Happy New Year

Happy new year

New Year’s Eve was pretty much like what you’d expect. I got two phone calls, both to discuss sheep, and we agreed that we’d get some wintering hoggs wormed New Year’s Day morning.

The problem is that the weather so far this winter has been so wet; it’s been perfect for the snails that carry the intermediate stage of the Parasite. At the moment it’s so wet that when we go checking sheep in the morning, I can tell where Sal is by the splashing she makes as she runs about checking stuff.



Anyway this morning I decided to be clever. When I went out at the usual time to feed some dairy heifers I decided I’d get the wintering hoggs handy for the gate. This is because they’ve got two fields, and they’re separated by a shallow ditch which is currently a shallow lake. I decided that if I got them from the back field to the front one, then if they stayed there, when we came to collect them an hour later they’d be so much easier to bring in.

So Sal and I went to move them. They stood looking at the water obstacle as if it was a raging torrent, and then looked at Sal, and came to the reasonable decision that, actually, the water was the least of their problems. So they scampered through it, over the crest of the hill and out of sight down to the gate. Sal and I quietly left them there. We left the fields by a different gate so they couldn’t see us leave. My hope was that they’d hang about round by their gate, and would be wary about checking over the crest of the hill lest Sal was still there.

Then we went to get them, a bunch of little Swaledales, and, of course, they’d gone back to the far field, blithely crossing the water obstacle as if it were a matter of no concern.

Still we got them in, we got them wormed, and we took them back out again. Indeed it didn’t actually start raining until we were riding home on the quad, and it wasn’t raining properly until after we’d got the quad away. So all in all, quite a civilised way to spend a New Year’s Day morning.


Reminds me of a chap I knew who farmed further over, he got a phone call from a mate, just before Christmas.

“George, fancy some rough shooting?”

“Aye it’d be alright.”

“Boxing Day then, we’ll make a day of it, get picked up about 8am, dropped off about 9, spend a day working through the area. Then about 4pm we’ll be just nicely placed for the pub so we’ll go in, have a few beers, get a meal when they start serving, and we’ll get picked up and fetched home about 10pm. What do you think?”

“Sounds great, but I’ll be working.”

“Don’t worry, it’s a bank holiday, nobody works.”


Anyway Happy New Year to you all.


And if you’re not working, it stands to reason you need a good book

As a reviewer commented, “I find there’s nothing better on a cold wet day, than to sit indoors, near a warm fire/radiator, with a hot coffee, some biscuits/cake and one of Jim Webster’s books. So that’s what I’ve done today, with this particular book.
I find the plots intriguing, the characters endearing (even the ‘bad/evil’ ones) and the storytelling style relaxing.
The various threads in the stories are always neatly tied up and the endings invariably satisfactory.”

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15 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. Annette Rochelle Aben January 1, 2018 at 10:37 pm Reply

    Happy Ewe Year, Jim!

  2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt January 1, 2018 at 10:51 pm Reply

    What? Did he think sheep went in and made their own dinner on bank holidays?


    • jwebster2 January 2, 2018 at 7:09 am Reply

      my mate was a dairy farmer at the time, on Boxing Day he’d be working about eight hours and have four off in the middle of the day 🙂

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt January 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm

        And he was going to have all that fun in the four hours in the middle? Huh. Good for him. Travel consumes part of that, and more is taken by having to change out of your dirty work clothes (if he bothers). But you have to do these things for mental health, even if you are wiped out after.

      • jwebster2 January 2, 2018 at 3:40 pm

        I think he’d had the idea of a snooze in front of the fire, or going for a walk on his own land with his dog and a gun

  3. oldhenwife January 2, 2018 at 9:57 am Reply

    Nobody works on Bank Holidays? Public utilities, emergency services, hospital staff and many others … I hope the sportsman didn’t shoot himself, would he have waited until the day after for treatment? Was the pub self-service? Oh, and I never get a day off, in common with most wives and mothers.

    • jwebster2 January 2, 2018 at 12:20 pm Reply

      exactly. I think it was wives who were providing the transport 🙂

  4. oldhenwife January 2, 2018 at 10:01 am Reply

    Daughter’s small Welsh sheep farm in on the side of a mountain. So the rain runs off, dunnit? No, it sits where it falls and makes mud. It particularly likes the areas around gates, even sheep poach.

    • jwebster2 January 2, 2018 at 12:20 pm Reply

      It’s surprising how steep land can be and still get muddy

  5. rootsandroutes2012 January 7, 2018 at 5:18 am Reply

    Thanks for the diagram. I really didn’t know how liver fluke works. You’re a constant source of education and enlightenment! But what’s PPP?

    • jwebster2 January 7, 2018 at 7:22 am Reply

      cannot remember what the acronym stands for but it’s the length of time between the animal being infected by the cysts and then becoming mature fluke and producing eggs which pass out of the animal, contaminate the grassland and get picked up by the snails.
      It’s the length of time between the animal being infected and it starting to infect others.

      • rootsandroutes2012 January 7, 2018 at 8:48 am

        It makes perfect sense that you’d need an acronym to sum that lot up!

  6. rootsandroutes2012 January 7, 2018 at 9:04 am Reply

    Got it! If COWS (Control of Worms Sustainably) 2010 is to be believed. It would appear to be the prepatent period. Now am I any the wiser?

    • jwebster2 January 7, 2018 at 9:46 am Reply

      that’s why I tried to explain it in English 🙂

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