And farewell to all that!


This morning those lambs remaining from last year’s crop were loaded and left. They were by and large those who had perhaps not shone in the past. Still when the weather got cold they were considered a bit delicate and whilst the rest stayed outside these were whisked inside and pampered a bit. Having sheep inside brings its own problems.

Wearing a thick woolly jacket they have problems with temperature regulation, they can get too hot, sweaty and can go down with pneumonia and all sorts of other problems. Then because they’re on bedding, their feet get soft and overgrown and they go lame. So it’s a relief for everybody when they can go back outside as nature (cruel mistress that she is) intended.

We had one who did suffer from its feet. When it came inside we trimmed them because they were a bit overgrown. It seems to have a genetic predisposition to rapid horn growth because I had to trim the feet whilst it was inside and when we put them outside again; I trimmed them for a third time. But it kept hobbling around like an old woman with bunions.

So obviously we kept up the treatment. I would go in with both quad and Sal and I’d catch it. This involved Sal dancing in front of it. The lamb, (about thirty something kilos so we’ve long past the cute stage.) would be far too busy keeping an eye on Sal to worry about me and I’d catch it, turn it onto its back and spray its feet with the magical green spray which clears out various infections.

I did this twice and whilst it got rid of the infections, it didn’t seem to improve things much. So next time I caught it I put it in the back of the trailer and fetched it home. I then stood it with its feet in a bucket of Zinc sulphate solution. So Sal stared at the sheep, the sheep stared at Sal, and I held the sheep in place for twenty minutes and read a little of ‘Three men in a boat,’ by Jerome K Jerome. (Highly recommended if you’ve never read it.)


I then turned the sheep back out with its mates. When I looked at our patient next day it seemed to be much improved. So the following day Sal and I caught it again and gave it another couple of chapters of Jerome K Jerome.

Since then it’s been walking well; so that’s one I can mark down as a success.

But bringing sheep inside always does seem to lead to problems. Ideally lambing ewes stay in for as short a period as possible. Being inside doesn’t do sheep any good.

In another life in another world I had to help somebody who was having trouble with their local trading standards department. Apparently the previous winter they’d had a blizzard and lost ten or a dozen Fell sheep to the weather. Given there were a couple of thousand sheep in the flock my first thought was that they’d done pretty well, and deserved congratulating on the high calibre of their shepherding.

But their local trading standards department seemed to think that it was cruelty because they hadn’t brought the sheep in for winter. So I suggested they got their vet and breed society to write polite letters to trading standards explaining why you don’t house sheep over winter. Indeed if you did, you’d be damned lucky only to lose ten or a dozen.

The letters were obviously written and sent because I got another phone call from the farmer. Apparently trading standards had given up on that approach, instead they were insisting that once it started snowing the farmer should have gone up onto the mountain and brought the sheep down until the snow stopped.

At that point I phoned a few people and discovered that on the day trading standards had demanded a farmer and his children (his only staff) go out onto the mountains to fetch in the sheep, they’d closed their own office as they felt it was too dangerous for their staff to travel to work at sea level! I suggested the farmer point this out, and he heard no more about it.


If you made it up, nobody would believe you.


And here’s some stuff I did make up, you could always see if you can believe it 😉


As a reviewer commented, “Benor the cartographer is offered a job away from home with unusually generous pay. It all has to be done on the quiet, too. Something’s up. Benor has a murder to solve. I thought he had, but there’s more to come. This story is a murder mystery and a comedy of manners, set in a world of fantasy. If you like a genre mashup, this is brilliant. The characters and their relationships and banter would make it worth reading even if it didn’t have a plot – but it does. Another winner for me.”

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10 thoughts on “And farewell to all that!

  1. Mick Canning May 2, 2017 at 1:22 pm Reply

    I always have a copy of Three Men in a Boat to hand in the medicine cabinet, because you never know!

    • jwebster2 May 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm Reply

      the perfect place to keep it 🙂

  2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt May 2, 2017 at 1:39 pm Reply

    The disconnect between REAL farmers and civilians is an unbridgeable chasm. I suggest that all those who wish to apply for a cushy job at any governmental office even remotely associated with farming, ranching, agriculture, food production from the ground… be required to first survive and pass a TWO-YEAR internship, unpaid (but hearty meals will be provided, cooked by the intern for the rest of the family, and graded onquality), in which at least 95% of the living items under management survive.

    THEN they may sit in their cush chair at their cushy indoor desk and shuffle papers and have state-paid benefits. Internship to be repeated, for ONE year, at five year intervals. We don’t want them to forget who they’re working for.

    • jwebster2 May 2, 2017 at 2:01 pm Reply

      to be fair to trading standards they never asked for livestock as part of their brief. Livestock movements used to be registered with the police, but the police pointed out it wasn’t there thing. So it was dumped on trading standards. This isn’t even government, each local authority has their own department, and their work is really consumer protection and ‘weights and measures’
      So they don’t want it either. The problem arises when a member of the public makes a complaint and ‘something has to be done.’

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt May 2, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        It doesn’t matter whether they wanted to change diapers when they acquired a baby: it must be done, preferably competently, or there is a stink.

  3. Kate McClelland May 6, 2017 at 1:37 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Kate McClelland and commented:
    I love your farm stories Jim

    • jwebster2 May 6, 2017 at 4:43 pm Reply

      Not quite all human life is there 🙂

    • jwebster2 May 6, 2017 at 6:47 pm Reply

      glad you liked it 🙂

      • OIKOS™-Redaktion May 6, 2017 at 6:53 pm

        Really! Thx! Keep on, its very informative! Have a nice weekend! Michael

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