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Posted in canon g10, environment, farming, food, Humour, life, organic, pets, photography, sheep, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 25, 2010 by norvenmunky

This week, norvenmunky has been tasked to ‘help’, as the neighbour has gone away on hols.

Most times it’s please feed the cat, the goldfish, walk the dog, you know the form. Last time it seemed an odd instruction at the time to feed the cat the goldfish, and on their return during the subsequent acrimonious debrief, I felt it wasn’t my fault the comma was missing in the original instructions. All I did was follow them.
However, this past week I have mostly been left in charge of eighteen sheep, and an orchard.

The orchard is pretty easy to look after, so far there’s no recorded instances as far as I’m aware of an orchard escaping, and it’s probably relatively easy to locate 4 acres of fruit trees if they escaped.

An Orchard, yesterday.

Sheep however, despite being stereotyped as ‘thick as shite’ are a different matter. Apart from wandering round eating grass they do appear to have a fairly well organised escape comittee. No doubt the wandering round is a ruse , to lull one into a false sense of security as they discretely drop tunnel earth, (thats not an NM euphamism), from their trouser legs about the orchard. What you’ll have is eighteen sheep, with seventeen of them ostensibly ‘thick as two short planks’, and one criminal mastermind. The master crim however has an apprentice whom is always carefully hidden amongst the flock. Thus when the master criminal escapes, or goes ‘missing’ in a Waitrose moment, ‘Yes sonny you were talking to it yesterday in a field’ … there is always the apprentice to instantly take over the reins. His primary duty is to find the way out through the clucking hedge that you had previously thought would keep North Koreans at bay.

The object of the week was to count said sheep daily, check them over, fortunately not in glove puppet style, feed them, and ensure that the orchard was ‘secure’. Now you’d think counting eighteen sheep would be relatively easy, in a sort of one to eighteen, and then stop sort of way. Over four acres of orchard where there are assorted hiding places, and tunnels (allegedly), it’s not quite so easy. And they all look the same, ‘ish’.

17 Sheep, see what I mean about counting?

The fastest way to count sheep is to get them in one area and try to stop them moving around too much, this was done by throwing feed into a trough, and then standing back from the ensuing chaos. The older sheep very soon got wise to this and as soon as you appeared at the gate, they were there in full chav mugging mode. This made it a bit challenging to get through the gate without being trampled, and without losing any. It’s fine being Brian Hanrahan on HMS Herpes and saying “I counted them all out and I counted them all back in,” but even pilots are easier to control than a herd of unruly sheep. Trust me, I know …

Look Luv, I'm a Herbivore.
If you don't mind, I'll get w#####ed on 'windfall' later in the season, ta.

Wot we dun to keep the sheep indoors, was to buy electric fencing and to cordon off two acres. This was a quick and easy fix using a car battery with a solar panel recharger.

Click Click, Click Click ...

You can tell it’s working, as it makes a ‘click click’ noise. Checking it felt like being an extra in ‘The Longest Day’ dropped at St Mere Eglise, and waiting for a corresponding ‘click click’ in return. Meanwhile fervently hoping it wasn’t a sausage muncher on the other side of the hedge …

Left Switzerland, Right Germany ...


The fence proved remarkably effective in keeping the eighteen, seventeen, sheep in check. You can see above how good it was, we made sure that no motorbikes were left anywhere near the sheep for fear of them having a Steve Mcqueen moment, as the week’s gone on they were certainly getting bolder. I was half expecting one of them to start dressing in womens clothes and feigning mental health issues to try and get the red cross to spring her. And here’s a picture of ‘Miss October’ specially for ‘the welshman’ just in case he’s feeling homesick.

No.69.
'Miss October'

Theres also been a good bit of wildlife to see whilst seeing to the sheep so to speak. There’s a large hare, which I’ve tried to get a snap of unsucessfully so far. I keep waiting by the entrance to the field with the camera, hoping to capture one of the oldest cinematic jokes going.

There is already some windfall in the orchard, and there looks to be a huge crop of fruit this year of apples, pears and plums. The idea is an organic process, the orchard grass is kept ‘managed’ by the sheep, at least on their side of the fence it is, the electrifying message having appeared to have made its mark. At the end of the summer we will pick the fruit and the sheep will be sent away to return with little chefs hats on the end of their rib cage. Some of the fruit will be stored for normal use, and some may be used to make a batch of Organic cider to see if the process and quantities are viable for a micro brewery. The fruit trees are polonised by a herd of bees, these are kept in three hives at the farthest end of the orchard, so in the spring and through the summer the place is a hive of activity. One or two of the sheep with a bit of ‘character’, (n.b. see your local paper Q.V. ‘local character’), have already started munching on the windfall apples that aren’t even fermenting yet. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens when they all start wandering round with huge quantities of ‘Arkansas Black’ inside them …

Fruit stuff ...

So its the end of the week and NM has given the keys to the orchard back, and seventeen sheep. There is another orchard (pears), a field or so away from where NM’s sheep week has taken place. Its unused and may be available for rent, NM’s wondering what Perry tastes like.

No.

The drink.

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We Can Work it Out

Posted in birds, film, food, Humour, life, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 25, 2008 by norvenmunky

img_0017-1

It’s that day again! The early morning broken only by the sound of silence, the Nintendo DS being a particularly effective ‘OFF’ switch for the volume control of small children.

So at 08:00 hours we were wondering, laying in bed, and contemplating the day ahead. We’d got a frozen Turkey, and I don’t mean a forum member realising they’ve just made a spectacularly daft  posting regarding Hornby’s 2009 releases,  but a chicken type thing.

Fortunately this year I remembered to de-frost it in sufficient time and also took the giblets out. A few years ago I was guilty on both counts of:

A/  Failure to provide a cooked turkey

B/ Filling the kitchin with the smell of burnt plastic, offal and, when I     realised what I’d done, brown adrenaline.

Anyway back to the bedroom,  and the ‘mission planning’ not forgetting ‘basting the Turkey’, for the day ahead. Times, ETA’s all under review, and Mrs NM lets slip that the packaging, including the weight of said bird, (Turkey not Mrs NM) is in the bin.  So a short sharp ‘discussion’ takes place, where Mrs NM mentions that not all of her skills are appreciated or used. Fine I says, perhaps you’d like to dust off the old ‘skip surfing’ skills then? The packaging now having lived at the bottom of a wheely bin for 24 hours, with assorted offal and all manner of household shite half a week old.  Unsurprisingly she declined.

So we had a bird of unknown weight, well one, the other was keeping quiet, that we had to determine the weight of to cook. Not having kitchen scales up to the task a science lesson that ‘The Berg’ would have been proud of ensued.

Turkey was placed on a piece of wood balanced see-saw style over a rolling pin. Small children were despatched to all corners of the kitchen to find items of ‘known’ weight.  Unfortunately the rabbit (as in rabbit), was rejected due to the actual weight of the rabbit being unknown. I personally think the rabbits weight is known, its just it’s a female so even if it told us, odds are, it’d be lying. Once said items were balanced on the other end and equilibrium had been achieved the Turkey was cuffed, stuffed and sorted.

Just before christmas I went to London for a few ‘sharpeners’. As usual it was a good night, and resulted in a wallet litening by Calumet. I was thinking about the New Canon G10 compact, and after passing by Tottingham Court Road, Hammy dragged me up a small back passage way in Soho. There a bloke made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, and sweaty palmed I emerged from his premises with it wrapped in a black plastic bag.

I wish I’d been able to get it out later on, as whilst downing a pint at the Lamb and Flag, we watched a young lady try to get out of a building, a Stage and Theatrical agents no less.

Lamb and Flag

Lamb and Flag

Needless to say the full length glass door wouldn’t open, and she was trying to get our attention to help. We ‘helped‘ by shouting ‘Is it a film?’ as she mimed pressing a door bell next to us. ‘The great escape?’, ‘Escape from Alcatraz?’, ‘Midnight Express?’ fortunately before she started swearing too loudly a ‘Luvvie’ came to her rescue and released her into the wild’s of Londons west end.

And then we went home.

Out ta get me …

Posted in food, Humour, life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 24, 2008 by norvenmunky

That’s probably what the poor girl in Planet Sandwich thinks, the look on her face on Friday as Nm MkII again tore the @rse out her world, with the biggest Cheshire Cattest grin that would have had Lewis Carroll reaching for the valium. Not that MKII meant to do it of course, sort of a ‘stuff happens’ moment.

Picture the scene again, we’re running late, NM only just grasping on to the metaphorical ledge, and valiantly resisting a short sharp guided tour through the garden of the english language, as he attempts to ‘child herd’ small humans with no fecking idea of the complexities of the gregorian calender. Or a clock. ‘Planet Sandwich’ was going to have to get turned over again in the quest for that most elusive of quarry, lost time.

Now the door handle to Planet Sandwich is a bit loose, or to be more accurate, it’s ‘cattled’. Nm MKII, the Gingham clad maveric failed to grasp this fact, or indeed the handle, with the result that the door smashed wide open, all it really needed was Reagan and Carter yelling ‘Shut it yewslaaags’, ‘You!, Gechercloveson,yaw nicked!’

Well you could of heard a pin drop, I say you could of, but it would have been masked by the cacophany as assorted parish magazines, menus and local tradesmens cards headed south. Satisfied with a suitably dramatic ‘arrival’ MKII strode purposely centre stage and made eye contact gunfighter style with the ‘Fillingslinger’ behind the counter. There was a glint of recognition from the Fillingslinger, whom this time was dressed for battle, bright blue plastic hat, apron and similar coloured elbow length gloves, presumably for ‘deep filling’. Not sure why they need elbow length gloves, perhaps some ingredients were going to be particularly ‘fresh’. So Nm MkI made her choice efficiently as usual, and then it was MkII’s turn again to step up to the plate.

The malevolent glare from across the counter indicated that the Fillingslinger had evolved to be as bright as she needed to be, and going for the pre-emptive and surly ‘I know what you want’ service, picked an egg and crushed it on the work surface, ready to use. At this exact moment the Guvner of the shop appeared, as if by magic, to see nothing going on, his employee, arms folded and looking pretty pleased with herself, an egg, best described as smeared across her work surface, clearly by herself, and a small child asking for ham and cheese.

Well in terms of malevolent glares, Mr Benn pulled an ’11’ straight out of the bag, directing it at the Fillingslinger who wilted quickly and white flagged ‘its not fair’, reverting to a catatonic trance like state, dreaming of the day when she’ll win X-factor, and will no longer be mentally challenged by the vagaries of a six year olds sandwich filling.
She’ll get her 15 seconds of fame as she murders U2’s ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’, cruelly chosen by a frustrated member of the production team, who couldn’t get an egg mayo sandwich, down to an unexplained shortage of eggs…

Pretty vacant

Posted in air traffic control, atc, food, Humour, life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2008 by norvenmunky

This morning was one of those ‘Operating to a negative schedule’ days. Mickeys big hand was still upstairs cleening teeth, as we should have been schedulewise, expediting, through the door. We were also operating with a negative surplus in the sandwich filling section, who’s on time delivery schedule had slipped yesterday afternoon, in the chaos that was yesterday, the afternoon. This meant that we went to the sandwich shop in the village, the only sandwich filler in the village, there’s nice for you.

Realising the potential to regain previous losses on mickeys boat race, and make rapid advances towards regaining the programme, both smaller Nm’s made their sandwich filling choice, in advance of landing on Planet Sandwich. Its a lovely little place mind, good quality sarnies and popular in the village. Taking our place in the line of aircrew style at the slant hard hats, hi vis vests and bum cracks, a young lady enquired as to what we would like. Ooh fast efficient service I thought, Nm Mk1 says ‘Tuna and mayo please’, to which the lady gives me one of those penetrating looks of bovine docility, and says in a monotone automaton styley ‘That’ll be £1.95’. Fine I says, and ever so slowly movement occured, after it sunk in that she, A) Makes roll, B) hands it over, and then C) the punter pays for it …

Now Mk1 is normal ‘medium child’ size, and lady gets hold of a roll that JC may have picked up too, thinking along the lines of, ‘That’ll come in handy, where’s the fish? The Guvner of the shop looks at Mk1, roll, and suggests ‘smaller rolls are available’ to which lady now looks at food prep bench to see ‘Rolls, Lardy Arsed builders, Not for the use of’ sitting not 6 inches or indeed 15cm from her workstation. Having completed the initial tasking of sourceing from stores the components for the roll, she had now assembled them, then packaged it, and in effect shipped it. Well, placed it on the glass counter anyway.

Nm Mk2 now steps up to the plate, as the spams say I believe, and declares she wants a ham and chive roll. The eyes now changed from those deep brown bovine type orbs to more of a lychee dipped in beetroot juice look. Clearly this request was a step too far, ham appeared to be available, either in centimetre chunks or waffer thin slices, but these ‘chives’ that the devil child spoke of, perhaps they were diced hoody wearing muppets, clearly however, ‘we’ were out of stock.
‘Oh, we’ll just have egg then please’
‘Sliced?’,
‘No, crushed please, they release the flavour slower that way’ …

Having paid and looking at mickeys big hand which was clearly in a period of regression again we QFO’ed to the car. Normally Mk1 gets dropped off at a mates house, but this time the release point would be closer to the day pens. Squeals of ‘ohh its not down here’ as NM took a route not associated with the DZ. Mk1 had forgotten that NM has a Analogue Navigation And Location memory facility, commonly know as ‘remembering shit’, and once shown a back passage rarely forgets it.

Once the drop at the DZ was complete it was off to the next village to drop Mk2 and her egg sandwiches, crushed, (yes I did keep a straight face as they were prepared), on an unsupecting primary school in middle England. Roll on lunchtime …

Oh and if you’re wondering about yesterday afternoon, it wasn’t me, I never touched nuffink.