13 January 2009

New laptop, television and happy dog in an off grid house

11 January 2009

It's official - Max has a girlfriend....

Max our Border Collie is a healthy, good-looking and very sensible Border Collie. He works with the goats and sheep, moving them where we want them to go, chasing any who are reluctant to move from an area, helping them to get back on their feet if they're "rigging" or "cast", finding them when they're lost and keeping his eye open for problems.

We're so used to using Max's senses to heighten our own that we couldn't do our work without him. He's now 13 and he's not doing to live forever, so we've been looking for another Border Collie to work with him for a while and to replace him when he goes.

We thought it would be easy to find a Border Collie but very few people here use working dogs, which is a shame. A good dog is not only a good companion, he or she can help in so many ways. Max knows every inch of our land and we both know that if one of us has gone out with Max to check on the animals and he comes home alone then something's not quite right. With a dog like Max you feel a lot more confident that you can do whatever needs to be done and if anything goes wrong, then help is on its way.

This is Altess. (Highness in English!) We visited her last time she had pups with the intention of choosing one of them. Unfortunately, the best of the litter had all been reserved and the remaining pups were lovely but females and because of the dynamics with our other dogs we decided that we want a male. We especially wanted a dog from working stock who has a good temperament and Altess didn't mind at all when we handled her pups.

The same breeder sold us Max and we said that we'd always regretted not mating Max and she suggested we could try a mating with Altess, (Who isn't related.) so she came to stay with us for a few weeks just before Christmas.

I'm proud to say that Max, although totally inexperienced in such matters, was the perfect host and surprisingly, our three other dogs couldn't have been nicer either. Altess and he hit it off from the moment they set eyes on each other and spent a lot of time romping and playing and getting to know each other properly.

All being well, and calculating the normal gestation period for a dog as being 60-65 days Altess's pups should be born in the first week of February. Fingers crossed...

3 January 2009

Happy New Year everyone!

I've changed internet providers, AOL cut me off the day they got my letter, (How's that for service?) and getting Orange.fr set up took ages. I'm finally wifi connected with a brand new laptop sitting here on my kitchen table typing away when I should be making some bread.

For the first few days without the 'net, I was bad tempered and for the next ten days twitchy and bored - sure signs that I'm an addict. (Hangs head in shame.)

After about three weeks of suffering, I decided to chill out and not think about my cyber world for a while. I've realised that although the internet is really quite amazing, I need more hours than there are in a day to make discoveries, download photos, keep up to date with all my pals and forums, catch up with people I haven't seen for years and that I've been burning the candle at both ends for far too long.

I used the free time I had when I had no internet to do loads of things, have fun with my local pals, I went out more, read more than I usually do and enjoyed myself so much that one of my new year resolutions is from time to time to have 3 or 4 days when I don't touch my computer. I've made other resolutions - probably the very same as yours - but I'll really try to keep this one.

Have a wonderfully happy and healthy 2009!