Ch-Ch-Changes

We live near one of the very old paths that lead up the mountain. In the past, most of the local livestock was taken up the path in the Spring to remain on the high pastures all summer. One of our neighbours, he is about seventy years old, has told my bipeds stories of when he was a boy.

He said that once a week someone would climb the mountain with a donkey carrying food for the men who were spending the summer up there. He often went. The day before the trip, everyone in the village who had someone up on the mountain brought packages of food to his mother’s house. He would get up before dawn and load it all onto the donkey and he would set out just before first light. He would arrive at the pastures before the real heat of the day and spend the day up there, returning in the late evening.

Not many farmers take their livestock up the mountain anymore, but there is one farmer nearby who still takes his cows up every year. He brought the cows down a couple of days ago. They take nearly an hour to go past the end of our road. I don’t know how many there are in the herd. I would like to go out and supervise, but I’m never allowed to do more than watch from a distance!

Cows going by

Cows going by the end of our road

It looks really tranquil. Look a little closer and you will see that they are all wearing cowbells.

Cow with cowbell

Cow with cowbell

I had never heard cowbells until we came to live here. I had a romantic notion that they would sound pretty. I can tell you that there is nothing romantic about the cowbells in this area. They are purely functional and designed to be heard from as far afield as possible. The sound is like someone beating a big metal saucepan with a wooden spoon! Multiply that sound by the number of cows in the herd and you will understand why my bipeds say that they can’t hear themselves think when the cows are going by. Yet they still won’t let me go and hurry the cows along!

That’s two changes I’ve told you about – a seasonal one and a change that’s happening with the passing of the years. I now come to another change! I recently asked my bipeds to help me make some ch-ch-changes to my corner. They asked me what I meant and I explained I thought I’d like to give my blog a makeover.

There was hysterical laughter. They reminded me that my makeovers haven’t always been a success! They said the bathroom was a mess when I’d finished and that the bench in the kitchen collapsed. They laughed even harder and started talking about the changes I made to the water barrel in the garden and how I’d turned the lawn into a rabbit warren.

I waited patiently for them to come back to the matter in paw. They helped me decide what I was looking for in a new theme. The top of my list was that the theme should be responsive, so that it works well for you however large or small your screen.

I hope you think this makeover is a success! Please let me know if you have any difficulties with anything.

If you’re puzzled by my title, all will become clear if you listen to “Changes” by David Bowie.

See you next Wednesday!

132 Comments

  1. I too like the changes….and sympathise about the cow bells.
    I’d just gone to visit the new house in Spain when i heard something like the noise you describe in the lane alongside….a flock of sheep being driven from one pasture to another….
    I’d wondered what on earth the neighbours were up to!

    • Thank you. It is surprising how much noise the bells make when the animals are on the move. We also wondered what is was the first time we heard them close by.

  2. Beautiful new blog headers but your picture should be bigger. Inneresting story. Do you think any of those cows were valerian cows and if so can you send them to me?

  3. Lovely blog makeover Clowie! I think your bipeds had temporarily taken leave of their senses due to the effects of the cowbells and became hysterical when you suggested this change 😉 Don’t worry they can’t help these strange effects and no doubt will make a speedy recovery…eventually!!!! HoooOOOOOOooooooWWWWWwwwwwwLLLLLLLLL!!! Oh and Clowie….it will be time for the Galactic Winter Olympics in the not too distant future…snow chickens….chickens…chickens…. 😉 Hope you will be joining me when the time comes lol 😉

  4. Your blog makeover looks wonderful Clowie! When will our humans learn that our ideas are *always* good?! They do like to laugh at our expense sometimes, I’ve noticed that too. That’s so interesting about how the sheep were taken to the mountaintop for the summer, I wonder why? Better grazing? It’s kind of sad to see the old traditions end, although I’m sure you wouldn’t mind seeing an end to those cow bells! 😉

    • Thank you very much. I think there are a number of reasons why the animals were moved. The land on the mountain couldn’t be used for other farming, but the winter is too harsh up there for the animals. The land lower down dries out during the summer, it needs watering. They used to keep the animals closer to home in the winter, with shelter. They would be fed on hay cut during the summer.

  5. One tiny complaint I am afraid pal, for some reason on my screen I can only see half of what you have posted – the end of each line is missing. While I have very much enjoyed guessing filling in the gaps I (clearly typist) can’t figure out how to enjoy the whole story!

  6. The new design is very clean looking. I didn’t click on the Bowie song because just seeing it there is enough to get it stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

  7. Love the new format! Very clean and easy to read.

  8. Hey Clowie

    I’m sure you could get those cows moving past your house in way less then an hour!! Tee Hee

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  9. I love your new look, Clowie – especially the header photo. Gorgeous! I would love to watch the cow parade with you 🙂 BTW Big fan of Bowie – saw him live twice many years ago.

  10. I think I like it. The mountains are beautiful. But the photo of you isn’t large enough, Clowie. You’re a handsome dog.

  11. I like the new look, Clowie! Even if I’m old school and still do my blog posting and reading on my laptop and not a tablet or smartphone. Frankly, the apps for them frustrate me to no end! I bet it would be fun to explore that old cattle trail. What a great sense of history must be there.

    • Thank you very much! We often walk part of that track, parts of it are a very steep climb. The lower part is through pine forest which was planted to stop the land eroding when people stopped farming it. Then it goes through a forest of oak and box, which feels ancient. We’ve come across a few interesting ruins hidden amongst the trees – shelters for humans with corrals for the animals. Some of the trails in the mountains have arched bridges made of stone, which date back more than a thousand years. The mountains are fascinating for the history and the wildlife.

  12. Love the new theme, looks great!

  13. Ch Ch Changes can be very good! Our mom needs to do a bunch on our site too. The mom’s grandparents came from a small village in Hungary, and all the village cows went out to pasture together every morning and were watched by one of the villagers. In the evening, each went home for the night, and all knew where its home was and none needed to be told where to go.

  14. Fantastic new look but same sweet Clowie what a dynamite combination!

  15. Clowie, your changes are beautiful! It feels so peaceful here with the new colors. Our mom says she likes the cow bells; she even has one hanging outside as a windchime, but we bet she never had to listen to them for an hour. Have a good weekend! Purrs…

  16. Love the new look to your blog, especially that gorgeous header! We have some friends whose goats each wear a bell. Small, lovely little bells. However, when I was in Russia, the cows were belled and I know just what you mean about the noise 😉

  17. Clowie I was so excited when I saw your new look…It’s fabulous…Tell your humans they did a really great job and i’m jealous now…Momz has been promising me a makeover for months but she just can’t get it together…Now about those cowbells…I have a purple cowbell hanging from the doorknob of our front door…When I need to go leave some peemail I nudge it and Momz comes and lets me out…Good system, no? Have a wonderful week!

    • Thank you, Gizmo! I’ve been pestering my bipeds for ages, sometimes we have to be so patient with them! That sounds as though you have an excellent system with the cowbell on the door and I expect it sounds nicer than the ones on the cows here.

  18. I love the new blog theme Clowie! Nice and BIG so I can see it whether my contacts are in or out.. 🙂 I think I have been checking out new blog themes about the same time that you have. I was hoping if I found something fresh and new I would stop PROcrastinating and get excited about blogging again. I love the story about the cows but I wish the bells sounded lovely and romantic and not all loud and clang-ie(word?). I think this beautiful blue color just seems to go with your pretty coat!

    • Thank you very much. I wanted something that is clear to read. I’ve been looking at themes for a while – it’s difficult to take the plunge! I wish the bells sounded as romantic as I’d imagined they would! It’s a good thing they don’t go past the house more often.

  19. We love the ChChChanges, Clowie. I noticed them straight away, though took the human a minute or three!! mol.

  20. Love the changes! The blog looks great, and how entertaining to watch the cows on the move! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  21. Oh Noes!! Now Mom will want to change me!! Pawsome Clowie, simply pawsome bloggy makeover…we just luvluvluv it…and as always we so appreciate knowing you…paw hugs, Savannah

    • Thank you, Savannah. I’m really glad you like what I’ve done! You’ve had some updates not so long ago, your mom made you that beautiful new header.

  22. We like your new theme sweet Clowie. Mumsy saw this theme earlier tonight and thought of trying it. That is a lot of cow bells, Mumsy hasn’t seen or heard cow bells since she was young and believe us when we tell you that was a loooooong time ago. Hugs and nose kisses

  23. Pawsome Clowie, simply pawsome new look! Total success IMFO! So lovely and easy to read…I need to do same with my blog…but we are afraid to try…it is hard to read for sure. And as for cow bells, we think they are very harsh indeed!

    • My cats put their ears back as soon as they hear the bells in the distance. They don’t like it when they’re nearby!
      Thank you for your nice comments about my changes, I’m really pleased you like them. If you’re thinking of changing very much on yours, you need a test blog – I’ll email you later and explain.

  24. I love the changes on your blog, it’s kind of simple and relaxing to read around.

  25. I love your new theme Clowie! It is awesome! Mommy has been thinking about changing the theme to our blog but she doesn’t know what to do:( She wants us to ask you if it was hard? Mommy is afraid she will lose everything if she changes. She’s not too tech savvy! Have a great week and thank you for tweeting about the shelter dogs we posted about!

    • Thank you, I’m glad you like it! You shouldn’t lose anything, but it can be fiddly getting things just as you want them. I’m sending you an email with some advice.

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