I feel a bit of a fraud today as I battle to keep myself from drowning in a wave of “poor me”. I know that writing is always the medication required to get that shit off my liver so at the risk of sounding like a spoilt precious bitch I am going to write to make me feel good this week.
I love my own space, have lived on my own for a very long time and can't imagine ever sharing my house again with anyone, so fill my life with unruly bludging animals. That said, there are some times when I think its only human to want a shoulder to cry on. I have grown up with a deep mistrust of humans and very rarely do I let that vulnerable side that is in us all show itself to anyone for fear of being weak. I have spent my life being a survivor, a woman not to be messed with and one of the most capable people I know. My now ex husband who was mostly compliant in the couple of decades we were married, often said to me “Queenie, I would sooner have a Rottweiler dog after me than you’, and I’m sure many would agree.
As I sit here this morning, there is extraordinarily little bark in the Rottweiler, and I can say I’m feeling more of a pussy than anything which isn’t a place I am comfortable with. The animals I surround myself with for comfort instead of people are starting to piss me off and this week I have had moments of wishing I was back on that handkerchief section in suburbia with my neatly manicured lawns and gardens, no mortgage, street lights and feeling I was on top of it all. Leaving the security of a well-paying job at a time when the world is in turmoil to concentrate on growing my own business again was always going to be a challenge, but my resilience always wins out in the end and so because the best indicator of someone’s future performance is their past, I buckled up my seat belt and put my tin on pants charging forward.
I did however , underestimate the physical and emotional challenges I would battle with as I healed from a bilateral carpal tunnel operation, coupled with injuries from a bad horse accident just out of lockdown and I think my battery has nearly run flat. This week has been a bastard and I will be glad to see the back of it to be truthful, and as spring rapidly approaches, I have decided to have a spring clean of my own. The animals about the joint have nearly driven me to drink and after a week of continually fixing water leaks and trying to find electric fence leaks on the ranch, I am at my wits end with them all and looking to have a destock this week.
The 9 maggot taxis that I have tried to contain all winter have started lambing and so far that has been a disaster. Last Saturday I awoke to the first lamb of the season dead - a ewe must have slipped in the night and my heart sank knowing that the chances of getting the 180% lambing I had counted on all winter had been dashed already. The next morning my doom was replaced with joy when I realised Sambo my favourite ewe had given birth to a set of twin ewe lambs. I was on cloud nine until 5 pm that evening when I noticed that one of the lambs was not walking and seemed cold. I was scheduled to babysit for the neighbour and didn’t have time to catch the ewe and give the lamb a feed, so I packed it up in the washing basket and took it with me, determined to nurse it back to health. Bo Peep would be mortified that I had not prepared at all for the lambing season well, and in my hour of need I realised that I had not prepared well at all for the upcoming births with no milk powder or a teat on hand for such an event. Hours later, when I thought that all my TLC with a syringe and box of lactose free milk I had found in the cupboard had paid off when the lamb stood up in the clothes basket and let out a loud baa, I relaxed and went to sleep on the couch waiting on the parents of my small charge to return. When they did, I woke and the lamb was as dead as a do do. Yes, dead as one of those extinct do do birds ffs.
Hercule , Mercule and Pattie, the wayward cows have continued to be pricks of things poking into everything, fucking water troughs and escaping the minute the electric fence is turned off so against my better judgment I let them into a paddock to clean up a bale of baleage that a couple of my horses were in. Bob the Marley the obnoxious Shetland pony and Raine the lovely young mare my daughter and I have been eagerly awaiting to get into the show ring had nearly cleaned up the bale but in an effort to hasten the process I let them stay with the calves despite knowing that calves are notorious for chewing anything and everything.
I got Raine into the stable yesterday to give her a brush in anticipation of my daughter’s arrival and nearly passed out into the bed of straw when I removed her cover. One of those bloody cows had eaten her beautiful tail off overnight and what once was a long flowing picture of glory is now a hideous looking raggedy thing that will be a constant reminder of my stupidity for the next few years. You see, horses are not like humans where there is only a week between a good and a bad haircut, it takes years to grow a tail back in – or in this case I am expecting at least two!
I had to tell Stevie before she seen it herself and the normal tranquil air of peace and serenity on the Estancia was shattered. The devastated look on her face was sheer torture and I know this is going to be something I will get grief for until my dying days. I should have known better and to add insult to injury she has suffered two decades of chastising from me for a particular tail incident she was involved in 20 years ago when in an effort to surprise me she took a pair of scissors to the tail of her beautiful show pony. Only recently have I given her permission to go anywhere near the tail of any of our horses and to say that the chickens have come home to roost would be an understatement.
Don’t get me started on those fucking chickens who I incidentally forgot to lock in last night and will spend the day chasing them out of my garden and trying to catch them with my landing net to get them back into the golden palace that is their house.
In the meantime, save the smart-arse comments for a day when I am in a better humour and if anyone has a black false tale that is no longer required I would love to hear from you.