The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


All animals are equal but…

Posted in Cottage tales, Min Pin dogs | 10 comments

All animals are equal but…

Having fallen sleep on the laptop I woke at 4.30 am and crept up to bed. The hottie was still warm and the Min Pins welcoming. Danny was deeply asleep. My alarm wakes me at 8.15 am but I’d opened an eye at seven. The Contessa was feeling sprightly and wanted to play. She drumed on my chest demanding attention (at 56 dog years she should be quietnening down). She was joined by Inca who raced frenetically around the bed (we call this race-tracking). Danny was talking to India in his home office next door and Dr Quito and I just wanted to...

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Decorating the cottage: update

Posted in Cottage tales | 11 comments

Decorating the cottage: update

As I only have outdoor painting jobs at the moment, the persistent soft Irish misty drizzle has meant that I’m working on our cottage instead. Repairing and decorating the inside. Danny works from home so we have spent more time together than we have for months. His mini kingdom is the Rat Room. Here he works on his laptop with a diary full of conference calls and deadlines. “Please make sure that The Contessa doesn’t creep upstairs to nest under the duvet. If she barks when I’m on a call I look/sound like a schmuck.” The kitchen is...

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Cats, dogs and the healing power of laughter

Posted in Cottage tales, Fun | 21 comments

Cats, dogs and the healing power of laughter

When I first moved to the countryside 25 years ago, I was given two kittens. I had this harebrained idea that I’d call all my pets names from the shipping forecast areas. It seemed a nice and neat way to progress. Cat wise this was easy. I eventually settled on Finistere and Faeroe (the vet thought this is how Faro was spelt as I had no idea). Dogs would clearly be called Dogger, Fisher and possibly German Bight. But when I bought my first Min Pin the dog names didn’t seem to suit this diminutive hero. Dogger and Fisher were shaggy dog...

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Dogs and poisoned rats

Posted in Cottage tales, Min Pin dogs, Wildlife | 19 comments

Dogs and poisoned rats

Last night I returned from work and found the dogs squabbling. I suppose our three and Great Aunt Daisy Beatyl make up a pack. A flock of hens can be tricky to manage but a small pack of dogs can be a nightmare if you are tired and just want to chill. If they are not dozing in their baskets they are sorting out their pecking order. Inca, the youngest, challenges each dog in the pack regularly. It is not restful. Yesterday The Contessa growled and snapped for far longer than usual. The key dog beds are two small cat igloos that sit under the...

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