Neville and Roscoe post-bath

Outrageous behaviour!

Way-aye, Roscoe here.

I was going to tell you how much cheek I thought Mam had, saying she loved the way I ate my cucumber. I was going to tell you about how she eats something called an icecream.

But that has been overtaken by events yesterday afternoon. We were cruelly and outrageously ripped from our afternoon slumbers and treated to torture!

Well, it started ages ago, because Mam said we needed baths. She was going to do it ever so many times, but then she thought we should have grass time. Then she was going to do it Saturday, but she said it was a bit cold.

Then today (after she ate the icecream), she said she’d have to wait because we were all having our mid-afternoon snack.

Then she came in and picked Biggles up, and took him off into the kitchen. Admittedly we didn’t hear any complaints, although we did hear a highpitched whirring noise just before he came back. He looked very clean, and smelled… funnier than usual.

Then she approach Nev and me, and Nev was wisely having a tea-time snack, so she picked me up! First there was the grease gland clean, which is bad enough. I mean, she’s very gentle, but very thorough. And it is a sensitive area, believe me. BUT THEN….

She put me in the sink of water!

I wasn’t having that, I can tell you. Well, we had several discussions about it, and I made my point of view quite clear. Eventually she managed to coat me with soapy stuff, and rub it in all over, and I did a lot of complaining, as you can imagine. Most of the time she had to hold me up with one hand and rub in places I don’t usually expect to be rubbed with the other. Then I had to go under the tap for a rinse off. And then she did it again! And made me wait for hours before she rinsed it off!

Then she mopped a lot of the water off me and wrapped me in a towel and took me through for a rub down and relax in the lounge. She may have relaxed. She thought my hair looked very funny when it all fluffed up in the damp. ‘Bouffant’ she described it, whatever that means.

Then I went back to the kitchen to sit on the other side and be blown warm air at, all up the wrong way on my coat, with the thing that made the nasty high-pitched noise.

At last I could go back to my run and it was Nev’s turn. He had the cheek to ask me what the problem was when he returned. Although he did agree that having the soap on for several minutes (he said three, but I’m sure it was hours) was a bit cooling.

So anyway, I hope you’ll agree that it’s outrageous treatment.

I’ll tell you about her icecream next time, unless something more important happens.

Love

Roscoe xxx

PS We’re already more than halfway through our mourning period. Bertie has already been gone for over four weeks. Can you believe that? It seems like yesterday… or the day before.

The new routine

Way-aye, Roscoe here again.

Nowt much has happened this week. Except May finished.

We’ve had morning cuddles and cucumber, a run, and breakfast. Then we’ve had a snooze or three.

I have to say, the amount of breakfast varies. Sometimes we get just three bits of veggies from the fridge (it’s colder, and not as fresh) and sometimes we get lots of little bits, mostly tasters, from the garden. They’re fresh and warm. That’s because the sun’s been shining on them, Mam hasn’t heated them up or anything.

Things from the garden I’ve identified: vetch, dandelion, plantain, grass (sometimes Mam picks a few very long stalks to include in our breakfast), kale leaves (different from the fridge ones), carrot leaves, strawberry leaves, hawthorn leaves, and hazel leaves. I think Mam was trying those out on us, and since we liked them, she brought twigs of hawthorn the next day, soft new growth, which I rather liked. There are also usually a couple of herby leaves, like mint, rosemary, lavender, parsley or thyme. And sometimes basil from the kitchen, because that grows indoors.

It’s been hot and sunny, and we’ve been out in the garden every afternoon once it’s nearly shadowy. I reckon Mam cut down on breakfast because we spend the afternoon eating grass, but it doesn’t quite work like that, Mam, because we’d be eating hay if we weren’t outside. We get hay when we come back in, at any rate.

Mam says to make the most of it because it’s going to get cooler and rainy next Wednesday onwards. She’s a bit pleased because she’s run out of rainwater to water the pots with. She has to use the mains instead. You’ll probably understand what that means.

Mam’s been spending lots of time in the garden growing things and cutting things and making things. It’s good for her, I think. Apparently we can come out of this avirus lockdown a little, but Mam isn’t because the scientists say it’s too early. She seems a bit worried by something she learnt the other day, but she hasn’t explained it to me, save that she has to have someone nearby who can come in to look after her when she’s ill.

Well, Auntie Vikki always did that, so I’m sure she’ll find someone else now that Auntie Vikki (and Auntie Claire) don’t live near us any more.

And there’s no sign of some new boys coming yet. We just have to be patient. As long as there’s enough cucumber and hay, Mam, we’ll be fine.

Have a nice week

love

Roscoe xxx

It’s good for the Grass!

Way-aye, Roscoe here.

I thought I’d tell you about our grass today. We have several types, but mostly you can divide it into that which Mam picks (or cuts) and brings into us, and that we graze on when we’re out in our run.

We’ve been going out in our run a lot, and it’s been quite hot in the last week or so.

Of course, Mam has been watering the grass with a little pointy spray thing ever since she realised her new grass needed it, back at the end of March. The trouble is, this spray doesn’t reach everywhere, and some of the grass, including the bit where the first veggie patch is going, has sort of lines between it.

The woodpigeons under the pointy spray

Mam said to me it was where the bits that had been laid edge to edge shrank, so now there’s a gap between the edges. I don’t see it myself, but I’m sure she’s right. She has got a plan for it – she will spread soil with grass seed in it where it needs the lines filled in when autumn comes. But that’s a long way away. Mam has plans for everything, as you’ve probably noticed.

Then she got a new water spray thing which she tried out on Friday. It waters everywhere at once, forwards and back again. And the shed roof and the neighbour’s wall… But it works for the whole of our grass and the top of the flowers beyond, which is good.

Saturday it rained nearly all day. Well, showers. Heavy ones.

Anyway, the grass. We eat the new grass. and it’s very nice. That’s ‘very nice’ because it’s not good to seem ungrateful… The bits she cuts for us with her scissors, or just picks and brings in, are much better. They are richer and lusher (and longer). They have flowers on them, the proper grass flowers, still in their long sheath, and those are really yummy.

The old grass at the bottom of the slope in early spring. It has daisies in it now

That grass grows down in the older part of the garden, where it’s damper and shadier. She hoped we’d be able to go and eat it ourselves occasionally, but there are lots of buttercups and daisies as well. I wouldn’t eat those, Mam. I’m not silly. Okay, you can’t guarantee that the others wouldn’t.

But we only get that when we don’t go out. It’s a sort of conundrum. Go out and have quite yummy grass, or stay in and have extra-yummy grass.

Mam’s been reading up on poisonous plants because she was worried Bertie ate horsetail and it poisoned him. There’s lots of horsetail at the bottom of the garden and it turns up pretty well everywhere else, which she pulls out. But she found some growing in one of the places we’d been grazing, so she wondered whether that was why Bertie died. Then she discovered that he would have to have eaten it for several days for it to have started to have an effect. So that can’t have been it.

It’s good, this grass

You know, that’s one of the reasons our Mam is the greatest. She really really tries to do the very best for us, or at least the best she can in the circumstances. When we get out of lockdown, Mam’s hoping to get some other pigs who need a home. I reckon they’ll be very very lucky pigs to join us here.

See you next week, when it’ll be June!

Roscoe xxxx

Change of routine

Waye-aye, Roscoe here again. I suppose I don’t need to say that now, as you’re going to expect me all the time. Oh well, it’s part of my routine, so I’ll stick with it for now.

I don’t like to change my routine. I prefer things to have a nice regular pattern. But things are changing here. Only a bit, but just enough to notice.

First up, Mam wakes up then spends a while doing something in her room before she comes to sort us out. Well, she goes to the room at the other end of the hall, and usually calls in to say ‘good morning’, but then she goes back to her bed. She says it’s not time to get up yet, but the sun’s been up for ages, so why aren’t we?

The sun keeps changing. Not light and dark, and cloud and stuff, but it’s shining in on our runs in the morning. It was shining on Biggles first, but now it shines on us a bit too. Good thing Mam usually remembers to draw the fine curtain across before bedtime, so it’s light without being glaring. When the sun has gone round so it’s not shining on us any more, she usually pushes it back, but that’s not till after run time.

That’s another change: run time. Biggles is always a fuss-pot about being picked up before he’s had a proper wee, and now he’s being extra fussy, so Mam picks up Neville instead. Nev was right surprised at first, but he’s got used to it. Then Mam usually takes Biggles, then me. Then of course, she used to have her breakfast, come back and do Bertie and put Biggles back when she put Bertie down. Now that doesn’t happen, and we’re getting longer and longer runs in the morning. They’re not as much fun without Bertie to explore with. I have no idea what Mam’s doing all this time. But she says we’re finishing very much earlier than we used to, so I suppose she’s just filling in the time, like.

Bertie and me having fun before the runs were built.

The other thing that’s changed is our garden run. This week we’ve had the big panels up with the shades on them. Mam cut the grass with the big orange machine and I thought, uh-oh, no grass. But she left patches surrounded by wooden things, and she put our fence around those. We ate all the grass in one of them, so she put us in the one next to it yesterday. The grass was even longer in that one. I thought these wooden rails were marking out the new vegetable patch. I wonder if she expects us to dig it over as well? But she seems happy enough that we’re mowing it nice and level with the rest of the grass.

The three of us in the space where the veggies are going.

So, that’s what’s happening here. No sign of anyone coming to move into the empty run yet. Apparently nothing will happen till this avirus thing has gone away. And Mam wants it to go away soon so the man can come and decorate the wall behind the shelves, and then she can finish unpacking the boxes in our room.

Life’s so complicated. I hope it settles down again soon.

See you next week

Roscoe xxx

PS Mam said it was George’s anniversary yesterday. Nine years since he went over the Rainbow Bridge. That’s a long time.

We’re in mourning for Seven Weeks

Way-aye, Roscoe here. And it’ll be just me for a while, since Nev and Biggles don’t want to learn to blog. Sorry about that. I hope you don’t get bored with me.

I must never say things seems settled again. There we were, all comfy like, with a nice routine, and then Bertie says “I’m going to stay in my tunnel today.” Then he says “I’m feeling funny.” And Mam takes him to the vet two days in a row, and on the third day he goes over the Rainbow Bridge.

He was only three. Mam says that’s no age at all. She sits with us and tells us things, most of which I don’t understand. I know she’s fretting that she should have realised Bertie was ill sooner, but really, Mam, he wasn’t. Tuesday he was out on the grass with the rest of us, enjoying himself. Wednesday he was a little subdued, but we thought he was just having a tummy upset.

Trouble is, as Auntie Sophie said, he packed an awful lot of character into that little body. Always getting into things he shouldn’t be doing, winding me up so I go with him. I really miss our little excursions down the hallway and into the front room. And everything else we got up to. It wasn’t much fun sitting in among the tents in their storage area yesterday morning, although I suppose I’ll keep doing it, cos it’s nice.

Anyway. Mam says we’ll be in mourning for the next seven weeks, as is right and proper. I’m glad she knows our traditional customs. Seven weeks is the same length of time since we moved in properly, and all Mam’s furniture arrived. It’ll go quick, Mam, don’t you worry.

I wish I could say Bertie will be back with you next week, but he won’t. It’s just me from now on.

Keep safe and don’t go out catching anything.

Love

Roscoe xxxx