• Lush Places

The Good Life: Kim, Kanye and Boris

Of talking cats and Kim Kardashian on a horse. By Michele Hewitson.

In the winter, when the nights are dark and crisp and clear, I go out into the paddocks and look up at the Milky Way.

Then, I turn on my torch, and the sheeps' eyes light up in the dark. I have the Milky Way above me, and around me. This is pretty magical.

Is it silent up there in space? Down here, the racket is never-ending. Even at night, if you are mad enough to go into a sheep paddock. Sheep are amazingly vocal, and no baa is the same. I can tell any sheep in our paddocks from its calls. Greg’s sheep, Xanthe, sounds like a fog horn; my sheep, Elizabeth Jane, sounds like Adele.

When they are in the orchard paddock, the paddock nearest the house, our two, and a couple of hangers-on — Sweet Pea, who is sweet, and Enid, who is a pain — stand by the stile and carry on all day long, which makes for a long day. It is entirely our own fault. We talked to our two from the time they were born; I have a theory that if you talk to any animal for long enough, they will learn to talk back.

I once had a cat called Boris. She was actually called Lei-lei for most of her long life. I got her when I was a toddler, and she died at the age of 17. Her name was supposed to be Grey — you may be able to guess what colour she was — but I couldn’t say Grey, hence Lei-Lei. I changed her name to Boris when I was 14 because I thought it was hilarious to have a lady cat called Boris. I had a very sophisticated sense of humour when I was 14; nothing much has changed.

I spent years training Boris to say “hello” in English. She could, of course, say “hello” in Cat, but training her to say “hello” in English proved a trickier proposition. I claimed, and claim still, that she did learn to say “hello” in English in the last year of her life. Nobody, except me, believes this. I don’t know why. Birds can be trained to talk, and if a bird can be trained to talk, why not a cat?


The state of my country wardrobe — to dignify it with a description it does not deserve — has gone from dire to precarious.

Much of this is down to Enid. She is a pocket biter. She sticks her entire face in my pockets, in order to extract biscuit crumbs. When she runs out of biscuit crumbs, she bites my pocket. I no longer have pockets; I have holes where pockets used to be.

I have been perusing a catalogue of country wear. I have my eye on a pair of waterproof and windproof (no mention of whether they are also Enid-proof) bib over-trousers from the “Lady of the Land” collection. They are not quite haute couture, and I would look like a sack of coal in them, but they would be practical.

It really doesn’t matter what you wear in the wide open spaces of the country. The chances of anyone seeing you are slim. Unless you are Kim Kardashian, who lives to be seen on social media.

It is hard to imagine Kim Kardashian in the country, but she is, it turns out, a bona fide country gal. Her husband, Kanye West owns the 1,400 acre Monster Lake Ranch in Wyoming. Sometimes she goes to visit, to do country things — and to take pictures to put on social media.

Here is a picture of her on a horse. The horse looks about as comfortable having her on its back as she does riding it. There is another picture of her and Kanye lounging in a hay barn. I have never seen bright green hay bales in our country parts. I have certainly never seen bags with $ signs on them in a hay barn.

And I have yet to see anyone in our country parts wearing bib over-trousers made of what appears to be faux lizard skin, beneath which nothing is worn but cleavage. I suppose such a get-up would have its practicalities: it would be easy to hose sheep shit off. But does it have pockets?