Friday, October 19, 2007

Trip Recap, part 1 Sheep.

So, I'm back. I got in Thursday night, around midnight, and my family stayed at mine for the night. We were all wired, and went to bed around 2:30, waking up at 6. Then yesterday, I was knackered, and fell asleep on the sofa, waking up all confused, crawling into bed and waking up this morning around 4:30. Good times. The weather has been rainy today and my knees are swollen like softballs. Interestingly, when in france, my lower spine swelled, too, that knob, above your bum and below your back was all swollen, and I kept joking with Moose I was growing a tail. I had a really wonderful time, and as always, when I visit England, I really have a hard time leaving.

I remember the first time Adam took me over. We'd been together about 3 months, and I knew I would marry this man. I was really nervous about visiting for the first time, because I knew there was a good chance we'd live there someday, and I was hoping I wouldn't hate it. I loved it. It's a difficult thing to explain, but going to England felt like going home to me. When I'm there, it's as if I can feel my pulse slow, my shoulders relax. I love it there. I always thought I'd live there with Adam someday, and now it looks like I may live there on my own someday. The main problem is expense. My in-laws are in a really beautiful part of the country, and even a teeny-tiny two bedroom would cost me around 550K. Ouch. I just wish I lived close enough to have my nephew for weekends, to see my sister more often, and to just... be there. Sure, it's not a perfect country, no country is, and maybe if I lived there some of the shine would come off, but I do love Blighty.


The trip to France on the Ferry was fine. I was really impressed with the ferry, being more used to the Cape Cod- Nantucket Ferry, and I thought it was really quite good.

We arrived at our Gite (more on that later), and the first thing I was thrilled to see were...


Here is the view from my bedroom window- eat your hearts out.

That's an apple tree they're hanging out under.

What's that? You want more sheep? Of course you do!

Sheep on the run! Everyone except me loves lamb, and so every time they'd do they're little stampede, I'd shout "Don't run, I'm not a sheep eater, I'm not a sheeeeep eeeeeater!"

Now, most of the sheep were really shy. Except two. One was a lame sheep, who kind of broke my heart. We called him gimpy. My father in law would get us fresh bread and croissants each morning, and each night, there would be a tiny bit left, which we'd feed to the sheep. I am seriously hoping the odd crust of bread won't hurt them. Gimpy was the first one to come over and eat out of my hand. He was missing a hind foot, but got along ok.

This is me, feeding Gimpy. And here is one of my favorite photos of him. Or her. I'm not sure. There was only one definite ram in the bunch, which doesn't mean there weren't more. It's a little blurred, because there was always low light. We'd wake up with insane fog every morning (which is the only reason the area wasn't bombed in the war-- fog), and then we'd get home at dusk.

So that's our beloved gimpy. Sometimes we'd find apples on our side of the fence, and Ben would feed them to Gimpy. Near the end of our stay, much to our surprise, we were standing near the fence, and all of a sudden one of the sheep ring leaders came running up to us, to be petted and scratched. We found some left over bread and fruit for her, and for the last few days, every time we came out, she'd run over to the fence. Now, I'm especially curious if anyone can tell me what kind she is, her wool was so soft, I'm guessing Merino, but I'm sure people here can tell me.

Here are a couple more sheep shots.

Now, everyone in the family kept asking if I knew what sort they were. I, shamefully, did not. Bizarrely, I can feel a sweater and tell you it's fiber content with pretty good accuracy, but I don't know sheep breeds. And I should!

You can see the rest of the sheep photos here. I'd love it if you left a comment speculating on breed!

I did not knit as much as I thought I would on this trip. There WAS knitting, but we were out and about so much, and at night, we'd play games, so I really didn't have much knitting time, which was fine, but I packed WAAAAAY too much yarn!

Also my mother and sister had both said they wanted to learn on the trip, so I packed needles and cheap yarn for them, and when I'd ask if they wanted a lesson, they'd say NO! But someone did want to learn...

He did really well! It was hard, because by the time we'd get home at night, he'd be tired, and he'd have dinner and go to bed soon after, but he did enjoy the knitting, and once he got into it, he wanted to do it all the time. We'll work some more when I'm next over. I need to try and find him some short, fatter needles.

Ok, so that's all for now. I'm beat and in considerable pain, so I'm going to do some knitting of my own.

More on actual France tomorrow!


Blogger dancingnic said...

There are few things more satisfying than knitting in front of an open fire! What a brilliant beginning to a knitting career.

Congratulations on your convert :)

Loving the sheep!
Bring on part deux ;)

Nic x

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like you had a good time. At least someone wanted to learn to knit, good for him! Start saving your money, you'll live there someday, I know you will.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Welcome Home!

7:35 PM  
Blogger Batty said...

The sheep are so adorable!

And congratulations for introducing the next generation to knitting. I can tell he's having a grand old time.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Bertha said...

Yay, you're home! The Sheep, my God, the Sheep!

10:17 PM  
Blogger Josiane said...

It's good to see you back! Can't wait to read more about your time in France.
As for the sheep... I would have thought maybe Cheviot , but these have pricked ears, and yours definitely don't... but still, I'm thinking it's close. Otherwise, they look a bit like Friesian Milk Sheep but with a darker nose, like maybe British Milk Sheep. They also seem similar to Coopworth. There are quite a few potential candidates (and even more if we consider that they may be a cross breed), and I probably have missed a lot of other breeds that could match. In short, I don't know exactly what breed they are, but they clearly are not Merino...

10:44 PM  
Blogger Beverly said...

So glad to see you're home. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I have no idea what kind of sheep those are, but how damn cute are they?!

11:55 PM  
Blogger wickerwoman said...

Welcome home and I'm so glad to see you had a good time.

We're very accepting of people who grow tails here in the UK - you're welcome any time, hehehe. ;-)

4:59 AM  
Blogger Nell said...

Annie!! Your back! Thanks for sending me the Flickr link..

I'd say they're probably Charolais crossed with something local. One of them looks very like a Charolais, and that may well be the ram, to provide the cross. If you see what I mean. I have ahd way too many lectures on sheep in my time........ :)

6:03 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Welcome back, Annie! The sheep are so cute! I'm glad Josiane had some thoughts on the breeds, because I haven't a clue. I'm thrilled you enjoyed your trip, and had such lovely sheep so close!

3:01 PM  
Anonymous jennifer said...

Such cute sheep pictures! You know you have to frame a few and hang them up for inspiration.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Lanea said...

Oh, what a wonderful trip. I miss living in the UK so much. It's a wonderful place.

Great photos, good sheep, yay.

4:12 PM  

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