Tommy Ellis's Blog

May 6, 2021

Farm Life. The Lamb and the Cat.

A neighbour brought a new-born lamb to our door the other day. Well, we don't have sheep! Our friend John, however, does, so I rang him to see what was to be done.
'No probs, I'll be right over.'
John'll sort it. In the meantime, though, I had a tiny lamb in my porch. What do I know about lambs? Naff all, that's what. It seems I know a lot more about them than our hardcore rat catcher. Jimmy the cat appeared on the windowsill miaowing to be let in.
'Yes, yes, all right. Stop whinging. I'll be right there!' I opened the door, Jimmy plopped onto the ground, sauntered to the front door and froze. It was as if he'd just seen a cat-eating alien instead of a tiny shivering new born lamb. Puffing himself up to look as big as possible, he hissed, growled, danced sideways and with a show of ultimate bravery (yeah, right!), he scooted for cover under the car. I didn't see him for the rest of the day.
The lamb is doing well by the way, having been adopted by a ewe. The cat has recovered from his shock and is, at present, fast asleep on my pillow (his pillow?).
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Published on May 06, 2021 12:15

February 17, 2021

Farm Life. Meeting Headwig.

We have a barn built sometime in the 60s. So that means it's a block and asbestos monstrosity. Still, it makes for good storage for us humans and even better hunting for the cats...and owls! Whilst clearing out the old caravan we'd inherited, I thought I spotted something lurking up in the rafters. Creeping as soundlessly as I could, I edged towards the darkened corner. Nothing! I must have been imagining things. Nope! A silent ghost swept down from the shadows barely skimming the top of my head! I'd never seen a barn owl that close before, and let me tell you, it was amazing. We have a Headwig! I've since seen it four more times, so it lives nearby. The cats think they're champion mousers? Ha!
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Published on February 17, 2021 11:58

April 29, 2020

Farm Life. Who's The Daddy?

Jimmy the cat dropped low, eyes widening at the thought of a fresh kill. With practised ease, he slid forward on silent pads. Three more steps and he'd be within pouncing distance. One: The bird hasn't seen him, he'll soon be striking. Two: Nearly there. All he has to do is hold his nerve. Three: The bloody hen's seen him and... Oh bugger! A squawk, a flurry of agitated feathers. Leg it, it's a psycho-chook! And he never stalked the chickens again.The Midas Cat: The Harrington Collection
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Published on April 29, 2020 12:54

April 22, 2020

Farm Life: Leprechaun gold.

Builders' merchants are all closed due to coronavirus, but work on the farm still needs to get done. What to do? Well, so far everything I've needed has just been found lying around in the barn, or one of the various outbuildings. Take the ceiling in the parlour, for instance: Due to a leaky chimney breast, the plasterboard had warped., so I nailed it back up, sanded it, but it needed filling. Search the cowshed and boom! A bag of plaster materialised. So, what do I need next, a jar full of money, perhaps? Whilst searching for a latch for the chicken run (I did find it), I unearthed a filthy jam jar, and yes, it was full of cash! There was almost enough to buy a latte at Starbucks. I should have specified an amount. Too late now, though. I think I only get a single wish per item.
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Published on April 22, 2020 03:32

April 15, 2020

Farm Life. Up on the roof.

One of our outbuildings leaks. Not a few drips, oh no, but a full-on splurge. I wouldn't have bothered about it if it wasn't for the electrics in there. 240 volts+water=problems and possible death. Now, when I need something, say a tarp, there's usually one lying around somewhere, and I wasn't disappointed. Enough heavy duty plastic sheeting to do the job. Sorted!
The roof creaked under my weight, but was I scared? Of course I bloody was! It creaked again, but I hadn't moved. Sweat stung my eyes as I looked up. Someone was up there with me. The rusty corrugated steel could barely support me, let alone somebody else. Directly beneath me was a selection of lethal vintage gardening implements to impale myself on if I went through.
'Norris, you maniac furball. Get off the damned roof!'
'Me...' Creak! 'Ow.'
A ninja leap and the cat was gone, leaving me with a pulse rate just shy of "code-blue-call-the-crash-cart". I wasn't sad to have finished that particular job.
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Published on April 15, 2020 10:47

April 14, 2020

Farm Life. A Brooklands Bentley?

It's always been a dream of mine to move into a new place and discover a Brooklands-era Bentley under a tarp in the garage, or even a Mk2 Zodiac. Hell, a Citroen 2CV would do. Even they're collectable nowadays!
Whilst clearing the barn of a mountain of mouldy hay, I didn't unearth any of those gems. Oh no. I found a caravan! I knew something was under there, and I knew it was big, but a touring caravan?
Having cleared a route to the door, I forgot about the hay. Hell, I had some investigating to do! The door creaked open wafting musty disuse . How long it had been since it was last used, God only knew, because I sure didn't. I stepped into the gloom and immediately tripped over a case of beer. That was a good start. Hoping for a stash of long-forgotten jewellery or cash, I started rummaging. Another case of beer (nice!), two sleeping bags, a pair of flip flops, and a gas-fired barbeque. No gold bullion, but the perfect set-up for a holiday in my own barn, even if the beer did have a best-before date of 2015! The Midas Cat The Devil Wears Tabby by Tommy Ellis
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Published on April 14, 2020 10:17

Farm Life. A New Cockerel

I've just watched a TV programme entitled "The Secret Life of Chickens". Apparently cockerels literally do "rule the roost" as they control the hens and tell them what to do. We don't have a cockerel - being woken up at stupid o' clock in mid June isn't my idea of fun! It turns out we didn't need one anyway, as one of our cats has taken on the role.
The Professor is a jet black girl cat who suffers from cerebellum hyperplasia. In short, she can't run, jump or climb and has problems with balance. This makes her more considered in her approach to life, and far less rash than Jimmy and Norris. Nonetheless, when a short burst of rain visited the chicken run where The Professor was exploring, she still made it to the henhouse first.
When I checked on The Prof to make sure she wasn't stuck in the rain unable to move, I discovered the hens gathered by the coop's entrance and the cat sitting just inside the door giving them the stinkeye. I didn't know chickens could swear! The Midas Cat The Devil Wears Tabby by Tommy Ellis
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Published on April 14, 2020 09:58

April 12, 2020

Farm Life

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Published on April 12, 2020 03:17