Thursday, 9 February 2012


When I was coming home from Cardigan last weekend, there was an obstruction in the road. My neighbour was bring the sheep from a field near town, back home to the farm just past Blaen-y-ffin, as they are about a month off lambing. "Go the other way" she told me "we'll be a long time if you follow." Slipping an icy hand through the window for me to feel she declared "I'm frozen already!" It was bitterly cold, and there was that damp sleetyness in the air. I took the twisty road home, and decided on the way back to get a photo of them coming past the house for the blog! She was right, they were a long time, I not only had time to find my camera, but also to have a cup of tea (very glad I didn't follow!) I was watching out of the kitchen window to see if I could see any sign of them coming, and spotted a mysterious low cloud coming up the lane. Sheep steam!!! They completely filled the road as they came past me, wild eyed when they spotted me in the way, I slipped behind my car for cover.

As they disappeared off up the road their cloud of steam followed. You can just make it out in this picture.

Living side by side with the farming community is not always so picturesque. The other day when my daughter and I went to walk the dogs down the back lane. It was quite late, the light was beginning to fade. The other farm had moved some sheep into a newly fenced field. As we got near the back end of the field there was a sheep over, struggling to get up. My daughter and I watched it for a minute, and spurred on by her telling me that when she went to stay on Michael Morporgo's farm with the school as a kid, they were told to watch out for sheep that were down as they can't always get up themselves (major design fault IMHO) I ran back to the farm to look for help.

There was no answer at the farm house, all the lights were off in the son's bungalow too, but I managed to find the farmers daughter in, they live across the yard. All the farm staff were off in town watching bloody rugby! She grabbed her wellies and came back out with me, Jumping into the ancient land rover and telling me to get in. Now I have no fear of dogs, but the farmers Jack Russell - Rocky the terror of Mwnt was actually scraping her teeth down the passenger window to try and take a chunk out of me, so I did hesitate for a moment...Farmers daughter flung Rocky in the back with Fly the Sheepdog, I got in and we hurtled off, past my daughter and our very confused dogs standing on the corner who are terrified of Rocky and Fly..."OMG" their faces said "They've kidnapped MUM!"

I pointed the sheep out, and she jumped over the gate, I followed in a much more creaky and inelegant way. Sheep wasn't moving anymore. I pressed down on it's chest a couple of times but it didn't seem to be breathing. "Oh God" She says "this is why I can't cope with the farm stuff" but she said she'd go off to get help anyway, as we couldn't leave it there...five minutes later she re-appeared to tell me that she'd tried to turn the Landie round in the lane, and the transmission had gone "Me dad'll kill me" she said! We left her to it...

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