Posted by: kathandroger | October 1, 2010

My first kiss and sheep slaughtering

We have become accustomed to the French habit of les bises – cheek snog for anyone you know, and sometimes even for people you don’t know. Usually however, the men tend to shake each other’s hand. We cycle with the local club, and last week I chatted to a chap called Titi.  Now Titi is well known locally as a perpetual cyclist and devours huge distances on his 40-year-old bicycle-last year he cycled to Germany to coach some youngsters. He is costeau – well muscled, although not the tallest, and lacks most of his hair and some of his teeth. We had chatted about UK-him speaking some of his little English and me speaking some of my little French, and generally got on well. I was though, a little taken aback when on his arrival this week he insisted on giving me a kiss on each cheek followed by a bear hug. I am not sure about me kissing the other male members of the club, it’s just not British, and I shall continue to  snog the women and shake hand with the men!

Three sheep are slaughtered!

Our lawnmowers have done a good job this year, but we knew the time was about right to put them in the freezer. Luckily, one of our other French friends is a retired butcher and offered to do the job for us. The problem with sheep is that they often are not keen on being slaughtered, and have to be caught before the job can be done. I know from previous experience that catching them has to be done gently and with patience, and although I am not much good at either, they did seem to be lured to their holding pen in the log barn when offered bits of bread and gentle words. The backup force (Kath), was ready with an old wire gate to chase them in, but unfortunately was unable to stop the hasty retreat of the last two males. Bugger! Needless to say, Nounous came in without any bother, and would have come into the house if we had let him, but the two other males were the ones we wanted to cull. To cut a rather long story short, I eventually managed to trap one male with the old gate and then rugby tackled the last one. It is a few years since I last did a rugby tackle, but I was determined he would not escape and tied his legs together with some string from my back pocket. My knots are not as good as they used to be either, so a second tackle was needed before he was finally caught. After that it was plain sailing, with our friend doing the neck slicing in the barn, then the skinning and gutting before hanging the corpses from some nails I had put into the beams. We left them overnight and the butchering was done with great efficiency today. The meat has gone to various friends, but, rather surprisingly to me, there was not much interest in the testicles or the brains, both of which had been so expertly removed. Looks like brains and balls for brunch tomorrow!!

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