At dusk yesterday evening John and Heather took the last of the Lower House sheep over to Fir House to be ready for the shearers this morning. This only left the ewes on our field to be collected. Now, they're a funny lot - a disparate bunch, not really a cohesive flock. They'd been gathered together from different farms and the only thing they had in common was that they were the very last to lamb. They were a bunch of single-minded feisty females given to vigourous bouts of head-butting.
Today, however, they were united; each and every one resisted being loaded on the wagon that came to take them to be shorn. They ran this way, that way, forwards and backwards, round, over and down - pursued by an increasingly breathless John, Heather and Sabre. (I was on gate duty.) After much whooping, hollering and chasing one ewe relented and went up the ramp - which was perhaps a hidden signal for the others to follow - albeit unwillingly. Add a bit of pushing and shoving and we get the them all in bar two lambs. Shut the gates quick.
In the midst of this agricultural distraction our visitors arrive: Alan's sister Nina and her son James. Nina will be staying with us for a few days. It's always good to see her - catch up with family gossip and take a few days out to show off some of the beautiful countryside hereabouts. We've not seen James for some years so it was good to catch up with him too over a pub lunch before he scooted off to meet a colleague in Shrewsbury.
The 2 lambs were eventually collected (an effort that took 3 people and a dog several circuits of a 5 acre field to accomplish) and taken to be reunited with their mothers. A happy ending then....