I imagined my first proper day on a goats’ farm to be something like this: get up early, put on my ‘working clothes’, have a hearty German breakfast and then it gets a bit hazy… maybe move some hay around, stroke a few goats (can you stroke goats?), bottle feed the baby goats and wander around the farm.
Well, it wasn’t anything like it although I did wake up early. I wasn’t sure what time goats farmers start work, but I set my phone to 7.15am, which I thought was an appropriate time. However, I had been chatting with my aunt until midnight and then made the mistake of starting a new book about a fallen angel (I know, I know – don’t judge me – and damn you, Kindle!), so by the time I switched the light off it was nearly 1am and then I couldn’t sleep for ages because it was too quiet and too dark. So when my alarm went off, I promptly snoozed it. But I did get up around half 7, so really not too bad.
My aunt was reading in bed. So much for the early starts but my uncle had already left so I was satisfied. I did have a hearty breakfast and by the time we stopped chatting and got dressed, it was half 10! Got to the farm only to have my cousin’s nearly 3-year-old boy take one look at me, run away and hide. Not good for the self-esteem. Not good at all! Thank goodness, I’m used to children so I came prepared with a Union Jack Mini toy car. We were friends shortly afterwards and he’s called me Nikolaus ever since.
My aunt had already told me that the baby goats hadn’t been born yet, so I attempted to help my uncle build a house. For visitors – or paying customers as I should call them. I learnt how to use the electric saw to cut some wooden shelves or something – it was very exciting. But then I got distracted by the little one so played with him a bit.
They’ve got a massive dog as well, called Paul, and I made the mistake of stroking him (some animal had to get stroked that day and no baby goats, so Paul it was), but unfortunately that meant that I was then unable to go or turn anywhere without having some dog the size of a small pony trying to get my attention and running around my feet. I was covered in dog hair. Gross!
So, my day was mainly spent playing with the little one, trying to escape Paul, checking out the chickens, lunch back at my aunt’s place, playing with the little one, teaching him how to do ‘ne ne ne ne neee ne’ whilst wiggling my fingers against my nose, being abandoned with the little one, having the little one show me the way back to the farm – it’s only a 5 mins walk – practicing ‘ne ne ne ne neee ne’ on the way, playing football, trying to escape Paul, having cake and tea, having my aunt tell off the little one for doing ‘ne ne ne ne neee ne’ her face, having to confess that this was my fault, feeling 12 years old again, trying to escape Paul and finally checking out the goats in their shed.
I don’t know what I expected but after having been excited about this for days, it wasn’t quite as spectacular and mind-blowing as I thought it would be. They just lay there. Some of them stood around and ate. I’ll have to go back in with my cousin to get a better feel for it.
The evening was quite cool though as my aunt had suggested to go to a Klangerlebnis evening. That included a short talk about the benefits of music and waves produced by Tibetan singing bowls and then an hour lying on the floor listening to Tibetan singing bowls and massive gongs. It was great! Very relaxing, although I started to feel stressed when I heard my aunt starting to breathe quite heavily. She had clearly fallen asleep! One is supposed to relax and meditate, find one’s inner self and all that malarkey. Not sleep! Unbelievable. I got very stressed as I then worried about her starting to snore, so I kind of couldn’t enjoy the experience anymore. And how she managed to sleep with those really massive gongs being attacked, I have no idea. It was quite loud – I could feel the vibrations in my ears. Anyway, she must have woken up at some point because her breathing changed, and then somebody else started snoring but that didn’t bother me because it wasn’t family. I had a good evening, although I do often wonder if something’s wrong with me when I do stuff like that, which isn’t often. I find it impossible to stay in the moment and empty my mind. I always start thinking about emails, snoring, the flat, any old shit really. No inner peace for this German!
Tomorrow, my aunt is taking me to a pottery place. It’s all happening here in the German countryside.