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June 2012

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1st June 2012

After the normal start I went to get the goats out. I could see there was a problem immediately. Normally as soon as I get the gate into the garden unbolted Suzy kicks it open. Not today. She was standing with her head down and her tail down, clearly unwell. It was a warm sunny day and I coaxed her out and put her where I had planned. I got all the other goats stationed as well. Suzy was not eating.

It was most definitely back to the house and ring the vet. He knew who I was and I managed to make him understand what the problem was (thanks Google translate!). He promised to attend in the afternoon. He didn't. To his credit he was here before eleven in the morning. I directed him to Telek utca to avoid running gauntlet of dogs, and met him in the garden. He stuck a digital thermometer up Suzy's bum, said the single word "Yes" and proceeded to give her two injections. He told me that for a couple of days Suzy should have nothing but grass and water. I asked how much. Two thousand forints. I checked it later. At today's exchange rate about five pounds forty. I paid him and off he went. Ah, he deserves better. Astonishing how poorly paid a professional person like him is here.

I did a bit of early goat food scything whilst I was there. I was bitten just above the left wrist. It was not a mosquito nor one of the big horse flies. I never felt the bite but by heck I did later - for about three days. Hobo tells me that it is a little insignificant fly that does it.

I kept a close eye on Suzy and by just after lunch time was relieved to see her munching away. The tail was not up but at least she was eating. I checked again before a quick but necessary bus trip to Nádasd. Her tail was now up and she was munching like a good 'un. Relieved, I went and caught the bus to Nádasd. The reason? I positively refused to buy any of the only selection of shite margarine that the Halogy shop had in stock to put on my morning toast.

Back in the village I had a quick cycle home and a walk to the garden gate to have a look at Suzy. Her tail was now up and she was continuing to have a good munch. Relieved, I cycled back to the pub, caught the tail end of Rex and had a beer with John.

After that it was all as usual except that, not surprisingly, I got very little milk from Suzy. You know, I never even thought to ask the vet about the milk.

2nd June 2012

It was a day of not feeling at my best. I had no idea why. Fortunately that was not so for another member of the household. Suzy left the goat house immediately, her tail was up and she began munching immediately. That was a relief. The goats went out and went on station with no problem.

Back in the yard it came on to rain. I got the dry washing in a bit sharpish. It was not a downpour of rain, just a gentle shower. The goats stayed out. I have developed a rule of thumb regarding the goats and rain. If it forms puddles in the yard the goats come in. If it is slight enough that the yard absorbs it as fast as it falls they stay out.

Not much else happened in the morning so I had an early lunch. After lunch the normal feed the pigeons and check the goats. All fine.

After that it was time to do the verges. Once again I did mine and the old lady's. Once again I got as far as her gate on the way back to finishing mine when she came out and paid me. Five hundred forints and a litre of her pink wine this time. Bless. I turned the strimmer off and went to put the wine by my front gate then returned to finish the job. Sweat dripped. Time for a beer. Hobo was in there. He was looking for enough work to be able to buy a packet of cigarettes in the evening. I obliged. He did a little work of clearing out the deep litter and then helped me get in the goat greenery. He did the forking up and wheeling of the wheelbarrow. Then he forked down more bedding from the outhouse loft.

I figured that we had both earned a beer at the pub outside the shop and it was that time of day so that's where we went.

Goats in. I got much more milk from Suzy this evening.


3rd June 2012

Short and sweet. The weather was good but I was not. The same as yesterday but with the addition of the fact that my exertions with strimmer yesterday had not helped the rib. It ached quite badly all day.

Suzy was much better today. On the way up the garden she was playing her head butting games with the wether. I also got still more milk from her. I did nothing remotely physical apart from the necessary goat scything.

4th June 2012

The shop had very little beer and no Kőbányai. What was going on? The goats went out and I managed to get more plants in the ground. I did some washing of clothes and started another goat cheese. That was the morning.

After lunch I took the goats more water and then finished off the landing platform for the pigeons to get in and out of the pigeon house. I went to the pub to watch Rex. It came on to rain quite sharply. Home. Goats in. Oh, they were uncooperative. It was obviously not raining hard enough. It took me three trips up and back to get them to the goat house. I managed it eventually and once again milked early. They were fed and locked in for the night. Well, Suzy and Rudy were. The other two continue to escape at will.

The beer situation at the shop had gone from bad to worse. I happened to spot a single can of Soproni tucked away at the back of the fridge so I bought it for the pub outside the shop session. There was nothing else worth drinking.

Helmut was in the pub. A fair amount of beer followed.

5th June 2012

It was a really nice morning. Not too hot but bright and sunny. A normal start, and the goats went out with no problem. I had a job lined up for Hobo. He said ten o'clock. Mmmm! Try ten o'clock Hungarian time - two in the afternoon!

In expectation of him appearing I had limited myself to stuff around the yard. At least I managed to get the pigeon landing platform finished. As Hobo appeared I was about to fit it to the pigeon house window. I set him on with what I wanted him to do then went back to it. I hit a snag. It would not go in the hole. A little work with the rough old saw that Tibi had sharpened soon fixed that and I soon had it nailed in place. A work of fine cabinet making it was not!

I had a very belated lunch and, unusually for this time of year, had jacket potatoes. Another pet hate of mine is jacket potatoes done in the microwave. Soggy and horrid. No, mine are cooked long enough and hot enough in the stove oven to get nice crisp skins.

On my travels I noticed that on one half of the good vine nearest the pigeon house there were now no leaves. Blast the wether! It had to be him as Vicky cannot yet reach the height from where leaves were missing.

An hour went by and none of the pigeons were bold enough to have explored their new found access to freedom. I had a Plan B in mind for that. Hobo took a break and he and I went to the pub for a beer and to watch Rex.

Back home Hobo returned to work and I got out the strimmer but I cannot remember where I used it. Then it was time for the little pub outside the shop. I bought Hobo a beer, and one for me, then John turned up so I bought him one as well. Glory be, they had Köbányai.

Back home, a couple of little windrows of goat greenery - Hobo did the forking up and barrowing. Then he did a bit more on the job he was on.

After that, goats in, milk and pub. It was odd watching Dame Helen Mirren in The Queen in Hungarian. When the telly went off at nine - halfway through the film - there were three of us in there.

6th June 2012

I was just finishing breakfast whem there was a doggie commotion from the yard. I glanced out of the big room window to see a blue car with trailer pulled up outside. It took a moment or the penny to drop. It was Jozsi - he of the interest in Linux - with a couple of small bags of cement. I vaguely recalled some drunken conversation in the pub regarding cement. As it happened I really did not want it now. I wanted it round about September or October. Whatever. As luck had it I had enough readies to pay for it. I would without a doubt pay for the delivery in beer.

Hobo had said he would come and do some work. He didn't show up.

When I opened up the pigeon house I implemented Plan B. I put on the outside half of the landing platform a little pigeon food to see if it would entice them out. It didn't.

Imre had had a moan - I think on behalf of the old lady - about the weeds and grass in the yard. He was quite right, so I dealt with it.

Hand weeding round the onions until the knee said enough. Nothing out of the ordinary after that.

7th June 2012

I was just finishing breakfast when there was a doggy commotion from the yard. I poked my head out the door just in time to see Lajos lean a piece of three by two against my gatepost. Three by two centimetres, that is. A couple of metres of, for a pigeon house job. As I write it is still on my workbench.

John came round to get on-line and do some of his Internet stuff. He had an as-yet undiagnosed Internet problem at home.

I had decided on a day of minimum physical anyway. The rib was sore after the exertions of yesterday and for some reason the knee was playing up. No sooner had John finished what he needed to do and left for home than Hobo arrived. Just for a natter (and one of my beers, of course). That pretty well took care of the morning and fitted in nicely with my plan for as far as possible a non-physical day.

After lunch was the usual pigeon and goat stuff. Then I had a garden fire. Ex-goat house hay and maize stalks. There would be much more to come. I took the opportunity to supervise it from some metres away and do some more weeding.

Just turned three, and I cycled up to the pub for a beer. The fire was by now just smoking from the middle, and I had damped down all around. No Rex! :( For some reason Láci would not put the telly on. Whatever - it is his telly. I sat outside in the shade of the smoking area and enjoyed my beer and a couple of pipes of tobacco. Hobo turned up and had a moan about no Rex. I finished my beer, and press-ganged Hobo into coming down to my place just before five to assist with getting in the goat greenery.

I scythed it down, he piled it into the barrow and wheeled it down to the goat house. There was a price, of course. A bottle of beer at the little pub outside the shop.

The goats came in, without incident which many of my readers will find unentertaining but I do not. Goats fed, Suzy milked - and she gave me a lot of milk - and that was me for the day.

Except for the pub. Hobo was there. he bit the dust about half an hour after I arrived. Lajos came in. I bought him a beer on account of the wood once I had asked him how much and he had just shrugged.

8th June 2012

I was busy making goat cheese and doing a bit of other kitchen stuff. Hobo turned up, once again just for a chin wag (and to drink one of my beers). Another interrupted morning. Oh well, it is better than only having a social life in the pub.

Weeding in the afternoon. Boring. And very hot and humid. The specs stayed in the house. I knew that they would be worse than useless whilst I was doing that job. They deteriorate by the day. It will be a high priority to get my eyes tested and some new ones once the pensions kick in. It is quite obvious that many in the village need them but do not have them. Same old. They cannot afford them. A pair of spectacles here - prescription ones - are about the same price as in the UK, which makes them an expensive item for your average Halogy villager.

Pub for a beer. No Rex again. Hobo was there and followed me home to help get in the evening goat food. Pub outside the shop after that. And all normal after that. Goats in without problem and Suzy once again excelled herself in the milking department. Pub, but I bit the dust after one and was not long out of bed.

Now this is pretty rich coming from a country in collapse that still thinks it is the world superpower Any bets on China? India?

9th June 2012

It was raining. On a scale of 0 to 1 (binary) it was raining enough that by my previously mentioned rule of thumb the goats stayed indoors. I went to the shop under umbrella, made my purchases and returned home under umbrella. Breakfast as normal. After that most definitely not as normal. Well, the opening up of the pigeon house and checking that they had water was normal. After that, most certainly not normal, I ventured into the meadow, biker jacket clad and with goat hat on, to scythe down a bit of greenery for the goats to eat in their confinement. I have to say that this was not the most pleasant experience ever. Biker jackets are most definitely not the most comfortable garments in which to do scything. Especially with all the CE armour within.

By the time I got back to the goat house and distributed food the rib hurt. Whatever - get on with it. I did some clothes washing. And rinsed it, and hung it on the line in the rain. Whatever - an extra rinse.

I went to the pub for a beer. Nádasdi Jozsi bought it for me. I fell into a scene.

It turned out that it was the end of skittles season at the pub. Jozsi and I were told to sit tight and we would be fed. Well, we did - eventually. Mr. Plod was there in force and with patrol car parked in the driveway between house and pub. They were fed long before me and Jozsi. Surprise? I had asked for pörkölt - I got fish soup.

Somewhat belately I managed to get home to do goats and pigeons. The weather was still very much undecided. Tipping down one minute, a bit of sun the next. I fed the pigeons first, once again putting some food on the landing platform. The rest inside. It was a tipping down interlude. I threw some more stuff in for the goats. I turned to go back to the yard, and to my absolute delight saw the first two pigeons to venture out - strangely the two youngest ones - perched on the ridge tiles of the outhouse. I just stopped and stood in the pouring rain for a moment and watched them.

I had no sooner returned to the yard when a familiar black Mercedes pulled up at the gate. It was Silvia come to pick me up to go to Helmut's birthday bash in Csákány. Sadly I had to decline. With the weather as it was I did not know if the goats would be able to go out for a while or if I would have to go out myself and get more food in for them. Ah, the joys of kecske pasztor, but my responsibility.

Jozsi the skittles do organizer had said that there would be more food. I went back to the pub. Nádsadti Jozsi and I exchanged another couple of beers. No more food turned up. I returned home and went up the garden to get more goat food in. It looked set fine by now but with it approaching four in the afternoon the goats were going precisely nowhere. As I left the yard I saw one of the pigeons outside flutter down onto the landind platform and disappear inside. Pickle gave it a serious dose of looking at. Not a hope. That landing platform is about my shoulder height and Pickle's chain will not reach that far. As usual Blackie is disinterested.

It was not set fair. It rained yet again. I did some computery stuff and a little housework. Goats were fed - no milking, of course - and pigeons counted, watered and locked in. Well, I suppose that it had been a rather different from normal Saturday. It was not quite finished yet. I went for a couple of evening beers. No John or Hobo - they were in Csákány. I finished my second beer and made my goodnights, quite early. I got as far as the door and opened it. It was heaving down outside. My thoughts filled two whole sentences. Sod. That. I turned on my heel and stayed to have another. The rain had at least eased by the time it came for all to leave. I did not get too wet on the way home.

10th June 2012

It was a grey day with a threat of rain. I put the goats out very nearby. I had bought some chicken yesterday so I sorted it out and various other ingredients and into the slow cooker it went. I really must get organised to decide earlier in the week if I want chicken and get myself the four or five doors down the road to the fresh chicken producer so that I have chicken involving only point one of a food kilometre.

Not much got done. The rib hurt, the knee hurt and the foot hurt. The housework - much needed - did not get done.

There is a thing I have long noticed but have never managed to think to write about. Conversations in a pub are public property. Frequently, interjections will be made from other people at the table, other tables and even from behind the bar. When I first came here I used to think how impolite it was. I now accept it as being the norm. In contrast mobile phone calls are most definitely private and most people will actually leave the bar if they receive a call and answer it outside.

The goats came in and I milked. I had enough time to actually eat a goodly portion of the chicken stew before going to the pub. Football/Formula One (which was immensely boring but that is how it goes at that particular circuit)/Football. Well, no wonder I spent most of the evening in better company outside. As I left the pub there was a huge thunderstorm in the distance. It did not come anywhere near here.

11th June 2012

It was raining. Lots of rain so the goats stayed in. It was a repeat of the other morning with me scything in the biker jacket. Once the goats had greenery I did some housework. I had the sign out for Posta, but when she turned up her cash machine was not working.

Well, cash I had to have. The weather change by lunchtime so the goats were able to go out. When I put them out I noticed that five pigeons were out on the outhouse roof.

I changed from welly boots into trainers and had a steady cycle into Nádasd to the post office there for the cash. I called in Bödő and bought a couple of bits - can't remember what, nothing exciting. Then back to the village where I cycled straight down to see John for a reason. Then back up the village to the pub for one. The telly was on today, but Láci did not put Rex on.

Hobo came along and helped me get in the goat supper. In exchange for a beer at the little pub outside the shop, of course. The goats came in without problem. I milked. Back in the house for a swill down and change of clothes then up to the pub. The England match was on. I found it so boring and uninspiring that I went and sat in the smoking area for most of the second half. Józsi was there. He was obviously in funds. A couple of extra beers came my way.

12th June 2012

It was unseasonably cool and pretty well all day it was spitting and spotting with rain. It was not enough to keep the goats in but was enough to re-moisten the soil on the garden which worked to my advantage later. A tray of cherries came my way from the lady neighbour up on Telek utca.

Once the goats were out I did the washing up, put some washing in to soak and had a good general tidy up and wipe down in the kitchen. Well, some of it. After that I got firewood in. By then it was lunchtime.

As normal I went to feed the pigeons after lunch. Six of them were out today. They were slowly getting bolder. After that, thanks to the recent rain, back to the hand weeding around the onions. Once again there were six pigeons out and they were flying round much more and extending their range. By three the knee was complaining and it was time for a beer. Hobo was not around - I knew that he had a few days work in Felsömárac. No Rex either, so I went and enjoyed my beer in the smoking area.

Back home, a limp up the garden and couple of minutes each of scything down and forking up goat supper.

Shop, pub outside the shop and home to get the goats in and milk. I was still souldiering my way through the chicken stew which had turned out to be enormous. Many evenings-worth of food. Sharon Astik writes glowingly about soup, in the pot for a week or more, metamorphosing along the way. Thus it is with my stews. It was different again this evening, simply by the addition of the Hungarian equivalent of what I would call stock cubes. It has to change or I get bored with it and it ends up going in the dogs, which is not good.

Suzy had done very well again in the milking department.

Pub. Hobo was there by the time I arrived.

A strong report from the BBC about resource depletion. A Must Read. Club of Rome anybody?

13th June 2012

It was raining again, quite hard. The goats stayed in and once again I went into the garden leather clad to scythe.

I did the normal domestics in the kitchen and settled to do some catching up on the blog.

Lunch, then feed the pigeons at one o'clock. It had stopped raining. Good-oh! Goats out. I had no sooner clipped Suzy on her chain and led her out than it started raining again quite sharply. Suzy went back inside, not overly happy. Neither was I. The weather continued throughout the afternoon not knowing what to do. Bright sunshine one minute, heavy rain the next. I did manage to dodge out between showers and get the scything for supper done. Otherwise it was back to the blog updating.

I took my habitual afternoon break and went for a beer. No Rex. When I returned home there were six pigeons out again. It happened that I spotted four of them pecking about in the future goat bedding in the wood house before I let the dogs out. I went in the other door and shooed them out before releasing the dogs. They fluttered up on the outhouse roof to join the other two already up there.

At about ten past five I poked my nose out of the door prior to going to the shop. Blast! The shop was still locked up. Had she had one of her scrappy bits of paper on the till and I had not noticed it? I need not have worried. By quarter past five she was open and somewhat belatedly the little pub outside was foregathering. I went and got my few bits and joined them.

Dealing with the goats was a two minute job. I just had to bung some greenery in each half of the goat house. I did not even attempt a milking. Vicky would have had the lot. I had tried on a previous occasion and did not even get enough for the morning coffee. Thus caught out I had taken the precaution of having a supply of the little plastic pots of coffee cream to hand. At least here it is cream, not the artificial stuff.

A swill down, change and off to the pub.

14th June 2012

The weather was better. It was still a bit overcast but pleasantly cool and not raining. The goats went out fairly well up the plot. Rudy was parked where he could rub his sides against the outside of the last few metres of the neighbour's outhouse up there. He loves that. I had just got them all parked when a gift of cherries came over the fence. From the old boy this time, and still attached to branches. I carried them back to just outside the yard and left them just by the camping lawn out of the reach of thieveing goats and thieving dogs.

John appeared again to use the Internet. He still had a problem with his. I gave the washing another couple of rinses and hung it out. John left, and it was time by then to do this and that around the yard and see if Posta would appear. She did, but not at my house. Good! No post == No bills and no retirement paperwork. I had an early lunch.

I was just about finished when Pickle, somewhere up by the garden gate started a relentless yip-yap that normally means "Help - I am in a tanglement!" She was not in a tanglement. I identified the yip-yapping as being directed at the pigeon house roof. The old lady's cat was up there, immediately above the landing platform. Mmmmm. Have my pigeons would you? Think not. I found a choice piece of crumbly rendering and lobbed it in the general direction of where cat was sitting. I did not hurl it at the cat. Whatever its motives it was just doing what cats would do. I did not want to hurt the cat - just discourage it from sitting on my pigeon house roof and make it scarper. It did PDQ. I went in the pigeon house and had a count up. Only six. Three missing. Back outside I checked the outhouse roof. None. I even leaned over the garden gate to look for bodies. None. It was only then that I thought to turn round. There they were, all three, on the goat house roof. They might only be birds but they are not daft. They had just taken themselves well out of the way.

Everything normal after that. Nothing worth writing about.

15th June 2012

The weather was good. The goats went out. Rudy had the be discouraged yet again from eating the onion leaves. He is the only one of the goats that likes them. I have to say that the gardening this year is not good. When I just recently finished off weeding the third row - half a row - of onions I discovered that the recent damp and cold weather had caused every single one of my garlics to rot off at the base of the leaves. Very disheartening. More to come. On the plus side a load of goat food came over the fence from the old lady.

On the way back to the yard I retrieved milking stool from goat house and sat in the shade of the big walnut tree to pick the cherries from the branches that came over the fence yesterday. Back in the yard, and I think for the first time this year, I sat on the doorstep in the shade and dealt with the cherries. The Leatherman™ came out to play - there continue to be not many days when it doesn't - and I pitted the cherries and winkled out the cherry fruit fly grubs. Quite harmless I am sure, but I cannot say that I particularly want added protein in my jam. It took the morning and the templom bell was ringing noon as I finished off the last half dozen.

I was just starting into making lunch when Hobo turned up. Situation normal, with the pub shut for lunch and no work he just wanted a chat (and a beer).

I was back to having no pigeon eggs being sat. Mrs. Pigeon No. 2 had layed yet another clutch of eggs that had turned out to be duffers. Mrs. Pigeon No. 1 was also still not laying.

Unusually I had to take an Ibuprophen for the knee which for some reason was quite sore today. Nothing much else to report today. All normal.

16th June 2012

There had been a dramatic change in the weather. I could tell as soon as I got up. The small effort of getting dressed made me start to sweat. It was already hot when I went to the shop. In anticipation of the next bit I removed the specs before taking the goats out. I was right. A serious amount of sweat flowed. The goats went out without incident and I was careful to put them all where they could each find a bit of shade when they wanted it. I put extra goat water supplies out as well.

Back to the house, and jam making with the cherries. I blundered. Twice. I forgot to put the cherries through the mincer before adding the sugar. Oh well, chunky cherry jam it would be. The second blunder was trusting a particular web site on the setting temerature of jam, which it gave as 104C, so using my digital thermometer that was the temperature at which it went into the jars. When the jam had cooled it was quite obvious that it had not achieved a good set. I thought about recooking it but it never got done, so runny, chunky cherry jam it will have to be.

Clothes washing - boring. Hobo appeared somewhere along the lines. Situation normal there as well. Chat - beer. He told me that the forecast was for thirty four later in the day.

Towards the end of the morning I was feeling distinctly iffy. It took a little while for the penny to drop. With the sudden onset of the hot weather I had drunk not nearly enough water and I was beginning to get dehydrated. That was easily and quickly rectified. A litre of water went straight down.

After lunch, in the heat I went and checked the goats. I even managed a ten minute gardening job. Five little tomato plants went in the ground.

In the evening at the pub there was another skittles end of season banquet going on. I was fed again.

You know this really scares me. Not for myself, you understand, but for my children and grandchildren. I read 26,000 delegates. Nothing is going to happen. NOTHING!!! It is like a child's party - me, me Me, Me, ME, ME. Pathetic, and nothing will happen except that in maybe thirty or fourty years six sevenths of the human population of the world will have died off. Unless runaway global warming takes charge, and then pretty well everything is gone and mother nature will have to start from scratch. Well, I hope she comes up with a lot better than Homo Sapiens next time.

17th June 2012

Weather the same as yesterday. Blistering. At least I had the forethought of winding down a few more glasses of water down my neck than usual over breakfast.

The goats went out, and on the way back I watered the tomatoes and the remains of the paprika. Remains? Goat food, though not intended as such. More to come.

Cheese making.

Hobo turned up after lunch to get the cherries off the cherry tree for me. John helped by holding the ladder. Hobo simply sawed off about four branches. He and John went off and I hauled the branches down to just outside the yard. I was not best pleased. They proved to have very few cherries worth a damn on them. I had been asking Hobo for about ten days to do it. There were not enough for even a single jar of jam.

Józsi turned up. I set him on finishing getting out the deep litter from the goat house that Hobo had also started and made heavy weather of. He worked solidly. In a couple of hours the little goat yard was cleared and the corridor was cleared. If you remember, he and I did it in a single day last year. I would have this year too, apart from the rib, which I continue to have to favour.

At five I dragged him away for a little while, kicking and screaming, to the little pub outside the shop. We had the one and went back. Józsi did about another hour and by then the sties were cleared out as well. I fetched a heap of fresh bedding and scattered it in the sties and I told Józsi that was it for the day. I took him up to the pub, bought him (and me) a beer and paid him.

A very quick beer and, very late, goats in and Suzy milked. A bite to eat and, unwashed and unchanged, back to the pub. Józsi was still there. Some of what I had paid him came back my way.

Food for thought. Did you know that the average domestic microwave oven of modern design with an LCD timer display with clock on the front uses more electricity running the display over its lifetime than it uses actually cooking or heating food?

18th June 2012

The heat wave continued, with daytime temperature once again in the mid thirties. The goats went out but very nearby today. I rinsed out the washing and hung it out.

Hot or not the verge needed strimming. As usual now I did the old lady's as well. A thousand forints came my way but no booze this time. After the work in the heat I could have murdered a beer but I cut it more than fine, hearing the templom bell ring noon just as I was finishing. Blast - the pub would be shut for lunch.

I had lunch, fed the pigeons, checked the goats and returned to the house and a little blog updating. At half past two I decided that I could still murder a beer so I went for one. I was expecting Józsi just after three anyway. Józsi preempted me by turning up in the pub a few minutes before three, so one beer became two. We downed them fairly swiftly. Józsi was champing at the bit to get on. He does that, you know. He really likes to work.

Back home he just went and got on with it. He started in on clearing out the ex-garage. I kept out of the heat and did some more blog updating. Just gone five with Józsi still hard at work I went to the shop. A few bits and a beer with the little pub outside the shop which was in full swing. I had only just sat down when Józsi came to find me. I think he had a pretty good idea where I would be. I bought him one. That was that and when we returned to the house I told him no more work today, paid him and off he went. I got the goats in a good bit earlier than yesterday.

A swill down and change and off to the pub. Józsi was still there. I had a cheap evening as some of what I had paid him came back in the form of beers.

19th June 2012

I was just putting the goats out when there was a doggie commotion from the yard. I glanced down to see someone beating a path through the dogs. Of all people it was Miki. He came on through to the garden. I was by then on my way to get Rudy. As usual, with water bucket to hand I clipped his chain on and just let him go. What followed surprised me. Miki saw that Rudy was loose and trailing chain. He grabbed the chain and frog marched Rudy all the way up the garden. I think that Rudy was so nonplussed that he just followed him. The goats were pretty well up towards Telek utca, once again where they all had shade. Rudy was on his stake in no time at all. Back at the house I fed Miki a shot of pálinka and gave him enough to get humself a fröccs in the pub. He went off happy.

I sorted out the goat water buckets then took the strimmer to the yard. It was another sweltering day. Yard done, I went for a beer. Hobo and Helmut were there. Hobo told me that there were red warnings in place about the weather. It turned out later that that was a broad strip right down the centre of the country. We were one step down - an orange warning. Jóli the landlady overheard and had a right go at me, telling me in no uncertain terms that I must not do any hard work outside in the heat as it would make me ill. It was good of her to express her concern but she need not have worried. I had no intention of doing whilst the present weather continued. There were scenes on telly from the big cities where once again they were handing out free water, people were walking under mist sprays to cool off and the children were playing in and out of the fountains.

The only physical I did the rest of the day was taking the goats water, which was a bit of a trek. Otherwise I sat in the cool and did some blog updating. Józsi turned up at three to finish off the goat house. I left him to it and cycled up the village for eggs. Then a beer in the pub on the way back. I got the same warning from Toni and Eva that I had received from Jóli.

Józsi was finished just in nice time for me to pay him and take him over the shop... I think that this was the evening when it cost me four beers - one for me, one for Józsi, one for John and one for Hobo who also turned up. The little pub outside the shop was certainly in full swing this evening.

Goats in, swill down and change and off to the pub.

20th June 2012

It was another sweltering day, with warnings about the heat being given on both radio and TV. A day once again for putting the goats where they had shade, making sure they had plenty of water and otherwise keeping out of the heat myself and doing the minimum that I had to. So really not much of note for the day.

For once in quite a long while when it came time to get Rudy inside the goat house he had to get wet. He went in like a good boy after that. I got another really good milking from Suzy. I decided on a little largess. The old lady had her summer visitors staying for several days. I see them at other times of the year but only for the odd afternoon. I can't be sure of the relationship but they are at minimum grandchilren (the parents) and great grandchildren (their children). It is just possible that they might be great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. I attracted their attention and passed over the fence a jar of goat milk, still warm from Suzy.

Swill down, change, pub.

21st June 2012

The heatwave continued. By nine in the morning it was thirty in the shade and in the heat of the afternoon it reached thirty five or thirty six. As I was putting the goats out I noticed a stack of stuff by the fence from the top of the old lady's plot. Also as I was putting them out there was a diggie commotion from the yard. I looked down from the garden but could see nobody. I carried on.

Before returning to the house I wheeled the barrow up and loaded the goat gift into it. It would do as part of their supper. I left it by the goat house. Back in the yard, and Blackie was from time to time barking at something by the small front gate. It turned out to be a bucket of pea pods. Ah! That would be what the commotion was about, then. Marika leaving it by the gate. Good-oh! It could be added to what was in the barrow.

It was not finished yet. When I was returning from watering the goats Marika called me over, and yet more pea haulms came over the fence. They were added to the barrow as well.

Nothing else happened except me hiding away in the coolest part of the house and doing some blog updating.

Shop, and little pub outside the shop early evening. I was sitting enjoying my cold (cheap) beer when to my delight I noticed that most of the pigeons were sitting on the various services cables strung across the road. They certainly were starting to explore a bit. Just like me, and the goats they do not really like the hot weather. In the heat of the day they prefer to be inside the pigeon house.


22nd June 2012


All was normal, and thank goodness it was a little cooler - high twenties.

Hobo and Helmut appeared. They had come to collect some scrap aluminium items to take and weigh in for cash. Dogs were secured within and we carted it out and stacked it in the back of Helmut's van. It had only been in the potting shed for (variously) between three and four years. The ultimate expression of the Hungarian interpretation of non-urgent. Anyway, off it went.

The goats went out somewhat belatedly. I had another unexpected pigeon treat when I got back to the yard. The pigeons were on the ground outside my front gates picking and scratching about on the last couple of feet of my driveway and the first foot of the actual roadside. As I write, I have seen them there since and I still have no idea what they are pecking about for. I know that I will forget to write about it unless I write now, but I was in the pub one afternoon when Miki came in giving it a load of blah, blah, blah and something about two pigeons and a car. I was concerned enough to cycle home and check. I looked for dead pigeons by the roadside. There were none. I went up the yard to pigeon house and did a head count. All present and correct. What he had been going on about I had not the slightest idea but as I have said before, and will do again, the pigeons are not stupid and will get out of harms way sharpish.

I had the sign out for Posta, not because I needed cash, but there was a problem with my Hungarian mobile. It had stopped working, other than to receive SMSs. I had had one SMS from T-Mobile the day it stopped working and another one yesterday. I showed Posta the two messages, and she did not understand them either. Mmmm! She had post for me anyway. HMRC!

You know, I mentioned on the blog way back last August about tough times. And tough times they were. Yet I lived through them by drawing in my belt and simply living within my means. In contrast, since about three months ago when pensions/tax paperwork had arrived every single bit of it frazzled my nerves. Utterly illogical, but I could not help it. A little bit over four years I had lived here with no contact with officialdom. Just get on with life with dogs, goats, pigeons and gardening. Then it came in like a tidal wave. I have already written about various form filling on the blog. I never mentioned the effect it had on me. Thus it was today. Absurd! All my pensions arrangements had been in place for years. It was the paperwork and the hanging question "What if?".

P*ssed off with it I went to the pub for a beer. Hobo and Helmut tracked me down. A couple of thousand forints came my way for the aluminium scrap. That lightened the mood somewhat.

It was all pretty normal after that, with me getting goat supper in fairly early. Getting the goats in later was a bit of a trek. They were about as far up towards Telek utca as they get. It must have been a bit of good forage as I got another good milking out of Suzy.

Pub in the evening. Nothing changes.

EuroZone growth package? Think not!!

23rd June 2012


Once the goats were out I set about the HMRC paperwork started yesterday. I wanted to get it finished and in the post, which I did.

It was once again very hot weather. Apart from looking after the livestock not a lot of anything much was done, except some blog updating.

I had my usual mid-afternoon break and went for a beer. Hobo was there. He said that he would come along later and help get in goat supper. Back home time ticked away and come six and no Hobo so I went and did it myself. I had literally just finished milking and given the goats their final rations when he turned up. Bless. He went back to the pub. I took the milking in, had a swill round, changed and followed him.

24th June 2012


It started off normally enough. Shop, stove, coffee, toast. As usual I shared the first couple of slices with the dogs - bits of crust. The coffee brewed and as usual I prepared to enjoy the third slice of toast - the one with jam - by kicking the dogs out. They immediately lauched towards the garden gate. I saw a figure pass by. Marika. I went to investigate and found that she had tipped two big baskets of pea haulms into the wheelbarrow. No scything this evening then.

I returned to house and finished breakfast. The goats went out after that. Nightmare! Goats everywhere. The only one I managed to get on station with no problem was Suzy. Vicky and the wether galloped about the meadow (and garden) with gay abandon. Going off on one briefly, but it grieves me and offends me that "gay" is now a synonym for homosexual. When I were a lad "gay" meant happy and carefree or something such. Completely without any connotation to a person's sexual preferences. Question: what word fulfills the role of "gay" in my context now? I have no idea. I got the goats out where I wanted them eventually. Rudy was just as bad as the others and had to be threatened with getting very wet about the head several times before I had them all where I wanted them

I had just put Rudy on his stake when all the goats started running about at the end of their tethers. WTF? There was a dog in the garden. For once it was not one of mine. I shooed it back into Tibi's garden and went back to deal with goat water. By the time I had done that, said dog was back in my garden but at least this time it was trying to get into the yard to terrorise Blackie and Pickle (yeah, right). I think Tibi must have heard the commotion as he soon had his dog back in his yard.

Normalcy returned after that. Nothing more worthy of note in the interests of brevity.

25th June 2012


I was just putting the goats out when the old lady caught me and passed a load of stuff for the goats over the fence. I stashed it away in the wheelbarrow for later. With goats and pigeons watered I set about getting another dozen little tomato plants into the ground. I watered the onions whilst I was at it. With the heat building I withdrew and sorted the kitchen out. Well, I did the washing up.

I was about to make lunch when I noticed it had started to spit and spot with rain. I paused, deliberating about the goats. Within minutes it became much heavier. Goats in. The food in the wheelbarrow went in to them. I had hoped that it would do the evening feed. It continued raining, quite hard. I withdrew indoors and did some blog updating and general computer admin-type stuff.

It rained steadily until about half past five, then cleared and the sun came out again. Typical! It was too late to put the goats out again. No milking today, then. I went over to the shop where I bought what I needed for the evening. The little pub outside, who had been noticable by their absence during the rain, had magically foregathered. I had a beer with them.

Back at the ranch I trudged the barrow up the garden, scythed down a bit of overnight goat food, forked it up and plonked it in the barrow. I was trudging it back when there was a call from the fence. More goat food. This time it was a couple of big armfuls from Marika.

The goats took little dealing with. I chucked in some of the greenery each side and checked that they had water and that was that. A bite to eat, swill down, change and off to the pub quite early.

26th June 2012


I had shopped and was having breakfast with dogs still within the house when the dogs went ballistic at something. I poked my head out of the little window in the house door to see Helmut and Hobo advancing up the path. Helmut had his black Mercedes outside with a trailer attached. As a precaution I locked the house door from within. Not to prevent Helmut and Hobo getting in but to prevent Pickle getting out which she is quite capable of doing if the door is unlocked. They had come to pick up the rest of the scrap - ironmongery this time. Hence the trailer. I felt quite guilty. I just stayed inside and stood guard over the dogs. Helmut and Hobo did the work.

I did not feel too guilty. The arrangement was, in Hungarian, fifty-fifty-fifty. Now, my English language readers will all understand fifty-fifty. It means exactly the same in Hungarian. But fifty-fifty-fifty means a third/a third/a third. Logical enough in a foreign tongue. Scrap was finally loaded up, including the crap in the garden not far from the goat house. All of that predated my arrival here. I just assembled it where it was. Lots of wire, some ex-plumbing, lots of ex-car. Anyway, away it went.

Belatedly the dogs went out, and belatedly the goats went out. They were none too happy by then and I cannot say that I blame them. With goats out I returned to house to start the next lot of cheese making.

The system remains as before. I do not use any curdling agent. I let the milk separate into curds and whey quite naturally. I syphon off the whey - it goes into the dogs later. If there is anything suspicious starting to grow on it I scoop it off with a spoon and hurtle it on the kitchen floor. Black dog cleans it up. It has not killed him so far either. The curd goes into a cheesecloth in the stainless collandar and drains. At some stage, depending upon what type of curd I have it gets salted and goes in the press. As I write, the last one I made turned out very Cheshire, but with the distinctive goat cheese twang.

I checked the goats. The wether was busily munching my garden. What on earth? He still had his collar on but no chain. I went to investigate. My bad! I had parked him and Suzy just a little too close together. They had obviously been playing head butting games and his chain was now hooked into Suzy's chain and somehow his collar ring had slipped from the carabiner. Poor Suzy could go about two feet forward or back, and about two feet from side to side. I remedied the situation.

I stayed in the garden for a while to do some weeding. The specs kept falling off so I discarded them. Eventually I was driven off by the heat. Guess where I went next? Hobo and Helmut caught me there and I was paid out my share of the scrap. Four thousand forints. Handy!

On the way home I cycled down to the faluház with my pen drive. I had some photos to put on their computer and one letter to print out. The faluház was locked and deserted. Odd. I knew from custom that on Tuesdays and Fridays they should be open from four until seven. Oh well, another time then. Even as I write I am still waiting for that other time to turn up.

Nothing out of the ordinary after that. All the usual evening stuff.

27th June 2012


The moment I let the dogs out in the morning black dog went ballistic, barking by the front gates. It took me a moment to spot that there was a big plastic bag of something leaned up outside. It was, as far as Blackie was concerned, "Something That Was Where It Should Not Be" and as such it required barking at. I knew what it would be. Goat food from Hobo. He had mentioned it the previous evening.

After breakfast the goats went out without problem but somewhat long winded in deciding where to park them and actually get them parked. I returned to the house, did the washing up and got the cheese curd salted and into the press. I went for a beer after that. Disaster! It turned out to be a Laszlo (however you want to spell it - there are several) névnap (name day). Considering that about fifty percent of the males in the village are Láci, including the landlord, there was a lot of alcohol flowing. I had two beers bought for me, plus a pálinka from Láci the landlord.

I went home in a haze, had lunch, did the necessary with pigeons and goats and hid from the heat. Just until it was time for an afternoon beer to quell the incipient afternoon hangover. The Láci thing was still in full swing. I had a couple and went into evening mode. Nothing out of the ordinary.

At the pub Hobo, Helmut and I sat outside. A "character" came out and sat at one of the other tables in the smoking area. A somewhat rough looking character. It turned out that he was on his way from nowhere to somewhere, was a Laszlo, and decided to stop at the Halogy pub and celebrate his névnap. What followed was surprising and somewhat pleasant. I said a somewhat rough looking character. I will up the ante a bit - a very rough looking character. He first found out that Helmut was Austrian and began to chat with him in fluent Austrian German and then it was my turn. He also spoke fluent enough English. Never judge a book by its cover. I wobbled on home after an excellent and surprising evening.

You might like these pictures of goats. Not mine. A post someone sent me on Facebook.

28th June 2012


I had a surprise and delight when I went in to do the pigeon water first thing after breakfast. Mrs. Pigeon No. 1 was sitting a single egg. It had been a long while since her last brood. I had almost given up on her. Perhaps she just needed a rest.

The goats went out nearby, with shade. Another scorching day was forecast. I sorted out their water. After that I did little except hide from the heat. I did wander over to the shop and treat myself. A couple of bananas. It had been a long, long while since I had had one.

I had to be in and around anyway as I had the sign out for Posta - cash needed. I did some blog updating.

Lunch. Feed the pigeons and water the goats. Rudy gets through a couple of buckets a day at the moment. Poor bugger, he does feel it at the moment. I can't remember if I ever mentioned but goats don't moult. He had done about as much as he could of getting rid of winter coat by rubbing against walls and fences and a couple of bald spots on his back that he can reach with his horns, but he remains very shaggy above and below and he is a big bloke anyway - lots of body heat. I did sort of toy with the idea of shearing him with the hair clippers. Na! It would bugger the hair clippers, and, well, it is Rudy we are talking about. Easier just to give him shade and lots of water.

I retired to house and did some more blogging. Pickle was on chain just inside the hallway in the cool. Blackie was somewhere even cooler. It was time for me a pub beer, but first I wanted to check on the goats. As I went to go out of the house door Pickle had to precede me, with the aid of a bit of boot. Five or six of the pigeons were pecking about on the yard just by the goat house. Pickle saw them immediately and launched. Two hopes - Bob Hope and no hope. They were eight feet in the air before she got within ten metres of them. As I said before, they may only be birds but they are not stupid.

Nothing out of the ordinary after that until I left the pub in the evening. Flat front tyre. It was not too bad. It was only flat at the bottom. I considered pulling a wheelie all the way home until the thought occured "Come on Steve. You are sixty four, not fourteen". I pushed the bike home.

29th June 2012


It was the usual start and another clear day with the promise of being another scorcher. Early in the morning, before I arose, the dogs had kicked off about something. When I opened the roller shutters I found out what. There was a For Sale sign on the big fine house that used to be a pub.

After the usual I set about repairing the puncture in the relative cool of the kitchen. I hit a snag. It had been some considerable while since the last puncture. The glue in the kit was dried up to nothing. Bugger. What to do? Go for a beer!. I limped my way to the pub not enjoying it much in the heat. The pub was shut. I limped my way home enjoying it even less.

Over lunch I pondered what to do about the bike. I really could not face a weekend of pavement pounding in the heat. It was thirty four in the shade by then - way out of my comfort zone. I think the heat had got to me because I was fixated that I would have to get myself to the bike shop in Körmend. At some stage a penny dropped. Nádasd - Bödő. They sold bikes, and bike tyres and brake cables. In haste I reorganised the afternoon and limped up to the bus stop, enjoying it less than ever in the afternoon heat. I just had time to pop in the pub, who were by now open and have a kis fröccs - no time for a beer. I went to catch the three o'clock bus. The driver damned nearly drove past me. I managed to flag him down.

Off the bus and into Bödő. Did they have a puncture repair kit? Of course! Happy, I went over the road to the Nádasd Coop and bought some sensible margarine - the Halogy shop still had none. I was happier still when the bus back to the village came. It was the by now regular driver - the trilingual one. Not only is he trilingual, but in Halogy he operates a request stop system, dropping people right by their doors. He probably should not, but he does. A cunning plan formulated itself. I had him drop me right by the house. In twelve minutes the pincture was mended, tyre and tube back on the wheel, wheel in the bike, brakes sorted, dogs reconfined and I was on my way cycling to the pub for a beer. Well, I had to give it a road test, didn't I.

Back home, and quite shortly afterwards over to the shop, and the little pub outside the shop. Hobo turned up and in exchange for a beer offered to help get goat food in, as yet not done, and to get the goats in. So that is what happened. He left to go to the pub and I got on with the milking. Once again Suzy performed very well. Pub myself after that.

30th June 2012


No idea, so here are some pictures:
Weeds and Crop Here is a crop masquerading as weeds...
... and with a bit (lot) of weeding we see carrots
I mentioned the spud catastrophe. This was the aftermath.
I have jokingly mentioned Láci's magnificent erection. Here it is.
I also mentioned the cabbage catastrophe with the cabbage supposedly destined for the goats. Here it is!


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