Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Christmas is past

Wow, all that fuss and Christmas is now past. It comes around at the same time every year and we are always chasing our tails to 'hit the target'! Then it is all over!!

It's been a funny one this year. Christmas day itself was great but the before and after was all a bit odd. Socialising didn't seem as sociable, due in main to almost every local event on the run up to Christmas being cancelled, poor travelling conditions also threw a spanner in the works preventing visits to friends further a field, just a tad anti-social really for the 'holiday' time, but hey, we all have a year ahead of us to catch up on everyone.

Farmers in Tarset found themselves with more work than usual on Christmas day, it had been -13c (the last hard frost) so water troughs needed defrosting for animals to have water in their sheds. Those living outdoors needed feeding. Those who could had fed as much as possible on Christmas Eve day, which is what Shep did with the sheep I've been feeding, they got a massive heck full of hay to see them through until Boxing Day. However, there is so much stock being fed at the moment due to the snow lying that it wasn't practical to stuff everything full the day previous and so there was more work than there would usually be on Christmas Day itself for the farmers.

Shep headed away for a family Christmas day. It was officially a white Christmas both in Tarset and the rest of our journey, there had been a fall of snow during the day lightening hours, only just mind - a dusting, nothing more but that is all that is needed for it to be official. We actually travelled on two roads which had drifts blown across them, small affairs but a surprise to find none the less. We had a cracking day, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, had a good laugh, caught up with family and came home exhausted and full - what more could you ask for? It seemed an even greater treat after the challenges of the weather on the run up to Christmas itself, the best Christmas present you could ask for, would sum the day up perfectly!

We had managed to attend the carol service at our local church on the 23rd, an extremely good turn out of folks for a rural church which was only accessible by icy, snowy roads. We were however late, only a mile and a half away and we were late! The other half was called out to assist a farmer to calve a cow and all did not go well apparently. The cow escaped and ended up in a field and took some coaxing back into the warm shed, you would think on a dark, frosty night she would have had the sense to remain where she was but oh no! she had different ideas which resulted in us trying to tiptoe into church whilst the congregation sang 'Silent Night', we may have succeeded better in our quest to be as quiet as church mice if they had been singing 'Hark the Herald Angels', but there you go, can't always have the carol of your choice!

Attending the carol service made me feel so much better, meeting people.......... having a crack....... and hearing such tales of woe........ Shep and the other half have been sick to the back teeth of defrosting our house pipes and yet here were people with burst pipes, no heating, flooded houses, some absentees laid low with what sounded very much like 'flu. Our problems were minor compared to those which had befallen so many others, we definitely had much to be thankful for.

We are rapidly heading towards the new year. The thaw has set in, damp weather is causing snow to melt, before long farmers will be complaining about the clarts (mud/mess), lets hope the burns and rivers can take this melt water and we don't end up with some flooding in lower lying areas. What will be will be, we can prepare for it but we can't stop it, we'll just have to be patient and see how things turn out.

2 comments:

pepper said...

Happy New Year to you and your family.

All the best, Pepper

Tarset Shepherd said...

Thank you Pepper and I return the compliments to you and yours. All the best, hope you have a happy and healthy 2011.