Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Happiness is a quiet lambing shed!

If you have never heard the sound of sheep waiting for their breakfast, or dinner, or tea, and you are invited to do so - believe me it is an offer you can refuse! They are absolutely awful. They jump up you when putting their food out, they knock the troughs over trying to get at it, they even tread on their lambs in the rush to get to the food - you would think they hadn't been fed for weeks - let alone 12 hours before.

Feeding sheep is not rocket science. Technique is the important thing - keep the bucket close to the trough and your knees together. If the bucket is up in the air, the sheep end up wearing the food. If your knees are not together they end up wearing you! It's a "life in front of the eyes" moment when a ewe gets her head between your legs to get to food - especially if it's outside and going downhill! And I'm sure it's inbred into lambs to jump across the trough just as you are pouring (expensive) sheep meal into it - it goes everywhere!

Having a good command of the English - or French - language doesn't matter. Three words are enough "you f.......g things" is a phrase frequently aimed at sheep.

You also get hard when it comes to bottle feeding lambs. If it's a do or die situation you have no choice. Better to feed than let them die. But you can be too soft, with dire consequences. They look at you as their mother, and every time they hear your voice they start!! At the moment Mary is the worst one (Mary? she was born on Christmas day). She has the most painfull piercing bleat you can imagine. As they get older they jump up and mug you knocking the bucket over in the process. Oh yes, believe me they are no angels.

On my lambing notepad Laura has written "don't you just love lambing?" to which I have written "no!".

Anyway, good news is the time has come to wean some of them, no one sleeps at weaning time. This is to make room in the shed for the next 180 to lamb!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Kir and Chocolates

A reply from Tina to my last blog made me think that I should come clean.

Kir (a drop of creme de cassis in a glass of white wine, or champagne) is like pop. It goes down extremely well after a hard day at whatever. However, new "users" beware - it is so alcoholic! So what you might ask. Well, drinking it like pop (it is so moreish) you end up p....d as a rat very quickly, especially on an empty stomach.

I won a year's subscription to an English magazine last year when a reader asked for ideas on how to use up a bottle of Creme de Cassis, but they didn't publish my warnings. Sorry to everyone who tried it, and paid the price.

Laura and I have a chocolate cupboard. We hide it away. We're not mean or anything, but if it's out David will eat the lot. So we hide it and have some when we feel the need. It's far less alcoholic than Kir, but with probably the same calories.

I had need to attack the chocolate cupboard last week, though I can't remember why now. I did confess to Laura though. When she goes back to England next week she will bring back slabs of Dairy Milk and replenish the stocks!