Tag Archives: Monty Python

Not so much flies as plummets

sheep 1

Shepherd: Birds is the key to the whole problem. It’s my belief that these sheep are laborin’ under the misapprehension that they’re birds. Observe their behavior. Take for a start the sheeps’ tendency to ‘op about the field on their back legs. Now witness their attmpts to fly from tree to tree. Notice that they do not so much fly as… plummet. (Baaa baaa… flap flap… thud.) Observe for example that ewe in that oak tree. She is clearly trying to teach her lamb to fly. (baaaaa… thud) Talk about the blind leading the blind.

Tourist: Yes, but why do they think they’re birds?

Shepherd: Another fair question. One thing is for sure, the sheep is not a creature of the air. They have enormous difficulty in the comparatively simple act of perchin’. (Baaa baaa… flap flap… thud.) As you see. As for flight its body is totally unadapted to the problems of aviation. Trouble is, sheep are very dim. Once they get an idea in their ‘eads, there’s no shiftin’ it.

Tourist: But where did they get the idea from?

Shepherd: From Harold. He’s that sheep over there under the elm. He’s that most dangerous of animals, a clever sheep. He’s the ring leader. He has realized that a sheep’s life consists of standin’ around for a few months and then bein’ eaten. And that’s a depressing prospect for an ambitious sheep. He’s patently hit on the idea of escape.

Tourist: Well why don’t you just get rid of Harold?

Shepherd: Because of the enormous commercial possibilities should he succeed.

(Courtesy of Monty Python)

It’s a funny old world, you cannot rely on anything being as it used to be. Sheep flock together, it’s part of what sheep do; except we had one that didn’t. I first noticed it a couple of months ago. Went into the field with Sal to round up some lambs and they all run together and stand in a clump. The theory is that you then move that clump in the direction you want them to go.

If I’d been rounding them up using a quad bike that would have been how it went. Except that Sal, being a border collie; spotted one almost fat lamb that wasn’t doing this. This lamb drifted quietly off to the side then ducked down under the bridge and there she hid; troll like, in the gloom.

Of course Sal followed her down, but we had an impasse. Lamb couldn’t go further forward and Sal was inadvertently stopping her coming back.

So some muppet (me) had to go down the other side of the bridge to chase the daft beggar out, at which point Sal could take over and drive it back to the flock.

Except that the stupid little beggar decided to swim for it. Wearing a heavy woollen jacket!

So guess who had to haul it out?

Anyway I dragged it out, pulled it to the group and this time it went home with them.

Scroll on a couple of months. On Wednesday I went with Sal to bring in the fat lambs, we were going to sort out some who were ready for selling. And this lamb dived quietly into another hollow and hid. Again Sal spotted it and eventually we dragged it out, pointed it at the rest of the group, and it dived off to one side, headed for the beck in an attempt to drown itself again. This time I grabbed its back leg before it could get into the water, tied it to a fence post and went to find the others, who of course had all gone home anyway.

So leaving them and Sal (who had got to the stage of hysterical frustration with this lamb) at home, I went back for the last ewe lamb. Of course she wouldn’t walk, indeed refused to even stand up. And if I didn’t have her on a lead, she’d dive into the beck.

So eventually I picked her up and slung her over my shoulders and we walked home that way. She was put in a separate pen, was judged to be over 40kg and so went to mart with the others for whom mint sauce is a distinct possibility.


And Sal herself

As a reviewer commented, “Excellent follow up to his first collection of bloggage – Sometimes I Sits and Thinks – this is another collection of gentle reflections on life on a small sheep farm in Cumbria. This could so easily be a rant about inconsiderate drivers on country lanes and an incessant moaning about the financial uncertainties of life on a farm. Instead, despite the rain, this is full of wise asides on modern living that will leave you feeling better about the world. Think Zen and the Art of Sheep Management (except he’s clearly CofE…) Highly recommended, and worth several times the asking price!”

Who wants sexy check-out girls anyway?

‘Ello, I wish to register a complaint.

(The owner does not respond.)

‘Ello, Miss?

Owner: What do you mean “miss”?

I’m sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!

Yes, I wish to register a complaint. Someone out there is taking the micky. It’s like this. You’ll probably have worked out by now that I’ve written ‘Justice 4.1’ which is out in March. But it doesn’t stop there. I’m working on further books in the same setting. Indeed if you want to visit the Tsarina sector there’s even a facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/TsarinaSector

So wander along, click the ‘like’ button and bring a little sunshine into my life.

But the problem is I’m currently trying to create a decent villain who does unpleasant things. Not only that but I’m trying to portray the unpleasant and dysfunctional societies that he dominates.
‘Fair enough,’ I hear you all mutter, ‘Stop whinging and get on with it.’
The problem is that no sooner do I get a really cool, evil and devious idea for my villain, than along comes the real world, sneers at me and points out that reality has already surpassed me.
I was setting up a background where there population would be oppressed and kept in poverty by those employing them. I was a bit worried that I might be getting carried away. After all, when you’re writing fiction you have to make sure you carry the reader with you. They have to suspend their disbelief which means you have to keep things ‘real’.
And then I saw this.

Sorry but that is beyond a joke! I literally dare not make that up. Yet somebody sat in an office and decided to make that company policy!

Mind you, the great Terry Pratchett once wrote “There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.” (Small Gods)
But do we care? Will enough people be so revolted that they stop shopping in Walmart and Asda?
Why do you think I put ‘sexy checkout girls’ in the title? How many people would have bothered reading a rant about supermarket employment policies?