Thursday, September 28, 2023

Down On The Farm

I'm back! Did you miss me? Nah, of course not. I was only gone for three days. And two nights, which we spent in a Shepherd's Hut about the size of the Mystery Machine, although luckily we only had to share it with a small black and white dog the size of a Scooby Snack, not a monster the size of ol' Scoob himself.

The hut was very comfortable and well-appointed, I have to say. Wifi, running water, electricity... I bet no shepherd ever had any of that. I could happily live in one although I'd need a better laptop if I was going to carry on blogging, too.

I did consider doing a whole post about it all but no-one really wants to see other people's holiday snaps and anyway Mrs. Bhagpuss took all the good ones with her iPhone and she hasn't uploaded them yet. Mine are all a bit blurry, what with my phone getting on in years now and not having had a great camera to begin with. 

I guess we could just have one - maybe of Beryl in the doorway of the hut. Everyone likes a cute dog picture or a picture of a cute dog. 

That one's really more of the hut than the dog, I guess, although you do get to see some of the canine paraphenalia that accompanies her on her travels:

  • orange collapsible water dish
  • small kibble bowl (With kibble.)
  • squeaky ball (The sky-blue thing.)
  • extremely long lead required to allow her to roam "free", even though farm regulations insist dogs be kept on leads at all times (Or leashes, if you prefer.)
  • red ball on rope, for chasing (Easy to throw very long distances with no appreciable effort.) 
  • weird blue boomerang thing I found in the long grass just after we arrived. 

That's just a fraction of the stuff we took for her. She had more luggage than I did. Literally. I'm a light packer.

The whole thing was more of a test of how well she'd travel and how much she'd enjoy being away from home. It's the first time she's stayed somewhere new overnight. As a dry run for something more ambitious, it was a complete success. Beryl's only obvious concern was that we had to come home again at all. She'd have liked to live in the Shepherd's Hut forever.

We were exceptionally lucky with the weather, which was much better than forecast. We saw a lot of wildlife, including a fox which walked right across the gravel outside the hut there, several wild ponies, a herd of wild goats, a toad, a raven and a flock of sheep which forced me to drive into a hedge. Not, I should add, for the first time. I've been driven  off the road by herds of sheep and goats many times.

Unfortunately, since I was either driving or it was night-time when all of these things happened, I didn't get a photo of any of them. Well, I did of the ponies but they were too far away to look like much. Then again, while we were looking at them, a guy stopped next to us, got out of his car and crossed the road to photograph them and they all ran away, so I stand by my decision to shoot from a distance.

They're in the picture above, somewhere. Near the middle. I wouldn't worry if you can't make them out. They're only ponies, anyway. Being "wild" doesn't make them look any more exotic. You're not missing much. Also, Exmoor looks much more attractive than this in every other direction but that's where the ponies were. Not much I could do about it.

I did manage to get a picture of some butterflies. There were loads of insects, mostly the nice sort, although not all of them. Beryl managed to pick up two ticks (Yes, I know they're arachnids...) despite suposedly being on permanent ant-tick meds and I spotted an absolutely gigantic hornet, by far the biggest I've ever seen in this country, which I suppose is another thing we have to thank climate change for. 

Didn't take a picture of that either. Probably just as well.

Here are the butterflies but really it's just a picture of a big ivy bush with a few spots of indeterminate color scattered here and there.  There are a couple of red admirals on there and a comma, I think. There was a peacock as well but I'm not sure it's in the shot.

Other than look at birds, animals, insects and plants and walk a lot we didn't do very much worth mentioning. Went in a doll museum. Ate ice cream. Looked at some buildings. Ever seen a seventeenth century yarn market? I have, now. Mrs. Bhagpuss took a good picture of that one but I'd given up by then. 

It's a faff, having to take photos on a phone. Maybe I should get a pair of these. I have a post to write about that although since it also involves Mark Zuckerberg's Meta I imagine Wilhelm will have covered it before I get there.

I feel I'm short-changing any dog-lovers out there with the blurry snap above. I do have an excellent picture of Beryl that I could quite easily pass off as having been taken on holiday. Here it is.

I took it a few weeks ago, about a mile from where we live. You might ask why we bothered to go on holiday to somewhere that looks so similar but all I have to say to that is We Slept In A Shepherd's Hut! Plus we did go to the seaside as well. Can't do that around here.

The sea's down there somewhere. Just over the cliff. I collected some nice pieces of driftwood and several tide-softened bricks I mean to turn into something. Foraging for crafting materials isn't just for games, you know.

Ayway, it seems I've somehow ended up with a whole post about What I Did On My Holidays after all. At least it was short.

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow, probably either with a music post, something more about Carole and Tuesday or yet more about AI. Maybe all of those at once.


  1. I did in fact miss you, and strange as it sounds I'm glad you let us know ahead of time you'd be on holiday or I might have been worried about you.

    You're lucky Beryl enjoyed traveling. One of my very, very few faults I can find in Lola is that travel makes her VERY anxious. She basically panic-pants the entire time she is away. We went to see PartPurple's folks for like 4 days once and I didn't think Lola was going to make it. I thought her little heart was going to give out, she was so stressed. That was our last trip with her. Fortunately I am a home-body myself.

    Anyway welcome back, and thanks for the pics! Sounds like it was a lovely break!

    1. It's weird but I do feel a strange sense of responsibility over keeping people informed if I'm not going to be posting for a bit. It would never have occured to me a few years back, when my posting pattern was more sporadic but when you get into a ryhythm of posting most days it seems only polite to mention it if you're going to stop for a while.

      Beryl is a great traveller, partly because she has been somewhere in the car pretty nearly every day since she was about four months old. She usually just goes to sleep on the back seat but this time she got so excited she kept trying to climb into the front so she could see where we were going. She absolutely loved being away. We wondered how she'd cope with not going home at the end of the day but she just treated the Shepherd's Hut as home from the moment she arrived. She really loves the three of us being together so having us all together in a confined space was heaven for her.

      Also it turns out she *really* loves the seaside. I've never seen her so lively as she was on the beach. Must be all that sea air!

  2. I absolutely did notice you were gone. Welcome back.

    1. Thanks! It was only a short break but we had an excellent time so I expect we'll be doing it again. Not for a while, though.

  3. Welcome back! I knew you were gone when no posts showed up, and boy did I miss them!

    1. Given the reaction, maybe I should go away more often!

  4. I can totally get on board with the idea of staying in a shepherd's hut. Our small dog Tess would love it for the same reason (all her people in a small room). Glad you all has a great time!

    1. Thanks! We were a bit skeptical about the three of us in a hut smaller than the smallest room in our house but it was very cosy. I recommend it.


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