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October 2005

WELLIES AND WHEELBARROWS

Young Henson is growing up fast, and training has begun in earnest. My opinion of him varies from day to day depending on his behaviour. For instance, on Monday he managed to round up my rams in Erw Seion and get them into the pens unaided. I was so impressed with him I told anyone who would listen how good he was going to be. However, later in the week, when he reverted to being a naughty teenager and chased some fat lambs from the house around to the Felin and past Groes Faen, I wasn’t quite so enthusiastic about his potential. Fortunately Vivian and Ruth were about and were able to stop the lambs on the road before they disappeared over the horizon. Henson and myself didn’t speak to each other for a few days after that disaster.

With the ‘Farming Cycle’ about to start all over again, I have been busy sorting the ewes out and getting them ready for the rams. I picked out the old ones to sell and split the others into handy bunches, then two days later I did it all again as some how one of the gates had opened and the sheep had decided to get re-acquainted with one another.

Things didn’t go much better with the rams either. They do nothing all year long and present no problems until it comes to the time when you actually need them, then they become a liability. I’ve been keeping an old ewe with the rams so she’s handy to keep an eye on. Two of the boys decided she was the sheep world’s equivalent of Catherine Zeta Jones, Catherine Jenkins and Charlotte Church rolled into one. They had a quick punch up over who was going to win her favours and after they had beaten the living daylights out of each other I had one ram walking like ‘Zebedee’ and the other looking like the elephant man. The old ewe in the meantime had made a discrete exit and hasn’t been seen since.

I’ve been selling lambs all through the summer, and am down to my last hundred. I was reasonably content with the prices they achieved, until I made the mistake of looking through some of my Taid’s accounts and discovered he was getting more for his lambs in the late seventies than I am now. I’ve put these papers out of sight in the darkest recesses of the house, as further reading of them would only depress me.

Every year I do a bit of fencing just to keep on top of the job, and with the hay in the shed and my bracken spraying for the year completed I decided to do a stretch - it half killed me. The ground was so dry and hard I couldn’t get the posts in and I damn near broke my back trying. Eventually when I broke the sledgehammer I considered getting a contractor in, but as that would involve paying, which would only break my heart, I decided to persevere.

If it continues to rain and the ground softens I might be finished before Christmas.

Gareth Llan.
Copyright Gareth Bryan 2005


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