entertainment part II
show biz

lame ass

I intended to update you last week as to our Nod-and-Smile session: success thereof, but life intervened in the shape of a DONKEY DRAMA. I know that sounds rather absurd, but I suspect those of you who have ever had livestock of any description (I refer, for instance, to HFF, the redoubtable farmers) will merely nod in weary fashion and say, yes, this kind of thing happens all the time with animals. There is Always Something.

In a nutshell: when my horse Smokey, the Oldest Horse in the World finally departed this life, his companion, a small, elderly black mule of uncertain temperament (not to mention parentage) called Jenny was left surprisingly forlorn and depressed. This was odd, given she never much liked him when he was alive. It appeared the Jenzer was indeed a herd animal, however anti-social, and so it was that an emergency donkey called Cromwell was delivered. He was a five-year old brash upstart and hemaphrodite, (seriously. He has udders.) now "resting" after appearing in Tudors, the BBC series, (also seriously) which was made down the road.  He played a.. donkey, I suppose. As opposed to the back half of a human!

(Oh dear. I might be getting a bit giddy. Over heated, perhaps.)
(Also, this isn't really a nutshell, as it turned out. Apologies. I will wrap up the donkey story now.)

Last week he was reported by my mother, (with whom he lives) (though in a field, you understand)(not in the living room) to be lame, which meant I spent the entire day on Friday at their house waiting for farriers, trying to contain an outright rodeo situation (he didn't much care for being poked in the abcess in his foot) and running around buying carrots, poultices and duct tape.

I think we need a picture:

(He is on the mend now, thank Heaven).

This may not be the most seamless link to our adoption meeting but we could find ourselves in the next millenium if we wait until I have time to write that post separately. It went well, I think. We nodded, tutted and smiled at all the information, as required. You know, normally I am broadly in favour of big government but I found it irksome that Mammy Ireland has some "issues" with the US's interpretation of Hague. Specifically, they raise the question of why Americans do adopt internationally but not domestically. Which..? - is that even accurate? Who do? Show me the statistics, then. And if so, how are we meant to respond to that, except by saying we don't know? We are talking about many many individuals making personal choices! I mean, really. Also, the International standards body put fostering within the country of origin above international adoption, which, also, really? The fact that we speak the same language and are immersed in American culture, visit regularly and that the JB has a US passport don't count. Though of course they do

I understand there have to be guidelines and rules - they are there to protect the vulnerable. I am not pretending to have the answer to this - I know it is not straight-forward, and potential problems have to be raised. There is, at its heart, pain inherent in adoption, but that at the same time, it can be a wonderful, positive thing, when done in the right way. We know this. This is the complicated thinking the adoptive family must grapple with and be able to resolve so that one day they can explain to the child that everything was done properly in his or her name, with due respect. We have thought of these things.

/End rant. The papers are being processed. After that, we can have them progressed by the agency.

The weather continues to be beautiful over here, warm and breezy and not excessively melty, though I hear from my trusty BBC Radio 4 that summer storms are on their way to the UK. Ooh, thunder! Hold on to your hats, friends. I hope it will be invigorating rather than frightening.

Be well.




"...emergency donkey called Cromwell was delivered. He was a five-year old brash upstart and hemaphrodite, now "resting" after appearing in Tudors, the BBC series..."



The donkey part was hilarious!

On the adoption questions, er... how are you supposed to know?


How does one get an emergency donkey? Is he a permanent resident, or just on vacation in the Irish countryside?

Americans do adopt domestically, but it seems to take longer than international adoptions. We are not good at waiting. Also, there are enough horror stories (about judges ruling adoptions invalid after the child has lived with adoptive parents for a couple years), that I think many people are afraid. But, of course, the best answer to that question is "How should I know?"

Valery Valentina

HFF is right of course.

Former colleague of mine ended up with an emergency petting zoo. Got a goat for the horse. But then the goat started crying whenever they wanted to ride the horse, so they got another goat...
(yes, horse was so upset that upon return he would go to comfort the goat first and only let his rider dismount later...)

brain is molten, will try again after storm has cooled us down...

Dr Spouse

Fab. Just nod and smile. Here's to a short wait!


I did, for just a moment, picture a donkey sitting in your mother's living room:) Poor foot! And it took me a moment to realize wherefore the duct tape.

Not sure of the statistics, but I've known Americans who have done one AND Americans who have done the other. I don't understand the ins and outs, but both happen. And, yes, what kind of a response are you supposed to make to that?


Maybe, just while he's poorly, your mother could invite him in. I'm sure he's no trouble. And they could write a blog together about being/caring for and intersex equine! Sure to make them famous/famouser. And then, I imagine, you'd get a much more interesting line of questioning at those interviews.

I can't imagine how you're supposed to answer that question, either. I have remarked here before that I find the idea of the US as a sending country surprising, given that I do know plenty of people who have adopted domestically and plenty more who'd like to. But again, how on earth are you supposed to answer that question?

Anyhoo, I am already thinking up stages of the cooking lessons.


My favorite part is the EMERGENCY DONKEY. Is the E.D. available for any crisis? Like if I'm feeling blue, or my students aren't seeming engaged in their work? A close second is the general idea that, aggravating questions aside, there's forward movement on Operation Adopt.


I have to agree with HFF. Twangy wins the internets! Because just the thought that the donkey was named Cromwell was enough for me, let alone the rest of that story. And then The Tudors! Oh my.

Despite the long winding road of meetings and Mammy Ireland it does sound like progress is being made, Twangy dear. For this HURRAH and a nice cup of tea and plate of Jaffa Cakes.


Yes, indeed, Andie, Cromwell is an unusual name, isn't it. Not to mention sort of politically sensitive, in Ireland, what with - you know - history and everything. All very peculiar.

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