Thursday 25 February 2010

Pulling your hair out.......

Shep is losing hair - by the handful - as I pull it out in frustration.

A busy ten days lay ahead, four farms to gather for and assist at the scannings, that was the plan, - it is already beginning to go pear shaped .

Yesterday saw snow falling, now Shep had a tight schedule. Away by 6.20am would see stock fed for the farmer recovering from his operation before heading out bye to gather by 8am. Nae bother! Except, the slushy snow fall prevented my car from climbing out of the village resulting in returning for the quad and leaving a note for the better half (who was still tucked up in bed) to ring and warn the shepherd out bye I was likely to be running late.

The journey on the quad in the gloom and driving cold slushy snow was not a pleasant one, all the same I was impressed to find myself home to collect the dogs by 7.45am, no mean fete! Except there was a message that visibility was poor and to wait 'til 9.30 to find out how the day was panning out. Oh! I could have had an extra hour in bed!!!

The day panned out to be snowy and miserable with poor visibility and no gathering got done.

Today I was to gather on another farm, thick fog prevented this from happening also, again, I rose early to get the sheep fed before setting away to gather, again I could have had another hour in bed!

Tomorrow I will attempt to head out bye once again to gather, again I will leave home at 6.20am ensuring sheep are fed before reaching my final destination around about 8ish. It is foggy tonight but I daren't presume that will be the case in the morning, I need to get up and get on.

As the weather is preventing sheep being gathered more problems are coming to the fore. The shepherd out bye scans on Tuesday coming and needs three days to gather at the least. The farm I was meant to help gather today scans on Sunday coming and needs at least two days to get everything forward. Both places are considering they may have to contact the scan man and change their dates, an inconvenience for them and the person coming to scan. As for Shep? Well, as two other farms are to be scanned later next week and Shep has the sheep to gather there also it is possible that for all the efforts spent accommodating everyone, organising the diary and ensuring everyone gets the help needed Shep may well find it's not possible to re accommodate them if dates begin to clash.

Shep may find many early mornings getting sheep fed ready to go and help gather and scan only to have the rest of the day off. Days which can not be caught up on, days which do not pay the bills!

Scanning is the only time in the year when sheep must be forward on a set day at a set time. Every other time throughout the year when you gather it is a matter of as and when you can, a day or two lost is not the end of the world. However, with the scanning there is an outside influence - the contract scanning man who has you penciled into his diary and will arrive on that day. Force majeur is always accommodated but these men have hundreds and thousands of sheep to scan and run on a tight schedule. The end of the season is looming for them, which means if you have to re organise your date you may not have to wait many days.

Shep is praying that tomorrow dawns bright, that gathering can commence, scan dates are held to and valuable work is not lost, otherwise the busy ten days will result in many early mornings and very few days work.

On the bright side though.... Oh yes! there has to be a bright side! I have just about completed my books, these past few days of un accommodating weather have forced me into the office, along with the super ser gas heater, I have knuckled down and just about managed to make sense of all those scraps of paper that have been floating around the house for the past year. Books will soon be heading to the accountant and another job scratched off the list. And as for pulling my hair out? Well, I'll save a fortune on hairdressing fees!!