Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A steep learning curve!

You live and learn and one of the things we keep doing is wasting money on things that aren't man enough to do the job. It's a false economy every time.
This year we bought a new pump for the pool - it kind of worked, but now the pool has gone a shade of green that isn't conducive to a relaxing swim. When the colour started changing I was calling it 'aqua' for some time and it looked like some kind of lake water - but now it is unmistakably green. I have tried countless chemicals and cleaning it but there was nothing for it, we needed an effective pump.
Luckily there was an advert on Angloinfo (a website) with just the thing - a sandfilter and pump. The owner lived a bit of a drive away, but it was lovely just to have a day away from the house and get out into the countryside.

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived was the most enormous pig I have ever seen. It was a Tamworth called Kinnock (because he is ginger and ugly apparently!!)and was huge. About 300 kilos apparently. The owner said that the previous week he had gone in to repair his sty and Kinnock had laid down on top of him. Any attempt to push him off had failed with Kinnock thinking he was being scratched rather than pushed which resulted in the pig pushing back on the man even harder. He was there for an hour before Kinnock wandered off and freed him.

We started discussing pigs and I mentioned how I was trying to research castration as the two young boars I have bought are not castrated and now I understand that if a pig hasn't been castrated the hormones in the pig can affect the taste of the meat ( what was I saying about learning curves!). The guy advised that we had the pigs slaughtered at six months before the hormones would affect the meat, but I don't think they will be a sufficient weight to go off by then. My plan is to go down to the vet and get some proper advice on the subject.

I 'Youtube'd' how to castrate a pig and it all looks very straightforward, but at 3-4 months old I think it's a job for a vet, although in France I understand it's not something the French always bother with.

The filter and pump are now installed and as they were originally for a big pool and not an inflatable above ground one I am hopeful we will soon have lovely clear water. Probably just in time for the weather to change!


  1. Hope the new pump works and you swim in something other than pea soup now!

    Can you imagine spending an hour with a pig lying on you, the mind boggles.......LOL Diane

  2. Thanks diane - the pool doesn't look very appealing at the moment but I'm hoping it's a temporary blip!!.

  3. Lester says that he will be doubly careful about our Tamworth boar because he often nudges him and tried to push him over! Hope your pool gets cleaner soon. Hope you sort out the undercarriages of your Tams to your satisfaction.

  4. Bit past the rubber band stage, aren't they?

  5. Good luck with the pool pump. We have a pump and a big sand filter, but there's always something likely to go wrong!

  6. Yes they are Helen!! It would have to be a pretty large band and thanks Jan - I hope it sorts itself out - the pool is still green as I type. bummer.

  7. I'm sitting on my hands trying not to google: "How to castrate a pig"

  8. :) you'd be amazed what you can learn on google or you tube!!


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