Thursday, July 10, 2008

A quiet day in the country

One of the joys of blogging for me has been the on-line encounters with people with such a wide range of interests and backgrounds. Some of these encounters have developed into 'virtual friendships' and one, very special one, into a real-life friendship with fellow Devon blogger D of 60goingon16.

We have been hoping to meet up for a picnic with some other Devon bloggers who are, as yet, just names on the screen but the weather has put those plans on indefinite hold. Instead, D and I decided to meet up for lunch at the Stag Inn at Rackenford, a gem we discovered when buying gems of a different kind in May.
There was a torrential downpour just as I was about a mile from the village and I stopped, unable to make out the large shapes blocking the lane. While waiting for the rain to ease I got out the camera; the blurred images became a small herd of guernseys and their calves, wandering unaccompanied along the lane.
Having lived for a while on a dairy farm, I know what damage these seemingly gentle creatures can do if they think their young are threatened so I sat and watched their leisurely progress along the lane, inching forward when I thought it was safe to do so.
What cannot be seen in my pictures is the enormous black guernsey walking alongside the car, peering in at me the whole time. She might have simply been curious but I wasn't taking any chances! I left a message on D's mobile that I was delayed and waited. Twenty minutes later the little herd ambled onto to a grassy patch under the trees and I'm sure the matriarch walking beside me gave a nod of consent as I put my foot down gently on the accelerator. Needless to say, I went home via a different lane.
Lunch was delicious but the company was better. We didn't quite manage to put the world to rights but, amidst great bursts of laughter, we almost made it. Perhaps next time ........

I had a wet but otherwise uneventful drive home but D had great adventures in store before the day was ended. You can read about them here. Country life isn't all lovely views and cream teas!


  1. Still, we live to blog another day, eh M?!

  2. Yes, indeed, D. Your adventures were more dramatic (and physical) than mine, so I hope you are sitting comfortably for a change.

  3. Or, indeed, gates!

    I remember a strange encounter with a small herd of highland cattle on a single-track road on Mull. We drove for ages very slowly behind a huge shaggy chap and his wives and children, he, all the while bringing up the rear on the outside. When they reached their chosen destination, he nudged them off the road and onto the grass, turned round and waved us past. He looked us in the eyes and nodded his head, as if in thanks for our patience. We found ourselves waving our thanks. It was quite bizarre!

  4. Now I'm suffering post traumatic shock by imagination, J! It never occurred to me that the matriarch might be a patriarch - I only saw the enormous head and shoulders. I'm sitting shuddering at the thought of what might have happened if I'd got out for a closer look. Come to think of it, though, I don't suppose Devon farmers leave bulls with the herd, the cows on the farm where I lived, outside Oxford, never met a bull!

  5. While walking on a country lane, I heard sounds of hoofs behind me and when I turned, there were eight heifers following me. When I stopped, they stopped, when I walked faster, they walked faster, when I slowed down, they slowed down.

    Being a city girl, I had no idea what to do (days before cell phones). So I continued walking until someone drove by and stopped. He offered to call the farmer and told me not to worry they were just curious. Easy for him to say. He was in a car not all alone on a deserted road.

    Anyway, the farmer came by soon afterward, herded his girls back home. Thinking that was a good idea, followed him and went back home too.

    Funniest thing about this episode is that the farmer was at the same meeting as my husband. When he came home he told the hilarious story of farmer X who had to leave the meeting to rescue some dumb woman who was being chased by his cows.

  6. Men! Would your husband have fared any better had he been on the lane, e? I've seen the damage cows have done to cars and, sadly, know of two people killed when cows crossed their paths unexpectedly so, e, I think you were right to be cautious.

  7. The difference being that none of his fellows would have called him a dumb man.

  8. That's true but the poor dears (that always hurts them!) need to boost their egos by playing somehow.


I love to read your comments and promise that I will reply as soon as I can leave my garden, sewing room or kitchen!