Sunday, 28 September 2008

The Cost of Camping

Today has been a mad day and TLB and I are very pleased to see the end of it. Some friends have been to visit which led to predictable festivities last night, helping to ensure that waking up this morning to a chorus of moos less than pleasant. With a stinking head I emerged from the tent to find a sea of chaos, booze bottles, barbecuing equipment, children's toys and fireside detritus. The day proceeded to get more interesting.

We have now been camped for just shy of 3 weeks and in accordance with the wishes of our landlords, we had to move the tent. Once the weekenders had made their regular Sunday exodus from the site we set about moving the tent. With pulsating head we evacuated the contents, dropped the tent, and found that the ground underneath us has started to go bad. I knew from my upbringing in Somerset what silage smells like, having regularly been submerged in a fug of it for days on end. The underside of the tent smelled of silage and the smell has lingered, maliciously, for the duration of our move.

It did occcur once we had felled the tent and were sitting amid our worldly possesions in the middle of a field that we are now homeless. An hour later we were little less homeless having re-pitched the tent but I had considerable fears about the reaction of our farmers to the highly conspicuous 5 metre circle of freshly mulched campsite.

Mrs farmer came trotting over a little while later, and I feared the worst expecting a reappraisal of our agreement. To my utter horror the dog bolted across the field in hot pursuit of one of the various idiot chickens that risk their lives by taunting him. Luckily a playful dog is not as a quick as a hen that is running for it's life and by the time I caught up with him, he knew he was in trouble. I managed to catch him, scold him and then tethered him in the middle of the field. Back to Mrs farmer. She duly informed me that a doggy deposit had appeared in her garden that it was of a scale that assured her that it was not her own flirty bitch. I apologised profusely for the scarred land, the chicken chasing and the poo and she brushed it off like an everyday occurence. Thank god for the forgiving, pragmatic people of the world. Then came the rub.

Mr farmer is currently spending a lot of time in hospital attending to their sick daughter and in the absence of any farmer flavoured manpower I spent the next hour assisting with a pressing chore. The task for which I was required was to seperate her pigs into boys and girls. All of the pigs are siblings and are untampered with which means that they are likely to breed amongst themselves with very undesirable results. TLB was on standby at the switch to the electric fence whilst the two of us stalked through the undergrowth trying to divide the swine.

The pigs are clearly very loving creatures and had formed pairs which they most reluctant to de-couple. I am told that pigs are capable of having a 30 minute orgasm so I can kind of understand why, but nevertheless, the next 40 or so minutes were dedicated to overcoming the will of the amourous hogs. I have never had to rugby tackle a pig before and the things I landed in were less than lovely but we got the job done and it gave me a chance to sweat off my hangover at the same time. On our mark, TLB reactivated the electric fence and I was finally free to clean myself and continue with my persecution of the evil hound.

All in all it has been a long day but I think we have secured ourselves as invaluable farm hands during the hard times that the farm owners are going through. We have been assured that our small silage installation and the mischievious dog are not a problem and can now think about sleeping once again in our field, with a new vista and a few weeks before we have to think about relocating to a different spot. This entry was supposed to be about my new insights into how much it is going to cost to maintain our new lifestyle but I think I will leave the title as it is as it seems somewhat pertinent.

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