In which we delight in our four-legged neighbours and worry about the constant threat of mint sauce……….
Living as we do on top of a hill amongst the vineyards, we are blissfully untroubled by the proximity of neighbours, the nearest other house being a good kilometer or so away on the hill opposite. Whilst we may not be big on socializing and haven’t attended a seriously wild party since student days, we do like to play our music extremely loudly at times and can merrily crank up the decibels without any fear of complaint. The only living beings likely to hear Mr H practising his Jimi Hendrix guitar riffs or my mother’s television blaring out her collection of Terminator movies are the members of our own little menagerie and our lovely four-legged neighbours on the south and east sides of the hill. To the south in the valley at the bottom of the hill we have the beautiful russet brown Limousin cows and their calves and on the east side down near the village there are the sheep. I have to confess that whilst I adore the cows and enjoy a chat whenever they’re there when I pass, I have a particular fondness for the sheep. There can surely be nothing to beat the cuteness ratings of a fluffy baby lamb and whereas Mr H and my brother in law like to yell out ‘Yum Yum Mint Sauce” whenever they see one,(traditional English accompaniement to the Sunday joint of roast l..b) I prefer to see the little fellows frolicking and skipping in the fields or in the case of these particular sheep, pottering and playing amongst the poplar trees. The wood they inhabit is an enchanting place, tranquil in the way only the countryside can be, full of dappled light, rustling leaves and the eerily beautiful calls of the rooks who nest in the treetops.
Being from the Walt Disney school of animal lover who can’t resist naming every creature I come across, I choose not to dwell on the ultimate fate of Huey and Duey and the Sheep Family Robinson but prefer to imagine them existing in some kind of sheep time warp where the lambs never grow up and the sun always shines.
And so dear reader, if, by chance, we should ever actually meet, I humbly ask that you humour me in my happy delusions and take care to never mention the word cutlet in my presence…………………….