Shep has been attending many tup sales in the past few weeks, trailing the countryside, sometimes singly, other times in company. Lockerbie in the south of Scotland was the first port of call, twice in actual fact, both times to view cheviots but two different types of cheviot, the northie type and the southie type, 'tis the latter which I have a personal penchant for. From Lockerbie the next port of call was slightly higher up in Scotland to Lanark, blackfaces this time, then a couple of days later higher up into Scotland again to Dalmally, blackfaces once again before heading south to my home ground of Hexham and guess what? Yes! More blackface tups.
There is a reason for titling this posting as I have, a marathon may have been a more apt description but as is Shep's want I did indeed as usual manage to cause some sort of mayhem - there's just nowt simple in life sometimes! It is fair to say that the two trips to Lockerbie passed by without too much of an adoo, but then I was travelling singularly and only had myself to please. It was the trip to Lanark which caused much commotion..........
Arrangements had been made for me to pick up a friend at 5.30am at a lay by some twenty minutes from where I live, we were to travel for an hour before leaving my motor at 6.30am and jumping in with someone else. This arrangement necessitated Shep being up by 4.30am - nae bother!
Umm...... Did I say nae bother?
The day previous Shep found herself working into the dark of night, on leaving the job I had been at I then found myself having to make an unexpected detour to get home, with the result I arrived home, cold, tired dirty and the night was clocking on. But not to worry, a quick shower and off to bed was the order of the day.
Umm......... I now have a new abode, one with a shower! A new abode which experienced many plumbing issues. Plumbing issues which at the time were being rectified as my landlord had the plumbers in rectifying.......... They hadn't however warned me I would have a night without hot water (this is generous as to this date luke warm water was more apt). You may recall I'd stated I arrived home rather late and was COLD, tired and dirty. The thought of a cold shower really didn't instill much enthusiasm into my soul! I would trot down to the farm and 'beg' a shower - they were out for the night (how dare they!) I trotted back home again. Boiled the kettle, filled the sink and commenced trying to remove sheep shit, only to find the water was disappearing at a rate of knots - yet another plumbing issue, plug too small for plug hole!
I went to bed, hot water bottle freshly filled, peg on nose so I couldn't smell myself and all would be well. Alarm set for 4.30am, 'phone calls had been made for the final arrangements in the morning all I had to do was wake up.
I did wake up! It's usually a good feeling, to know you're still alive, wasn't such a good feeling this particular morning tho' as I was awoken by my 'phone ringing down stairs, not by my alarm going off. The voice on the other end enquired whether I was alright, I had noticed the clock as I scurried down the stairs 10 to 6 it registered in my brain 10 to 6 ! Shit! I was meant to be picking someone up at 5.30........
'Twas that someone who was on the 'phone, they told me the stars were bright and it was a lovely morning to be standing in a lay by for the last half hour.
Mayhem ensued, Shep flinging clothes on, attempting to ring the next port of call where we were expected to arrive at by 6.30am........... OH!
There is no doubt about it I had a red face for the remainder of the day. All concerned were extremely kind and patient it has to be said, we did get to Lanark, we even got there before the sale started, we even managed a hurried breakfast on arrival in the canteen - an absolute godsend as Shep was desperate for that first coffee of the morning!
There was much leg pulling for the duration of our trip. Upon arrival two of us headed for the ladies the other to the gents and then met up in the canteen, the gent was then given a blow by blow account of how Shep had tried to have a bath in the hand basin in the ladies loos.......... y'know, there are friends and then there are friends! This was followed by the promise of a pair of braces for Christmas........... I may blush too much if I tell the full story but it has to do with knicker elastic! It doesn't pay to throw clothes on in a hurry, that's for sure!
There were many local faces which I bumped into whilst at Lanark and they all seemed to be aware that I had indeed slept in, probably because most of them had been asking my friend what she was doing loitering in a lay by in the dark hours of the morning.............
Not to worry, there was a great deal of laughter during the day, tups were succesfully purchased and transported home and a good day was had by all. Fortunately when travelling to Dalmally we went up the night previous, probably to ensure Shep didn't sleep in......!
Now Hexham tup sale sailed by without too much trouble, except......... I always have a dentist appointment on tup sale day, coz I know I'll be in town that day, it won't interfere with work, sensible idea I'd thought. Shep hadn't made a note of the time of the appointment and as it had been made on the back of the lambing that was a long time ago. Mid morning saw me ring the dentist and enquire as to what time I was expected later that afternoon. "last Monday at 4pm" was the reply I received "are you sure, it's always tup sale day" I said, the second Monday of the month - that's today!" "It's the third Monday of the month today" "Oh! Is it? I'm very sorry......."
Now I know I'm heading to that age for suffering from 'senior moments' but can anyone explain why the tup sale which is always held on the second Monday in October decided to be on the third Monday or am I really losing my marbles?
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