The Sock Diary

Musings of a part-time Sweaty Sock.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Holiday... and Sheep-Worrying

We got here, and it's beautiful (and raining). The cottage is at the foot of a fell, with the front windows looking out onto a small wood, full of various birds. SocksWife has identified a coal tit, a pair of chaffinches and various others that I haven't noted.

It was a long old drive. About 5 and 1/2 hours to cover 305 miles. The last hour and a half was winding, up-hill-and-down-dale lanes, laughingly called A roads (SocksWife pic/video to be added when I have wi-fi access). Good clean driving fun that.

We listened to the ipod on the way up using our new CarDock FM (obviously we were in the US as it's not allowed in Britain). Stuck it 88.1 and it didn't glitch once. Listened to some podcasts, a bit of opera (a result of SocksWife watching a FlashMob opera, wasn't bad actually), and some of my largest playlist - Not Listened To Yet. The CarDock beats the iTrip into a cocked hat. The quality and strength of the broadcast is way better, it's easy to retune with the buttons, unlike the iTrip, and no faffing around trying to find somewhere to mount the ipod while driving.

When I transferred all my data to the Mac, I also moved the iTunes library. The way I did it meant that all my playlists, play counts, and ratings were reset (d'oh). I also embarked on a reasonably aggressive burning of the rest of our CD collection, which I hadn't got round to putting on the PC. Warning, before reading further, please note these CDs stretch back to when CDs first roamed the earth, so some song references may distress those of a delicate disposition. This has resulted in the Not Listened To Yet playlist which is set up to list anything with a play count of zero and a genre not including Podcast. Set the ipod on random play, press play. Can be really good, can be really horrible (part of the Four Seasons followed by Billie Piper - Because We Want To anyone? Shudder). Only 1487 tracks to go, amongst which I note many Abba songs (ouch), a couple of Backstreet Boys tracks (neeeeerr), Gerry Halliwell, Adam Ricketts, 911, Honeyz, arrrrrrgggghhhh. One too many Now That's What I Call Tat No 23's I think.

When we got here I was knackered, but we decided to go for a walk up onto the fells just to make sure we didn't want our money back ;) (couple of pics when I get access). It's a hell of steep path up, but worth the five mins of agony to get there.

I made the decision to let the dogs off the leads on the way back down, as the sheep are safely in their fields at the moment as it's lambing time, so they're not wandering free around the fells as usual.

We took the long way back, should have been 10 mins, but Kate (small golden dog) turned into a olympic high-jumper and a "his dog" from "One man and his dog", without the man, or the training, but - horrifyingly - with the sheep.

She evinced no interest in the sheep in the field next door at all, sauntered off back towards the house, then turned, pawed the earth like a fast bowler starting his run up, and launched herself at the dry stone wall. Everything went slow motion as I realised where she was going: cue lots of slow moving flailing arms, slowed down voices saying "Nooooooooooooooo", and a very excited little dog.

Kate made the jump and set off after her first sheep, who, sensibly I felt (sense being something I don't often associate with sheep), legged it towards the farmer's house, four fields and two valleys over, baa-ing about the indignity of it all and collecting other sheep every 50 yards. Kate was loving it. I hurdled the wall and set off after her at a run, visions of dead sheep, throats ripped out, and a bloody Kate being shot by an irate farmer at point blank range.

Running across the first muddy field, cursing Kate, cursing Philip Morris and Co, I watched her disappearing over the top the next hill, ten sheep running like stink in front of her, baa-ing their hearts out. To cut a long, soggy, muddy, bog ridden story short, I got her back, berated her soundly (she's been really good since), and dragged her back across three fields by her collar cos I'd dropped the lead when I hurdled the wall. There were no sheep killed, although they'll probably be in counseling for the next three months. I really thought she was dead. They're both staying on the leads for the rest of the holiday. Nothing pisses off anyone more round here than sheep-worrying dogs. It's completely legal to shoot them on sight, and rightly so. I've learnt a lesson.

One day we'll laugh about this....

Rather excellently, there's a leaflet advertising wi-fi access 4 miles down the road. I am going NetStumbling on my way there. Hopefully someone in the village will have an unsecured wi-fi net I can piggy-back on. I'll try and find out who it is so I can ask nicely.

To blogging matters, I tried to start up Radio Userland before writing this, but it needs a net drop to set itself up properly on the first run, so I'll have to try it later. This was typed up in TextEdit and will be pasted into Blogger when I get net access. Hopefully I'll be able to upload a couple of photos to Flickr too.


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