Avoiding entanglements


Obviously it’s tough being a best selling author. After all there are only so many free lunches a chap can attend. Then with the endless free drinks, the groupies, and of course the expense account….

Sorry I was looking at the wrong list, that’s what you get for being an MP. Easy mistake to make obviously.

But anyway, I have occasionally had fame tap me on the shoulder. On one occasion I was asked whether I’d like to do my own radio show on music radio. I confess I was tempted, but only briefly. I’m not somebody who can babble inanely for long periods, (Although if tempted by suitably appropriate financial recompense I could doubtless improvise.) But really, what deterred me from ever setting my foot on that road was the fact that, frankly, I just didn’t like the music. I did listen to some of the output and I tried really hard to like it, but to be fair it was music designed by a cruel fate to be babbled over.

It’s surprising how subjective all this stuff is. After all there was one group I used to rather sneer at as the teeny bopper boy band my little sister liked. Now I have to confess I do think Dire Straits have produced some good stuff. Doubtless there’s stuff being played now which in thirty years time might be remembered. But still, that being said, playing endless Bon Jovi to elderly people in nursing homes does strike me as coming awfully close to being a cruel and unnatural punishment.

There again, given my ability to get myself caught up in declining industries, perhaps the music industry is glad I’ve given them a miss. After all, they’d hardly be keen on following down the same road as Agriculture and Freelance Journalism when it comes to paying folk a living.

Still, it has to be said that there’s nothing like a good dose of reality to help ground a chap and stop him getting ideas above his station. The last few days have been fine and the ground was almost starting to dry out a bit. Except that last night it rained. No, it didn’t just rain, it sodding well chucked it down. When I went out to feed sheep this morning the rain had slowed to a drizzle, but water was still streaming down both sides of the lanes. As for the fields, it had started getting silly again.

But Sal and I pressed boldly on, undeterred by the fact that when the quad stopped, I could here the splashing of Sal’s feet. Still at least the ewes were glad to see us. When you’re feeding ewes the best plan is to get far enough ahead of them on the quad so that you can stop, get the feed and start putting out in little heaps on the ground before the ewes catch up with you. If you manage this then you’ll probably not be trampled underfoot.
If you don’t think this can happen, there’s a video here that might surprise you.



But anyway, as we check sheep, Sal always combs the hedges looking for those who’ve somehow got themselves entangled. With Sal bearing down on them it’s amazing how they can suddenly break free. On the other hand, we do get those who’re so entangled they cannot manage it. I included a photo of one. Left to her own devices she’ll starve.
You know the bible stories about the shepherd who lost one sheep and left the ninety-nine to find it. In all probability, this is what happened to it.

When you do find a sheep this tangled up, I’ve found the best way to untangle it is to get hold of both back legs and just pull the sheep backwards, away from the hedge. When you think about it the sheep has been hurling itself forwards for some time and that hasn’t worked.

If you pull the sheep backwards it’s as if the briars have less grip. Also you can find that the briar roots have a weaker hold on the ground than the thorns have on the sheep’s fleece.

Then when you’ve pulled the sheep free, still holding the back legs, walk it round so that it is no longer facing the hedge. Then let it go. If you let it go still facing the hedge there’s every chance that the daft beggar will accelerate straight back into the briars.

There again, a mate of mine had similar problems with women. Get him untangled from one and he’d just hurl himself straight into the next.



Now for anybody who’s interested, there is a collection of tales, some of them featuring Sal, for your delectation and delight. Available for a mere 99p

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10 thoughts on “ Avoiding entanglements

  1. oldhenwife January 15, 2018 at 3:40 pm Reply

    Dire Straits? You’re showing your age,Jim.

    • jwebster2 January 15, 2018 at 3:46 pm Reply

      well and truly considering they were my little sister’s top group at the time 🙂

  2. oldhenwife January 15, 2018 at 3:56 pm Reply

    That must have been around the time they were our youngest son’s top group. He wouldn’t admit to having heard of them now – too old to have a ‘top group’. In fact too busy with his business to listen to any group. Apparently Radio 6 is constantly blaring in the workshop, thanks to his donkeys. Sorry, work force. I didn’t know there was a Radio 6.

    • jwebster2 January 15, 2018 at 4:20 pm Reply

      Radio 6 (and I presume a radio 5) have entirely passed me by.

  3. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt January 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm Reply

    How much does a sheep like that weigh? How long would it take them to go away after mobbing the lunch-bringer? Would she survive if there wasn’t someone else around? I hate mobs.

    • jwebster2 January 15, 2018 at 4:21 pm Reply

      A full grown ewe, heavy in lamb, might top 100kg. They’d eventually lose interest but I wouldn’t know how long that takes to be honest

  4. Scottie January 16, 2018 at 12:14 am Reply

    You have a great way with words and in turning a phrase. I think of the many people who took to writing humorous books and making big money on it. The Dave Barry’s and Patrick F. McManus’s. You could do as well or better than them. Bet wishes. Hugs

    • jwebster2 January 16, 2018 at 6:08 am Reply

      I’ve tried to keep my writing light over the years. I’ve always enjoyed Garrison Keillor and his Lake Wobegon Days, which I heard on the radio rather than read

      • Scottie January 16, 2018 at 2:05 pm

        I think from what you ahve written on your blog and what you commented you would like some of Patrick F. McManus stuff. It is homespun, humorous, and he wrote for outdoor magazines for a long time I guess. Be well, hugs

      • jwebster2 January 17, 2018 at 10:27 pm

        I’ll look out for him 🙂

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