Did you know that [counter] people have been having a skeg at my little autonomous region?


Castrating Pigs


The next leg of Terry’s terrific travels gets underway tomorrow with a trip to the Western Balkan countries of Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Montenegro and I must say I’m rather looking forward to it.

I’ve been to Croatia before back in 1984 when it was still Communist Jugofsaliva and I’m quite excited about seeing the mountains, ancient forests and historic towns and cities of Bosnia Herzegovina, but the fact that I am visiting Montenegro which must, I am sure, be the birthplace of big, bad and ugly Hugo, the daddy of great western movie themes, thrills me beyond measure or belief.

Sing everybody:

Dung dung dung dung dung

Oooh oh oooh ee hoo

But life in England can be interesting too, I have discovered. For today, while I was doing his feet, my elderly punter and old friend Ralph told me how to castrate pigs. All you need is a very sharp knife, a block of lard for use as an antiseptic and blood coagulant (these weren’t his precise words but I knew where he was coming from) and a sturdy pair of knees to trap said beast between. Ralph watched a vet doing this once and decided it was so easy he could have a crack at it himself, thus saving himself the ten shilling veterinary fee. He went on to do it hundreds of times for his friends . . . well for his friends’ pigs, I should add. Cats are a similar process apparently, but a little more tricky as they won’t keep still.

I didn’t use my scalpel on Ralph’s corns today. I kept it hidden safely away in its container and I gripped the fastener on my trousers as firmly as I could while I was in his house. He’s a nice old bloke of more than ninety years and always with a smile on his face and a tale to tell but on this occasion I wasn’t sure I trusted him.

But can anybody tell me, which was the first great western movie theme?


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