The World Of Bren

My World Seen Through My Eyes And All Kinds Of Other Crap

The Funny Farm…sounds like a place where you get put into a straight-jacket…

….and maybe we all SHOULD be in straight-jackets at a place called The Funny Farm!

This is a name that my friends have given our home and it is very apt and very fitting. Our home is a haven of mismatched stuff, mental animals, and humans that border on the dotted line of crazy.  If anything is going to happen…it WILL happen at The Funny Farm.

Proof of the name...

Proof of the name…

I live on a small holding with my dinosaur-man (and I mean this in the BEST possible way – no sexual connotations attached!), my mum and a bunch of excitable animals of various shapes and sizes.  The mixture of our various careers and animals makes for an interesting life filled with colours that don’t actually exist in the real world.

The creatures on this property include the following: 6 dogs, 6 cats (is that one dog for each cat?? – something like “our cats each have a pet dog” …), 3 horses, 2 donkeys, 3 hens, 1 rooster, 1 duck, and 1 ring neck parrot.  Oh, and then there are the 3 humans that rent the house from the animals.

Our home is never neat or clean (to the degree that I am sure my friends would like it to be!) and it is certainly an animals paradise.  All our couches are constantly covered with throws of various mismatched colours and patterns that are forever lined with a fine layer of animal hair.  Washing does not seem to help them.  It only seems to embed the           fur-lined-layers into folds of the blankets where the overused washing machine cannot reach. Black clothes and the couches are not good bed-fellows – even teetering on the edge slaps you with a neat fur-lined stripe across your rear which seems to remain embedded and evident in all forms of lighting.  It is safer to stand and drink your wine when coming home after a long work day.

We do vacuum….about once a month.  It is pointless doing this more often as our house is a constant thoroughfare to dogs, cats and the occasional feathered creature.  Our doors are always open for animals to come and go as they please.  The wind tends to whip around our house in a spiteful way that targets the back door alcove, forces its cold fingers around the door into the kitchen, gets sucked through via the dining room door into the lounge and out through the lounge doors onto our sun-patio, carrying with it bits of leaf, fine grains of sand and the tumbleweeds of animal fur.  The other wind-sucking action is created from our bedroom which opens onto the dogs patio (yes, they have their own patio), sweeps through our room, into the passage, meets up with the kitchen-whirlwind and whips through the lounge, out the lounge doors onto our sun-patio carrying additional bits of leaf, fine grains of sand and the larger tumbleweeds of animal fur.  We could create our own Savannah with the amount of sand, twigs, grass, and the wildly unpopular animal-fur-tumbleweeds.

Our home has been known to contain some odd creatures over the years.  We once had a Cape Fur Seal pup that spent a night in our bathroom (IN the bath) before it was crated and taken to my previous work with me the next day for rehabilitation and eventually release.  Adult and baby African Penguins have also been regular wanderers in our kitchen, lounge and bedrooms.  They have remained with us in our home from anything on 2 hours to a good number of months.  My mum and myself were at one stage heavily involved in marine animal rehabilitation and both worked at a local oceanarium which, by default, became a facility for rehabilitation of penguins, seals, flying ocean birds, turtles, and basically anything marine that required assistance. I do also remember a large Loggerhead Turtle that I transported from Jeffreys Bay (in my 1972 Combi Camper) through to our house where it spent a happy night splashing in the large water-crate that we created for it in our bathroom.

How do our animals react to all these sudden, strange additions in our household?  With interest, wariness and grace.  They have become so used to odd additions that they look at us with an expression of disdain that very clearly says “Oh no, not ANOTHER one!”  Some of our cats have become extremely fascinated with the creatures and will spend hours congregating around the box holding a penguin just to get a glimpse of a penguin-eye or beak above the level of the box rim.  The braver ones have stood up on back feet resting front paws carefully on the box and peer inside to get a good look at this bizarre creature that smells of fish but looks nothing like one.  We even had a dog that would lie on guard as close as possible to the weird additions and become very concerned about them when the time came to work with and feed them.  We used to ask her “Where’s the baby?” and she would go to stand at the door of the room where they were being kept for their own sanity.

Our property is approximately 1.8 hectares and is a free-roaming home for our horses and donkeys which is great for them, but for us…..??  Not so much.  Our horses are very well behaved but the donkeys are sneaky, clever, annoying, destructive, and many other adjectives that I would not be allowed to type in a blog-site.  But they provide laughs all the same.  They wake us up at ungodly hours of the morning demanding breakfast with foghorn-type bellows that have the harbour masters about 20 kilometers away looking out their windows for fear of a runaway ship that they did not spot.  They destroy items that you think would have no interest to them.  They eat stuff that would cause any other animals system to shut down and scream for help.  Stuff like fibreglass, resin, pratleys putty, magazines, boxes, foam rubber….and the list goes on.  They eat it all.  They show no signs of discomfort.  They survive.

My boss gave me a hanging wooden plaque that states boldly and clearly “Welcome to the nut house” – the nut house indeed.

The Nut House Indeed

The Nut House Indeed

A magnet on our fridge also states “A clean house is a sign of a wasted life” – another reason to vacuum less.

...less vacuuming needed...

…less vacuuming needed…

Although we don’t have a home that is filled with beautiful, neat, clean pieces of furniture, where everything is spotless and in its place, we have a home that is lived in.  It is a small hub of activity, rushing animals, fur-lined seating areas, items that are functional, and placed in areas where tails and noses cannot reach.  It is a place that each one of us calls home.  

And if you don’t like it…..then don’t come and visit.

The Funny Farm

The Funny Farm

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