Thursday, May 31, 2007


Well, Wonderwool was fun. Not the most lucrative outing for me but it was lovely to meet so many people and put faces to names at last. On arriving I was a bit overwhelmed at the amount of space I was expected to fill. The stall looked a bit sparse but it was a learning curve and I'll know to take backdrops etc with me in future. Still, it was quite pretty - if not as eye catching as I would've liked.

It was nice enough and for a first proper 'outing' I was quite pleased. It was extremely tiring and by the end of each day I could barely speak. So, if you were one of the millions of people who came by to say hello and I was a bit doolally then there's your explanation!

We got back on the Monday night, unpacked and then Sarah's funeral was on Tuesday. It was a beautiful service and the wake started off at her mothers house, which is a beautiful Mill. The weather was spot on and it was lovely to see so many old friends from so many years ago. It was one of those very strange situations where it was lovely but heartbreaking at the same time. We all went to her favourite pub afterwards and toasted her health in true Sarah style. Messy, but I think she would have approved. It galvanised for me that I don't want any full on mourning when I go. If there's any money for my funeral I want the cheapest burial/cremation and the rest of the money to be spent on a proper Cornish Hooly.

Friday saw us winging our way on a tiny Skybus (god I hate those planes!) to Scilly for Emily & Jim's wedding. On Saturday we nipped over to St Agnes for a pint and some quiche and chips ( a Stacey tradition) only to find that the pub has been taken over by someone who thinks they're a bit of a chef and it was all coulis and jus. Crap menu and it took me an hour of sulking and pouting to pick something and then I hated it! Lol! Why people have to ponce about with pub menus is beyond me. Decent quality grub, well cooked is what I want - not some poncey thing I can hardly pronounce and which tastes of nothing. Never mind - the view kind of made up for it.

The local consensus seems to be the same - which is a shame as the pub has built up a hefty reputation over the last 20 odd years. Still, never mind - things change and we'll just go to the Coastguard Cafe next time instead which is supposed to be really nice.
On Saturday night the wedding party all met up at The Mermaid for dinner which was lovely. Trouble with Island eateries is that the chefs change so often you never know which is a go-er or a no-er. Luckily whoever was cooking on Saturday night did a fab job and we all ate, drank and got merry before staggering to the downstairs bar for the entertainment. Unfortunately I fear that the entertainment was sometimes me - nuff said.

Sunday was spent watching the boats sinking in the harbour and hearing tales of people's roofs blowing off in the fiercest gales I've ever experienced on Scilly. I usually enjoy extreme weather but I was properly scared by that wind.

Monday and the weather had, thankfully, calmed down considerably and we dressed up in our finery and helped Emily & Jim celebrate their wedding in fine style. It was the best wedding I've ever been to and I think that was mostly down to the excellent organisational skills of the bride. It went without a hitch and they looked stunning and so in love. I'll ask their permission to post a couple of photos when they get back from honeymoon. The speeches were another highlight as we laughed and cried in equal measure. It was such a special day and - again - so lovely to see people we hadn't seen for years. We keep meaning to go back more often (I lived there for 3 years and made some really good friends) but it's time and money as usual and getting to Scilly is prohibitively expensive.

So! My eldest stepdaughter is celebrating the wedding she had in Florida last week with a large family 'do' on Saturday. Barely time to wash my Magic Knickers and we're off again!

If I'm in one piece for Woolfest it'll be a bleedin miracle. I'll leave you with a plant piccie from Scilly

That's it for now - if I don't see you through the week I'll see you through the window as my Nana used to say.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Is that it?

Well, they say bad things come in three's but to be honest I'm starting to lose count! It's been a weird and unsettling couple of weeks and I can't wait for a turnaround to something much more positive. The following report contains scenes which some readers may find distressing :)

It started when our next door neighbour looked at our cows and commented that the eldest female looked pregnant. Now, (apols to veggies etc) she's due to go to slaughter in November so she's only 2 and a half and nowhere near old enough to be pregnant and she hadn't been near any bulls - or so we thought. Our last heifer got pregnant when the cows and bulls belonging to the farmer at the top of the hill broke in through his shoddy and totally inadequate fencing on several occasions. It seems it must have happened again because last Saturday week my husband went to look for her and found her in a really inaccessible croft on next doors land (they let us graze them there because they are lovely people :) ) with a dead calf half hanging out of her. Panic ensued and my husband and next door neighbour managed to get the dead calf (which just happened to be the same breed as the cows from the farmer at the top of the hill, surprise sur-bleedin-prise) out of her. She'd sustained significant nerve damage and couldn't walk so my husband gave her something for the shock , some hay and water and left her to see if she'd 'come to' on her own. By midweek she still wasn't walking and, even worse, had manoeuvred herself further into the inaccessible croft. On Wednesday night I was sitting wondering what to watch at 9pm and thinking it was bit late for my husband to be out and about when there was a kind of shuffling banging at the door. I opened it to find my husband on all fours, unable to breathe and in complete shock. I managed to get him into the house and waited for him to tell me what had happened. In between gasps he managed to tell me that the cow had slipped into an awkward position and that he'd gone up with an iron bar and a rope to try to move her. The rope had slipped (it was poring with rain) and he flew backwards and landed on his back on a granite boulder which had a sharp point. So, off to A&E it was (my mum came round and looked after the kids) and 4 hrs later he was transferred to the big hospital with suspected broken rib, lacerated liver and punctured lung. I followed the ambulance and eventually left him at 5am. By the time I got back there was no point going to bed so I waited for the kids to get up. We struggled through the farm chores and I got them to school. By this time I was so tired I couldn't see so after making some phone calls I went to bed at about 11am. I'd just got the covers over my head when the phone rang. It was my husband, 'Where are you?'. Turns out the consultant had done his rounds early, decided it was just the broken rib with no tissue damage (hoorah!) and he could go home. So, I had to do the almost 60 mile round trip again! By the time I'd got him home, been to the agricultural merchants, picked up the kids, cooked tea, bathed the kids and got them to bed it was about 8.30pm. Thoughts of a bubble bath, a large whisky and bed had been looming large all day but I thought I'd just check the cow first.

I got my husband to show me where he'd last seen her but when we got there we saw that she'd moved and was now stuck in a weird kind of pit made up of 4 huge granite boulders. It was howling wind and pouring rain and getting dark. The pit was filling up with water and was already up to her neck. After checking with next door (she was still on their land) I decided to call the fire brigade to see if they could offer any advice. 20 minutes later three fire engines came screaming through the village, all blue lights and sirens and 3 crews of fire fighters carried all sorts of lifting gear and lights up to the croft. They couldn't get the fire engines up as far as the house and the croft was a further 300 yds away and they didn't complain once as they lugged all that heavy gear through mud and over fallen trees to get to our cow. The emergency vet arrived and they got to work trying to get her out. It took them about an hour and a half of utter determination to lift her out and they did it with spectacular professionalism and such good will that I was totally humbled by the whole process. It was a proper Cornish hooly blowing that night and the rain was torrential so they certainly had their work cut out. I think they got a little bored of my exclamations of, 'Oh my god! You're Fantastic!!' but after a couple of hours she was out and they'd carried her to a safe place and they just packed up their stuff and went. No fuss. They truly are utterly dedicated and we are extremely fortunate to have such extraordinary emergency services in this country. Te cow still isn't walking and the farmer who's responsible has been told in no uncertain terms to keep away from me until further notice. The vet is checking in on her and he seems to think there's still a small amount of hope for now but the situation is under daily review.

So, you'd think that would be enough to be going along with but yesterday I received a call to be told that an old friend has died suddenly. It's such a shock and we all have that slightly surreal feeling of dealing with the fact that someone who was there a minute ago no longer is. We're at Wonderwool Wales until Monday night so I'm hoping upon hope that they'll manage to have the funeral on the Tuesday as planned as I would be devastated to miss it.

Everything feels very strange right now so if any of you are coming to Wonderwool and find me a bit distracted forgive me :)
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