So here I am writing this with soaking wet socks and sandals! Why is that, I hear you ask - more torrential rain in the region? No, I courteously reply - soddin' cows in my back garden!!!!!
...and before you ask - no, I didn't take pictures, I was too concerned with saving my herbaceous border.
To be fair, the cow was actually only engaged in the eating the grass - but let me start from the beginning....
There I was, at 10 pm, sitting on the sofa engaged in my favourite pastime of pulling back an old sweater and winding the wool into balls when I happened to glance up and through the glass of the back door to see a (pretty large) brown Limousin cow about 2 metres away.
I strode to and through the door in one fluid, easy movement, born of the urgent need to save my recently-planted herbaceous border which I was admiring proudly only this morning... I looked at the cow and the cow looked at me as if she wondered quite what I was doing there in her new field. I didn't know how she'd got in, but I was pretty sure she'd have to go OUT through the front gates, so I went round the side to open them.
As I rounded the corner of the house I found another cow munching in the front garden! OK this was a slightly smaller cow, but still somewhat bigger than me. Since she was happily munching grass and didn't seem bothered by me, I just walked quickly past her, keeping close to the house so as not to frighten her, and opened both front gates wide.
Back to the back garden I went and, picking up the clothes prop in case I need some protection, and proceeded to give the first cow a telling-off, asking her what the **** she thought she was doing in my garden and why she had had the nerve to bring a friend! I walked round the garden edge so that the cow's only route out was through to the front and, hopefully, the gates. However - she had other plans and simply jumped over the fence (a bit broken down at that point) and back into her field. Her friend looked at me and did the same. It reminded me of a nursery rhyme book picture I had as a child, where the cow jumped over the moon. Truly bizarre, this living in the country!
I have now put a bright yellow rope between the fence posts at cow eye-level, which I hope will prevent this happening again, but I guess I'll have to do something a little more permanent very soon....
The good news is that she didn't eat anything except the grass, as far as I can see, although it was nearly dark, and she was eyeing up my best dahlia as if she thought she might just chance one more thing before leaving...