Saturday, 28 November 2009

small world - Lands End to John O' Groats

Aye! It's a small world alright. A few weeks back Shep was left reeling in shock - on more than one count.

Firstly a 'phone call from Cornwall, now that's away down south somewhere, not far from Lands End seemingly and they have sheep down there! Apparently some neighbours were holidaying in a farm cottage in Cornwall and the farmer mentioned he was looking for someone to lamb for him, name and 'phone number was handed over and a very interesting conversation ensued.

For starters I had never spoken to anyone who was lambing in October, I quickly realised he must have a flock of Dorsets and this was confirmed. I've met one in my lifetime - a white thing with pink skin on its nose and I'm not sure it was really pure or not but they have the ability to lamb 3 times in 2 years which explains why they must have been tupped in May (just as lambing was drawing towards a close in Tarset). Anyhow the main flock was due to lamb towards the end of February (does it not snow down there?) and unfortunately this was not going to fit in with Sheps workload or I could have found myself having a busman's holiday in Cornwall!

The second 'phone call in the same week came from Caithness which is the other end of the spectrum being near to John 0'Groats, now this call was linked to the blog. An enquiry about a photo that had been posted. Shep's cover has been blown, that I find quite unnerving............ seemingly a phone call from an auctioneer away up in the top of Scotland to an auctioneer at Hexham Mart soon revealed the identity and 'phone number of the 'elusive' Shep - there are obviously few 'peculiar individuals' in Tarset with 'the characteristics of a Cheviot' !! What a surprise!!

Both 'phone conversations were very interesting, although talking to complete strangers it is wonderful to be able to feel at ease with like minded individuals, the common denominator of course is farming, sheep and the weather. I received a brief synopsis of the farming practices from either end of the country, fascinating and enough to whet my appetite to head in both directions and see for myself. One thing that all three of us seemed to share equally was the weather, I learnt it doesn't just rain in Tarset !