may be familiar with The Girls At The Playboy Mansion - a doco about Hugh Hefner and his three young, blonde girlfriends living at the Playboy Mansion. Being a non-skyer I got instantly hooked on this mind-numbing dribble and decided to call the 3 little yellow chicks Kendra, Bridget, and Holly after Hugh's girlfriends. After talking to Nicki (the home owner) when she returned, she said it is possible their names may have to be changed to Ken, Bruce, and Hal. Although it is a little early to tell.

When I returned home from work on Tuesday 25th there were two sets of twin lambs! Ooh if you know my love of all things mini, you can surely imagine how excited I was!! One of the little ones didn't look to be doing too well so I went in for a closer look. He wasn't looking all that flash which concerned me but he was breathing which was a good start. His Mum warned me to stay back by stamping her hoof. I went back to the house and when I came back out 10 minutes later all 4 lambs were up and jumping around. I was so happy I think I cried.

Thursday morning was my last shift before heading to work and from there going back home. Although it was nice to get back home and see Claire and our own cats, I miss the farm life. I feel I have done my apprenticeship now and am ready to take on Uncle Brian's 200ish hectares! Ha! Although nothing would get eaten - how can you eat it if you name it??

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Captain's Blog: Stardate 0408:2009

What a crazy, fun, noisy, funny last week we have had at Roxy Inn! It seems somewhat like a ghost town this week in comparison.
Mum was the first to arrive on Saturday 25th July. Claire and I whipped out to the airport to pick her up in the afternoon. It was sooooo lovely to see her and get much needed Mum hugs.

Gavin, Catkin, and Annabelle (Henceforth referred to as The Southern Barts) arrived not long after we got home. Mum got right-of-way with cuddles as she was only staying for the one night.
Paula, Kazio, and Alex came around and we had a lovely family dinner... with 2 types of cheesecake... jealous much? It was a lovely evening.

On Sunday we went for a walk around the streets towards the Port Hills. It was a beautiful sunny morning - perfect for a walk. After lunch we played Scrabble and drank tea until having to drop Mum out at the airport again. Sad days :( There were a few tears in the car on the way to the airport but not for long as I pulled out the Smell mype joke!! It never gets old, that one.

The main reason for the Southern Barts visit was that Catkin had a two day vaccination course to attend. So on Wednesday and Thursday Gavin and Annabelle had quality time together without Aunties trying to grab, pinch, and prod poor Annabelle.

The week went well and Annabelle had lots of smiles for everyone. Catkin cooked a lovely dinner on Friday night which we all enjoyed.

The cats were very unsure of the 'midget with tourettes' (their words, not mine) invading their house. Everytime Annabelle saw either cat she got very excited and her little legs would start kicking! By Sunday morning Min became brave and by tricking her with the brush (which she LOVES) we managed to get her in arms reach of Annabelle. Annabelle got to pat Min which made her squeal with delight, and made Min scamper.... for a little while, but she came back. This went on a few times. It was hilarious.

We waved goodbye to the Southern Barts around 9am on Sunday morning as they started their journey South to Ohau for a night at the lodge before heading back to Queenstown the following day.

It has been suggested by a long time follower (thanks Apes! Great idea) that we have a regular caption competition. I found the PERFECT photo for this. Feel free to leave your caption in the comments below.

My entry - "And that, Nana, is how my Daddy fixes the Landrover!"