Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Billy Goats Gruff

No, despite the title, this post is not the long promised Fairy Tale Friday story (sorry, sorry, sorry for the ongoing delay. It goes without saying that I am aiming for this Friday, but then again I am always aiming for 'this Friday'...)


This is a post about goats. Not the three billy goats gruff but two real-life lovely (non-gruff) goats. Goats that are coming to live with me in six weeks time. Huge excitement!

Gluckskafer wooden barn with Ostheimer goats (and some of Humphrey's hay!)

Obviously they will be joining the crack team that is the Cottontails workforce, along with Humphrey and the runner ducks. I'm not quite sure what their roles will be yet. But if it's based on their skill set it's going to have to involve a lot of leaping, bleating and nibbling. All valuable skills in the online retail sector.

A bit of background... I have always loved goats (not as much as rabbits obviously, such a thing would not be possible) and when my other half was trying to persuade to move to a small holding last year, goats were mentioned.

So I joined the Hereforshire Goat Club last summer to start finding out more about them, and in the autumn agreed to take two kids from a nearby farm community, Canon Frome Court. They kindly offered to keep the kids for us until this spring, by which time we hoped to be moved into our small holding.

In fact, we won't be moving into the small holding ourselves in until the summer now, but the kids will be moving in ahead of us - Easter weekend to be exact.

For months I have been spending Tuesdays at Canon Frome Court, helping with their small herd of goats and bonding with the kids. It's been an incredible learning experience and will hopefully make things a bit less daunting come Easter weekend.

The kids, now nine months old, are a lovely nanny goat called Martha, and her neutered brother Rufus. They are already alarmingly huge... This morning I took Martha for a walk - about 50 yards. It took half an hour and was a truly exhausting experience. And then Rufus ate the buckle off my left wellington boot.

Anyway, I will be uploading photos and telling you all about them in the months ahead, and hopefully sharing lots of goat antics (of which there are sure to be many).

But in the meantime, I haven't been able to resist stocking a few goats at Cottontails....

Ostheimer wooden goat - looks a lot like Rufus!

Ostheimer wooden goat - yes, this is a typical stance

Gluckskafer felted wool goat

They are all available on the Cottontails website, just look in the Tiny Animals - Felt and Wood department.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Things to do...

My to-do list is as long as my leg at the moment. And it seems to be growing. Here is a sample:

1. Emails
2. Orders - packaging
3. Place ordrs
4. Put new Ostheimer products on website
5. (And new Gluckskafer)
6. (And new Snapdragon)
7. (And new Sting in Tail)
8. Edit photography of all the above
9. Finish first Fairy Tale Friday film
10. Branding course
11. Upload photos to Press Loft
12. Create Easter category
13. Add more to sale / more discounts
14. Email 10,000 people re sale
15. Stock count - urgent!!

I am not complaining, I am inspired and happy at the moment. Really the above list is there as an explanation and apology for the fact I have yet to finish my first Fairy Tale Friday film (number nine on the list) - which should be launching today (delayed from last Friday, delayed from the Friday before...).

Here is a little picture from it. Can you guess what the fairy tale is? It's not hard!

'take this basket of food to your grandmother....'

So, it looks like Fairy Tale Friday is going to be late again - I am sorry. The worst of it is that I have been promising it on our Facebook page for weeks now - I am worried that folks will be expecting something epic. Believe me, it's just a series of pics and a little story, quite why I can't find time to finish it is beyond me....

So - next Friday!