Saturday, 12 October 2013

The sheep arrive.

During what is often a harsh winter here, it is too cold - and in particular damp - for the sheep to stay on the high tops.   So most hill farmers bring their sheep down to lower ground (our farm is around 650feet asl) for the winter and pay someone else to look after them.   We have been dealing with the same hill farmer and his sheep since long before I came on the scene.

The sheep came this morning.   The first lot of almost 150 arrived, tumbled out of the back of the trailers, shot across the field and immediately started eating the dying hawthorn leaves in the hedge.   All the lovely fresh grass seemed to hold no interest for them whatsoever - but they were up on their hind legs at the dying leaves.

Judging by the awful weather today they came just right.   The temperature is down to about seven degrees, the cloud is so low that it is almost dark and a light rain is falling.   We have just been down to our feed merchants to stock up on wild bird, dog, cat and hen food and I am now about to get a warming lunch (pork, broccoli, carrots and mashed potatoes).   Then I think it will be a nice sit by the wood stove all afternoon.

If anyone wants an interesting read I am reading Alan Johnson's (he was Home Secretary in the Labour Government)  "This Boy".   It is about his awful childhood in Liverpool just after the end of the Second World War.   His mother struggled with ill health and his father was rarely there, so he and his sister had more or less to fend for themselves.  It is a sobering read, lightened by the fact that his mother, sister and he were always joined by a strong bond of love.  That certainly helps, although it doesn't do much to make a full stomach when you are ravenously hungry as he often was.

On a lighter note, Elizabeth (About New York) has knitted me the most super alpaca woolly hat for the winter.   The colours are lovely, it fits just right and I love it.   Rather than send her the money for it she has asked me to make a donation to Syrian refugee children.   I am in the process of setting up a direct debit to Unicef, which seems the best of the charities trying to help out there.  What can we possibly do to alleviate their terrible suffering, and the knowledge that they may never be able to go back home - in fact, is there a home to go to?


Willow said...

So hard to fathom real ways to stop all of this human suffering in it's track. A good cause to help and ponder ways to end suffering.
Cycles of nature can be so harsh and cruel , but you would think that human nature would be far more compassionate. Still we have not learned , sad indeed.

Em Parkinson said...

I'm devastated that Elizabeth is no longer posting (much). You must put a picture of the hat in!

The sheep up here haven't gone in yet but it won't be too long.

jill said...

Its cold, wet and dark here today Pat, one of those days when you just don't want to leave the fire. I made a pot of veg soup to warm us at lunch time, love the sound of your alpaca woolly hat. Love Jill xx

Heather said...

It has been a day of varied conditions here. This morning was blustery, wet and cold, but this afternoon the sun has shone. At our previous house we had a small paddock beyond the garden which was rented by a nearby farmer who grazed a few bullocks or sheep there. I loved looking out of the kitchen window seeing the livestock. The best treat of all was seeing hares chasing each other in the spring and knowing that at least one had young out there. How fortunate we are to live in the UK with none of the awfulness of Syria to deal with.

angryparsnip said...

You beat me too it... I was going to ask Elizabeth if she had any of her hats leftover from her sale. I really want two. Must e-mail her !
I love when the sheep come down and we get to see them.
I can't believe your weather is so cold already.
My weather has been fabulous fall. In Tucson you have 3 months of too hot summer followed by 9 months of wonderful. Fall is always the best one day you wake up and it is FALL and it is lovely. Today it will be 84/57 perfect.

cheers, parsnip

Acornmoon said...

I have really missed your blog and all the goings on. Right now I am catching up on all your adventures.
I wonder who enjoyed the trip to the seaside the most, you or Tess? That is the great thing about dogs, their joy is infectious.
Bravo to you and Elizabeth for helping the people in Syria. I am haunted by some of the images on TV, there seems to be no end to it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Such is the weather here that one wishes to do nothing but sit by the fire with a good book. The sheep don't seem to mind though and are still clearing the hedgerow!

Thanks for calling.

Terry and Linda said...

Our sheep and cows arrive down here anytime now. The allotments are up the 1st of November and the grass is gone.

The rancher that rents our land will bring his spring'n heifers in here in February. I always rejoice when I see them come.