Tag Archives: pneumonia



The weather is wet! We’ve not seen the sun for three days and everything is just utterly grey and sodden. It’s the sort of weather where cattle get pneumonia and sheep just look depressed. They see you coming and shake themselves in a pointed manner, with great clouds of water coming off their fleece.

The air is so saturated with water that it just runs down the building walls. Now is the time that really tests your electrical insulation! I remember once seeing our electrician using his test equipment on various circuits to try and find where there was a fault. The walls were so wet because of the endless drizzle that he could touch the wall in any two places with the equipment and get a measurable current between his crocodile clips.

Just to put the tin hat on everything, we’ve not had proper daylight for three days either. We’ve been living our days in perpetual evening gloom. Although it’s mild enough, grass has stopped growing, personally I suspect it just cannot see the point.

It’s at times like this I’m glad I don’t have a lot of cattle inside. At some point you have slurry to dispose of and at the moment the ground is so waterlogged that nobody in their right mind would take a tractor onto it. It reminds me of the occasion a few years ago when I was talking to one of the contractors.

He’d been to one farm which desperately needed the slurry pit emptying and the cunning plan was to use his big tanker to blow the slurry from the lane, over the hedge into the field. No vehicles needed to go into the field, so you didn’t damage the soil.

He’d blown three loads over the hedge before he noticed that water was running back onto the lane from off the field. At that point they decided on plan B. This was to blow over the opposite side of the lane because at least that way the ground sloped away from the road and if anything it would spread better.

As a technique, blowing slurry over the hedge from the road in the pouring rain tends to be frowned upon nowadays. In one case I remember the tractor driver obviously had his attention more on the road than the tanker spout, and managed to deluge one of the electrical transformers on a roadside pole. Given that a slurry tanker can quite happily put out over 500 gallons a minute, there was a bang and a quite spectacular light show. Then all the power went off.

Apparently the Electricity people were deluged by phone calls, the power had gone off just as the Jeremy Kyle show (or whatever) was about to get utterly sensational, and the people who rang in were apparently most vituperative. Or so I was told by the three lads who came round from the Lecky board with a tank of water and a pressure hose to wash the transformer off before switching the electricity back on. They thought it was hilarious, Daytime TV washed away in a shower of slurry. To them it seemed entirely appropriate.


And for those miserable wet days

As a reviewer commented, “What starts off looking like a theft at sea, followed by a several findings in the mud when the tide is out, soon morphs into an intriguing tale where Benor, Tallis, Shena, Mutt, and a plethora of other folks, get involved in dealing with dark deeds in Port Naain.”