There are very few boring days at Les Fragnes, and today certainly wasn’t one of them. First up the bees. Actually, it was just a solitary bee’s nest. But it’s where it was that was significant. And that was?

Yes, it was on my coat. I haven’t worn that fishing jacket for a while. It’s been hung up in the hallway. Anyway, it was wet this morning, the tail end of last night’s rumbustious thunderstorm that had us awake for a lot of the night. So when I went out to feed Lambo and the turkeys and the chicks, I threw it on and thought nothing of it. I came back in and hung it up. Shortly afterwards, Chris noticed that part of the Berlin Wall – the ‘temporary’ divider between the llamas’ field and Lambo’s field built from pallets and other assorted wooden objects – had blown down. Oscar the llama had already wandered in to keep Lambo company. We went out to prop the wall back up. We’d done that and I was going to close a stable door that had come open, when Chris said, “Steph, take your coat off very, very carefully.” I recognised the tone of voice, and immediately realised that there must be something unpleasant clinging on my back. So, very calmly and carefully, I did. Chris took it from me and I turned round to have a look at the whatever it was. It was several pollen-filled cells of a solitary bee’s nest. No sign of an angry bee, fortunately. Chris had been puzzled by the yellowy thing on my back and had suddenly worked out what it was.

We have finally finished the Berkshire pigs’ field and today was moving day. Chris and Benj set up a corridor of poles and electric fence wire between the stable and the field. The rest of us joined them in strategic places in case of pig break-outs and we let them out. The first time they wouldn’t come out of the stable at all, and since it began lashing with rain again, we gave up.

Reluctant pig

A few hours later we tried again. This time they came out of the stable but wouldn’t go far. Oberon, the boar, got a few shocks from the fence wire and decided that was enough. He refused to budge. The girls weren’t that keen on setting off without him so Chris carried them one at a time to the field. They’re still of a portable weight. Oberon isn’t, so Chris and Benj settled down to play the waiting game. We’d already tried laying trails of sweetcorn, chopped bananas and apples but he wasn’t having it. He’d move a few paces but that was all.

Since the weather is so bad, it can only be the Nouzerines fête weekend, so Rors and I left the pig shenanigans unfolding and cycled down to see what was going on. Rors had set his heart on the loop a duck stall and a toffee apple. No toffee apples this year so I bought some buns instead. Rors caught his ten ducks and choose a plastic helicopter as his prize, which delighted him thoroughly.

We walked up the road to see the floats, a new venture for the fête, and then headed for home.

We were out about an hour. The only pig progress that had been made was that Oberon had sat down!

I went in to make tea and coffee for Chris and Benj. When I came out with the drinks, it was to see Oberon being dragged gently but firmly by his back legs into the field! The time had come for action. He sulked for a little while but the girls, who’d been having the time of their lives in the field, running around and squealing, came and bounced on him and he soon got up and stuck his head in the trough. Operation Pig Relocation complete!


Happy Rosie in the field