Tag Archives: dry cows

A rotten wet day.


Well is it wet enough for you? It’s been interesting so far. I wandered out this morning to feed dry cows and heifers. Some of them are handy around the yard, some less so. As I fastened my current battered hi-viz jacket against the rain I looked across to where Sal lives. She peered out from under her cattle trailer (At times she prefers to sleep under it rather than in it) looking at me as if I was some sort of idiot. Anyway she crawled out and stood shaking herself ready to go to work.

This going to work in her case means scouring the yard for tasty and inadvertently discarded titbits whilst I feed round. Then we head down to the Mosses to see the dry cows and heifers. At this point the rain, which has merely been moderate, decides to start lashing it down.

Anyway we get down there. The heifers who are expecting to be fed come out from where they were sheltering and crowd around me. So they get fed. Then I go and find the dry cows. In the distance I can see something white under trees in the hedge. As I get closer I can see that the dry cows have pushed into the hedge to take advantage of the shelter. Your average black and white dairy cow is actually pretty well camouflaged when they’re among trees, the black disruptive pattern works really well. I wandered up to them and they looked impassively in my direction. After all, from their point of view, I was the idiot wandering about in the rain, each to his own. When I counted them they seemed to be all there so I didn’t disturb them. I’ll see them later today anyway.

By the time I got back home I was a trifle damp. So I put my shirt and trousers against the Rayburn to dry a bit and went to get the daily paper. Also as I’m the one who drives into the edge of town anyway, I get the job of shopping at our local tesco. Other stores exist but none without driving half way through town and adding half an hour to the job. My better half has never liked food shopping and has recentlt been happy to gift me with the task. Anyway I’m back home by 8:30am so it’s not something that breaks into a day.

Of course it’s the first time I’ve had to do the shopping (as opposed to just collecting the paper) since we had to wear masks. Rather than faff about with masks and screw the environment even more, I just use a tube scarf. Pull it up over my nose as I enter the shop, pull it down to breathe when I leave. Looking round tesco (at that time in the morning there are more staff working than customers) all the customers had their faces covered. One chap had a bandana rather than the usual mask.

Talking to the ladies on the tills as I was leaving, they commented that their customers had all been very good with them over it all. I pointed out that to me, it was more a question of courtesy. I’ve had the virus early before it was fashionable and I’ve spent the last four months playing other people’s games out of courtesy. (Before anybody says ‘yes but you can get it again,’ my answer is yes, undoubtedly. Given the number of people they’re testing, if it is possible to get it twice, then sooner or later they will find somebody who has done so. Therefore I’m not taking too much notice of panicky newspaper articles bewailing the lack of immunity and I am just watching the test results.).

Mind you this courtesy business can be hard work at times. There are times I am tempted to revert to cantankerous old beggar. It’s always easier to run a system on the default settings.

Anyway after all this excitement I get home and it’s time to fill the feed bins. So I change back into the clothes I’ve had by the Rayburn. They’re not actually dry but the wetness is comfortingly warm. By the time I’ve finished swilling out and filled bins, I’m back to wet again. So when I go in for my coffee everything bar socks and underpants goes straight into the washing machine and I put on dry stuff out of the tumble drier that was washed last night.
Anyway a nicely timed zoom meeting meant I didn’t have to go back out into the rain. But this morning I got two interesting emails.

The first claimed to be from BT. We get more spoof emails claiming to be from BT than you can shake a stick at, but this one was an obvious fail. It started,” Guten Tag, Jim Webster in der Anlage erhalten Sie unsere Antwort.”

(Google translate assures me that this means “Hello Jim Webster You will find our answer in the attachment.” Oh and as an aside, have you ever listened to the verbal translation? I was left wondering whether the young lady doing it had had a glass or two more of white wine with her lunch that the occasion really warranted.)

Oh and I got an email from the RPA (Rural Payments Agency.
The email said that there was a message for us on our account. That was it. Could have been about anything.

So first to find the sign-in page. I suppose I could have it saved as one of my favourites but I might visit it once a year. So when I found the appropriate webpage I then had to open my passwords notebook and find out what the password was. I’ve got fourteen different passwords written down and that doesn’t include the passwords for trivial sites where I have a simple password for. I hope nobody expects me to remember these damned things. Some of them, like the government issued ones, have a twelve digit ID number to put in, then a 12 letter and number combination. I’m not even going to try to remember them.
But anyway I finally get onto the right page, put in the appropriate ID and passwords, paint the metal of the pentagram with blood, and press the button. The message appears!
“We have recently updated the Rural Payments service and can now send messages to groups of customers, for example, to remind them to submit an application.

Make sure you regularly check your messages for important updates and information.”

Thank you for wasting ten minutes of my life faffing about to read a message you could just have put in the original flaming email!

Anyway I’ve got enough paperwork to do to keep me out of the rain this afternoon, but at some point I’ll be feeding heifers again. Given that it isn’t actually raining at the moment I might just sneak out now, feed those furthest away and see if the dry cows have come out from under the trees. Either way I can check to see that everybody down on the Mosses is all right before the heavens open again. Look on the bright side. I might not have to sling another lot of sodden clothes into the washing machine before dressing out of the tumble drier for a second time today.


It strikes me you might want to get away from it all for a while.

Hired to do a comparatively simple piece of mapping work Benor should perhaps have been suspicious when the pay seemed generous.
Will he ever get to the bottom of what is going on?
How rough is the rough justice of rural Partann?
How to clean out a privy with a crossbow. Welcome to the pastoral idyll.


As a reviewer commented, “Benor the cartographer is offered a job away from home with unusually generous pay. It all has to be done on the quiet, too. Something’s up. Benor has a murder to solve. I thought he had, but there’s more to come. This story is a murder mystery and a comedy of manners, set in a world of fantasy. If you like a genre mashup, this is brilliant. The characters and their relationships and banter would make it worth reading even if it didn’t have a plot – but it does. Another winner for me.”