The Weather

At this time of year, most people are looking back at how the year went, totting up figures, reaming off statistics and so on. I like to look forward. As always, the animals are paramount and their needs are looked after daily no matter what the day or the weather. With all this rain and wind, I thank my lucky stars that we live on a hill and not on a floodplain like those unfortunate people who have been flooded recently. Even so, water is lying and has saturated some rented ground. On the home farm, Michael says grass growth on empty fields is reasonably good for the time of year. While he has been feeding the ewes silage, they have been slow to finish the bales.

Dog attack

The sheep shed has been bedded and readied for the ewes. As soon as we get a dry day, all of the sheep will come in. Since his operation and rehab, Jet the sheepdog has been in mighty form and no doubt he will play a full part in bringing the ewes down off the hill. And it won’t be a moment too soon as our neighbouring farmer had in-lamb ewes killed by dogs yesterday from a flock of 250. Dog attacks at this time of year carry serious consequences. Not only are stock killed on the day, but further damage and losses can occur with ewes aborting lambs at a later stage. Also, in the current climate, the sooner they are indoors the better.

Christmas & family traditions

While Michael’s focus is only on the sheep, mine has been in the kitchen and I spend most of December making edible gifts of jams, bracks, butterscotch and cookies for family, friends and neighbours. I may be wrong but I think it’s nice to receive a gift that someone has spent time and effort making for you. It is a family tradition that I like to keep up. Nelly played her part, too, in keeping up traditions, making heaps of decorations and cards just I did as a child. The glue and glitter and stickers reached epic proportions, resulting in the most magnificent toddler creations that were promptly hung up or posted to loved ones. The Christmas cake was slightly less traditional with pink icing and a lake with a diving board and slide. But it was all part of the fun and was eaten regardless of the decorations. I imagine that all of the effort that goes into making Christmas happen is part of the reason I love it so much. We raised a glass to loved ones present and absent, enjoyed the fun and magic of it all, and for any emergencies we donned the Santa hat and tackled them with a smile.