Thursday 3 May 2012

Early May

I ain't too sure of the date but it is a Thursday and a notable day an' all. To start with the dongle wishes to work tonight................ my god! Slow it may be but at least it isn't crashing every ten minutes just when you feel you may be getting somewhere - now there's something of note!

I've got my car back. Yup! Shep has been car less for a week now, not that I've had the time to go anywhere but y'know, it's nice to know it's there should I wish to run away. Even better the nice man at the garage couldn't get the computer to sort up the bill, so I ain't had to pay for the new tyres, engine service and nasty expensive sounding oil leak. Doubt that'll be wishful thinking tho', dare say a bill will track me down eventually, I'll make sure I'm sitting down when I open it!

I shed in the Crunchylaw today, a huge disappointment as there are still a good number to lamb, there were also a few to many geld although it seemed at least half had kebbed (aborted) early on. Unfortunately the hounds are getting the blame for this. The farm is on the cusp of the ground of three hunt kennels, and were overrun with hunts and their followers prior to lambing time,it seems highly likely that it may well have been the last season for hounds running their trails on this particular farm.

Was that what made this particular Thursday noteable? NOPE!

The sun shone, all day in fact, there was no fog this morning which was a huge relief as Shep doesn't see through fog too well. The sun shone - did you get that, should I repeat it? The sun shone. I went off to the hill tonight in my jumper, discarded the top coat and fleecy jacket and drove off on quad airing my jumper as I went. Even more exciting was the fact I had my boots on and had been wearing them for many hours, wellies and leggings discarded for once, actually for the first time this lambing I donned my boots - now how exciting is that??

We've been very fortunate, there have been some crap days but going by the radio we are far better off than those drought ridden souls down south who are now complaining that it's raining, at least we haven't had all that rain. We have however had bitterly cold winds, and I mean bitterly cold. Easterlies, occasionally veering north easterly, bitter, bitter winds. I have been told that the old 'uns used to say when the wind got into the east at this time of the year it wouldn't shift for six weeks, that has caused me to frantically try and work out how long the easterlies have been with us - seems like forever!

The cold winds are causing problems, milk is going off some of the sheep, some twins are dropping off but then it's amazing how a mother can turn up for them, something which has a dead lamb is only too pleased to be given a replacement, that is what the twins are for after all.

There have been too many twins, I have twins still running on the hill as there was no room in the field for them, these are actually doing very well out there which is good to see.

I have just over a week left up here at the lambing before I depart for home, life isn't going to quieten down in those days, there is still as much ground to cover and as said too many sheep left to lamb, there are lambs going cripply which need attention, probably some form of joint ill which is an infection through the navel of a wet lamb which affects the joints of the legs - there's aye something! All time consuming tho'!

Sounds glum but it ain't, has to be said it has been a hattering lambing, tiring and the cold making you wearisome but it's still been 'fun', or ought I say a challenge? If it was all plain sailing we wouldn't get excited at a day like today where the boots were donned and the top coat shed - would we?


Dr Clive Dalton said...

Aye it's May Shep, and will soon be the 'Term Day'-the 12th.

Apparently all the farm folk looking for new jobs used to gather in Bellingham on 'Tommy Hedley's corner - opposite the then Railway Hotel and hing aboot waiting for a job offer.

Shepherds had a bit of wool in their lapel and a horseman had a leather lace as they would no doubt be in their glad rags and not their normal farm gear.

So get down there Shep on the 12th just to see what the job prospects are like.

After being hired there was always the fond hope that your new boss would invite you up the hill to the Railway for a glass - just a half mind ye.

Keep you back to the East wind!

Kind regards

Tarset Shepherd said...

Aye Clive - term day, the day I returned from the lambing. Did you know the term date is different in Scotland? 28th it is. The date two I know of will be handing their notice to leave at the November term. Very old fashioned in this day and age to still hold to term dates.

Seemingly way back they also only got paid at the term an' all - a whole six months wages all in one go - wonder what folks would think of that in this day and age?