Monday, 28 June 2010

Sheep Shearing

Well it's that time of year when things are getting HOT and the wearing of thick woollen coats is definitely not recommended. I therefore asked my 'sheepie' friend Sheena if she would come and help me to shear our two mummy ewes. Thankfully she agreed and brought her brand new two-handed shearers with her.

Next we needed to catch the ewes. But guess what? They were not up for that. Small they might be - only 50cm high at full grown - but they sure are fast. It really was quite hilarious watching Dan and Cal race and dive about in the orchard trying to catch one or other of them, or even just steer them into the 'holding pen' that we'd fashioned. Eventually after lots of huffing and puffing and laughing we got them all in and started the job with Sheena's shears. Sadly they require two hands to operate and it was proving very difficult to hold the sheep, hold the shears and guide the blades. I therefore got out our dog-clipping one-handed shears and we continued the job with those. Three hours later - yes THREE hours later - Ema was done and glaring at us in a most unforgiving manner. Next up was Mince but we were truly professional by then so she only took an hour and 15 mins. Just think, next year there'll be four to do! The fleeces however are lovely and thick an heavily laden with lanolin, Ouessants being sheep kept mainly as a fibre producers. Now I have to think what I'm going to do with the fleeces.
Above you can see Mince after her haircut - oh so thin, oh so mince (French for thin/skinny). Not too bad a job for a first go even if I say so myself.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Storage Solutions

We have a lean-to veranda at the back of our barn and it had leaned so far 'to' that it was slowly sliding to the ground. So this year's task was to renew it and install a rain water harvesting system.

Ben worked out all the plans and with the help of Dan and Cal, our two Australian WWOOFers, they began weaving their magic.

Now although it looks cloudy here, this was only for a moment. Cal is sporting this year's sun protection wear and looking to all intents like the proverbial Virgin Mary if you ask me!

The weaving itself wasn't hard work but the preparation of the sticks - taking off all the sideshoots - was a long and arduous task. Blistered hands were sadly given to all participants (unless you already had callouses like I do). But as you can see, it's beginning to look good.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Celebration Time

Just some clips of the hero cyclists celebrating and folk who came to stay for the Le Mans 24 Hour.

R was ecstatic because it coincided with his 7th birthday.

And after the party's over.....

And after the party's over....

Monday, 7 June 2010

Edinburgh to Le Mans

Ben has been away for the last 10 days - back to Edinburgh by car and then cycling down through the UK and across France to Le Mans with his friend Paul. They were both raising money for charity, in Ben's case for BLISS the premature baby charity. He was pleased to have raised almost one GBP for every mile that he cycled - 756 GBP in total. Paul's wife, Lynsey and their little girl Rachel had come to stay here at LPM and it was with relief that we welcomed both boys back - tired but happy.