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 :)


Blogger Rita said...

What can I say, what s**t. ((((hugs)))). Hope Wonderwool works fibery magic.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Artis-Anne said...

OMG Stacey what a dreadfull time you have had . I am so glad DH is okay and will keep fingers x re cow . So sad about your friend; its always hard when someone dies in such circumstances.
I thought I was having a crappy week but it pales in comparrison to yours
I will see you at Wonderwool Wales on Sunday :)

5:27 AM  
Blogger Faerynuff said...

Holy Crap.

Hugs hun xxx

I hope you do well at Wonderwool, I wish I was going.

2:52 AM  
Blogger katie said...

Good God Woman - are you still standing after all that? Just found you via Knittigger - and love the felt - but the tales of woe piling in on you !!?? Don't worry - really bad things will happen to the farmer with the bad fences - depend upon it!

1:35 AM  
Blogger artyfartykat said...

What a terrible time you are having. Hopefully, the saying about bad luck coming in threes is true.
Hope your hubby is recovering and the cow soon gets back on her feet.
Good luck at Wonderwool too.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Kath said...

Dear God - what a horror story! The firebrigade sounded wonderful and I'm glad DH is okay and hope the cow will be OK as well. They do say these things happen in 3's so I hope to goodness you have no further horrors to come. I hope Wonderwool Wales was a nice break for you.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Artis-Anne said...

Great meeting up with you at WWW , hope you had a great evening , you certainly deserved that wine :)

10:27 AM  
Blogger Val Grainger said...

Stacey, I think it was bloody marverlous that you got to WW at all!!!!!
If I had read this before meeting you I would have given you a big hug, bought you a drink and sat you down while Louise and I helped run your stall!
Hope things go a little better, I know what its like to have terrible things all happen at once.
Take care

Val (woollyshepherd)

12:54 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

Oh Stacey, that is one tough set of events. Hope DH (and the cow) recover completely.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Craftydramaqueen said...

What an awful time you've had. Glad your hubby is ok.Sorry to hear about your friend. Hope you enjoyed WWW. I see that u r going to Woolfest. Looking forward to meeting you there. Take care. Hope your cow is ok (from a Veggie!!) Hugs xx

4:08 AM  

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