Saturday, 14 April 2012

Friday 13th

They say it’s unlucky for some, not so for me, turned out to be a great day. The shed ewes had kept me busy during the night, not so much lambing but with the number of problems lying around in the individual pens. My god it was a cold night, my lower legs were fair aching with the cold biting in to them, not having the sense to don willies and leggings in an attempt to have an extra layer of warmth I wandered backward and forth all night in boots and jeans. As soon as daybreak allowed the sheep found them kicked out into the field, believe it or not but the wide open space was warmer than the shed, probably due to the shed consisting of concrete and lying in a sheltered spot.

I trundled off to the hill, fingers tightly crossed that not too many problems may be facing me this morning. None. Yipee! There had been two pair lambed and I managed to walk the pair in from the day previous, all was well on the home front. Shep was happy and a beautiful morning it was too.

Back in in decent time saw me rush off to do some shopping. Food - that necessary evil. I had been trying to get away all week and failed on all counts but this morning luck was on my side. I have to say I had tried to do the “you shop, we drop” internet shopping thing but after 20minutes of trying to do my internet shopping I had only managed to get signed in, dongling is painfully slow and my patience had had enough and after all, I did have food.

I returned triumphant, if not somewhat ashamed that I hadn’t changed before heading to the shops, Friday morning is obviously a busy time for food shopping in the borders, my smelly lambing clothes did however afford me plenty of room whilst rumbling around the aisles, everyone I met were only too keen to ‘give way’ and let me through.

A quick bite of lunch and to bed I headed, the intention was to rise about tea time and head to the hill. That went by the way side as I didn’t come around from my comatose state until 6.30pm, which in all fairness had only been 5 hours in bed.

The postie had been, the local rag was through the door, not the local rag for this area but for back home. I take out a subscription for the six weeks I’m missing – terrified that I miss out on the local gossip, something might well happen when I’m away – we couldn’t have that!

I headed out to walk the dogs and peruse sheep (sad I know), get the wind through my sails and generally waken up. The lambing field appeared emptier than this morning. Soon they were heading into the shed, a total of 20. Woo hoo!! Just 20 left.

The shepherd had gone through them today, as often said these sheep aren’t scanned so geld (called eild in the borders) ones would be running with the flock, I had mentioned this morning that I thought a couple were indeed geld, not in lamb, they were beginning to bloom and peel around the neck and sure enough their company is missing tonight. Just twenty left – Soooooooo exciting!!

I’ll soon be able to kip at night and be awaken during the day – I just can’t wait!! There will be a transition from now onwards, me checking the shed later at night and earlier in the morning so as to enable some hours of sleep before heading to the hill, then before long it will all be over for Shep and the nights.

I set about making supper, lemon sole with salad followed by strawberries and banana – lovely! Nice food for a change to the meat and veg thing. I like meat and veg, in fact I live on meat and veg, unfortunately, to make life easy I make a big pan of mince, or stew, or cook a chicken, or a joint. Then for the following three nights I reheat the same meal, by the third night I’m looking at it wishing it could be something different, god help if it runs over to a fourth night!! So it was lovely to have a refreshing meal before commencing my night duty.

I also sat down to read the local rag, catch up on the gossip, of which there was none. There was however one article which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Titled “Inner city children are mesmerised by farm visit” and written by Emma Andrews who always manages to capture the moment and relay it through words, words you can understand which is even better.

A farm had had a visit from school children at lambing time, townie kiddies, many of whom have no idea where milk, meat and cheese originate from, it sounds like the visit had been a huge success and the children had thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

It is great to know that some farmers are willing to go to the effort to help educate those who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the countryside, it is so important for us in the sticks, who are the minority in this country, to be able to share and hopefully gain an understanding with the majority of the population of the country, those who live in the towns and cities, those who ultimately we are aiming to feed.

It has always been something close to my heart. Many farmers criticise the ignorance of the townspeople, which is justly unfair, it all boils down to education, how can anyone be expected to understand or be able to relate to our world if they don’t know about it and no one has the patience to explain?

So - the local rag gave me a boost, as did the supper of fine food, as did the fact there are now only 17 left to lamb in the shed, with another busy nesting at this very moment. Friday the 13th it may have been but unlucky it definitely wasn’t.

Eeh........... I'm sooooo excited! Not long now 'til I go to bed at night!! Woo hoo!!

3 comments:

Dafad said...

Good to hear lambing going well. Hoping that the last twenty are problem free and you will soon be back to more sociable hours, weather on the turn for much wetness though.
Our lot are nearly at the end of lambing,and so far no problems.
Have been back in thermals since my return, but not as snowbound as you've been nor in a shed at night.
Keep warmer lass!!!

Tarset Shepherd said...

Thanks Dafad, night in bed last night - was sheer bliss! Doesn't take much to please me! 'Tis cold, raw wind, thankfully dry at the mo', great to be able to see the weather tho'! Will catch up with your blog in a months time - dongling is painfully slow!

Dafad said...

A night in a bed. About time Shep!
Don't worry about catching up here, normal Dafad waffle about little things noticed in life(like our sheep & lambs!) It's just great to see the wee critters out enjoying their youth (unlike some of us past their best).
Rain due this week, stay as dry as poss.