Posted by: kathandroger | December 4, 2016

Roots and the old Dog.

It is well and truly winter here now. Lovely clear days, frosts in the morning and the weather coming down to us from Russia. Another week of dry and sunny weather is forecast and all the outside jobs can be done. The wood burners are on in the house, and we are eating soup for lunch, together with our lovely delivered French bread. The only problem is that the frosts have prevented my lining the new fish pool as the special cement additive can only be used above 5 degrees. It really has been “taters in the mold” in the mornings, and something lively has to be done first thing to warm the old body up. Cutting logs works well, and mixing cement by hand is also good-actually it is not by hand but by using my old spade. And after a mornings hard graft there is nothing better than hot soup. We have done very well with the root crop this year. I am not sure why, as it was a long dry and hot summer, but we did water the ground well, especially when the sprinkler was left on all night by mistake.img_3611-2This is the root row in the garden, from the front chicory for forcing over winter,  swede, chard,parsnips beetroot and jerusalem artichokes. Kath dug a hundredweight today and I cleaned and prepared them for the chef. Should see us through next week at least, especially with a leg bone from one of our sheep added. The good life or what! Roots to me mean winter and the good old solid grub of many years ago, and with our spuds and squash storing well I don’t think we will starve this year. It all tastes so much better with a nice glass of wine at lunchtime, but it does sometimes mean a short nap is then called for!

Our old dog is just that. Over the past year she has changed from a lively postman chasing, sheep harassing, chicken bottom sniffer to a sleepy old lady. Her legs are giving way now, and she finds standing up difficult sometimes. She sleeps maybe 22 hours a day, and can only walk a few hundred yards at a very slow pace. She is still clean around the house, and is still keen on her food, and does not seem to be in any discomfort. Hearing is poor and her eyesight not what it was, and we are sure she only recognises people by their scent nowadays. But she is still a lovely part of the family, and always keen to be stroked and made a fuss of. We are taking each day as it comes, but both of us know that sometime over the next few months we will have to take the decision as to whether her time has come. We will know, I am sure, as I have been through the same sad decision before with my other dogs, but for the present we do not want to leave her alone, and all holiday planning has been made with at least one of us staying with her. She will be missed at the weekly market in Descartes as well, as lots of people recognise the dog before they notice us! Kath always grooms the old girl before market day, although she is not too keen, and her grumpiness on grooming is all part of her charm.img_3613-2Funny, faithful, friendly old thing, we hope you will stay with us a little longer.


  1. It is sad about Boudie, but as you said, you will know when the time has come. Until then be thankful she is warm and comfortable and continent, and you are there to take care of her. (Sorry — all that is trite and you know it perfectly well, but I wanted to say something sympathetic when there isn’t much to say really.)

    • thanks Susan, we really appreciate the sentiments.

  2. Sad time, she has been a serious, and occasionally frivolous companion you throughout your life in St Remy.

    • Thanks Paul, all the old girls slow down at some stage-except yours I hope!

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