My enforced prolongation of stay in Romania is throwing up all sorts of wonderful things.
Not least is the fact that rather than 120 odd goats we now appear to have more than 150.
At this time of year they are out in the fields in groups of 10/15, being looked after by young boys, who might be described as Peter's descendants ( That's Peter as in Heidi). Quite how I own all these goats is completely beyond me. The good thing is that it is creating employment where there was none before and the cries of horror at the size of the herd have diminished as more and more people are taking care of them. I think there are now 14 in total, with the boys on about GBP2 per day, with the seniors on about GBP6. It is of course 7 days a week, so there are opportunities to rotate work as needed.In the winter they are all indoors, so far fewer people are needed to look after them.
The first of the Billys went off to market and fetched about GBP300 each, so it's all woking out quite well though my fingers are firmly crossed. At last count we should be selling about 40 so we are firmly on course for a small profit this year
Goats, of course, eat their way through everything, so we have had a policy of getting them onto the worst land that needs cleaning up. Once the goats have chomped their way across, planting or reseeding is a doddle.Yesterday was spent all day in the fields, and a serious suntan is now in place. The butterflies and lizards were also stirring, and Transylvania is back to it's magical best.
I have a new camera which is simply wonderful - I have lots of really good pictures of my feet or the sky, but not many of anything else. Naturally, I don't have the instruction manual with me, nor would I read it if I did - it's a man thing. Fortunately, Alin is always on hand, and spent the whole evening early last week working out how it worked. At least I can now take a picture, look at it and erase it too.
Out here, sometimes amazing things happen for no apparent reason.
Alin was approached a few weeks ago by a man who couldn't pay his gas bill, begging to sell us a piece of land.
It wasn't where we wanted it.
It wasn't near anything else we owned.
It wasn't that easy to access.
It hadn't been worked for some years.
There were title problems, inheritage problems ( as Alin calls them) and even a problem with his ID.
Elena, the Capo of the local food Mafia in Nemsa, asked us very politely if we would please buy it, as she owed the man a favour. Reluctantly, Alin agreed to buy it, after his usual " Mr. King, what you tink?" elicited a shrug of my shoulders down the telephone.
One of the magical things here are the picnics people have. Barbecue is almost a religion. The Mayor has a good spot, set in the trees, but without much outlook. I've been looking for a spot where I could have my barbecue. Two or three areas have come up, but all of them just lacked a little something.
So yesterday we went to look at the land Alin had reluctantly bought, and slaved over to get the paperwork in order.
To say I was charmed would be to put it too mildly.
The land sits above Nemsa, looking straight down the valley and across the village, nestling in a kind of hollow below a wooded hillock.
We both just stood there gazing about.
" Mr. King, I'm thinking this will be your picnic spot."