Tues 9th August saw Shep stuck in a shed all day. Unfortunate, as it was one of those rare dry days, with sunshine as well, but the shed beckoned.
It was a long day, needlessly long really. Shep entered the shed at 8.30am and didn't exit until early evening. Shearing was the task in hand, late in the season but there are still sheep needing shorn and I was available to give a local shearer a hand out with 300 odd sheep which needed their wool off.
A pleasurable day it was and probably too relaxed, working for a really pleasant family shearing the last of their 1400 hexham blackfaced sheep. Everyone was smiling when we left the shed in the early evening. The farm was clipped out, our job was finally done and the sun was still shining.
The farm sat up on a hillside looking away across both the North Tyne and Rede valleys, a beautiful, clear and sunny evening the low light was accentuating all the rig and furrows on the hillsides. I loaded my gear into the car and just sat and soaked up the view. Pressure off it was a pleasure to enjoy the last sunshine of the day and soak up a view I was unaccustomed to, working out which farms I was looking upon from a different angle I was used too. Eventually a final crack with those I'd been working for and with, farewells were given and I went my way.
As I headed the car towards home I was aware of beginning to feel stiff, tired and hungry too. The final hours clipping had caught me out. Occasionally this season and invariably towards the end of the day I have taken the 'shakes'. A frustrating position to be in but one to be dealt with. The problem will arise from the fact that I don't always feel hungry and so when we stop for our tea time bait a cuppa will suffice, however and hour later and the body complains. The ideal solution is to devour a banana, high in potassium and energy it is a miracle cure and will set you on the way. Foolishly I had no banana on hand but a Mars Bar did as a substitute.
And so it was, my banana substitute was wearing off and dinner was beckoning as I drove home. But then I noticed an unusual sight in the sky and ended up pulling over and trying to get a photo.
The spot didn't fade or grow any bigger and eventually my desire to lie in a hot bath, don clean clothes and fill my belly with food had me on the road home again. Until I got even closer to home when once again I ground to a halt.
The following day it did indeed rain, in fact it came just an hour or two after the beautiful sight I had revelled in, the weather forecasters did not disappoint. I found myself in the company of the elderly cumbrian farmer whom I work for, an opportunity for him to visit my area and view the stock and farms he hears much about. A modest and humble gentleman prone to philosiphising we lightly covered the subject of the problems some of our cities were facing at that point in time. He quietly said "It's a bad job when people have to have, when they can't just appreciate the simple things around them" The memories of the past evening came to the fore and I appreciated how lucky we are compared to many.
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