April 25, 2012: Famous Last Words...
It seems it was a bit premature to say in the last blog that lambing is over for the year. One of our young training ewes out on the hill with her buddies decided we were in need of an additional ewe lamb and proceeded to deliver one! Given that ram lambs outnumber ewe lambs almost by a ratio of 2:1, an additional ewe was indeed very welcome. Her mother is a fiesty little brat so Keeper has his work cut out for him.
The weather has turned rotten in our neck of the woods. Yesterday I was dodging serious hail, intermingled with thunder, lightning and heavy rain. Wicked. As I was dodging hail, I got an email from a friend who lives 15 minutes away boasting (!) at only having had one rain shower...and then some friends arrived from Pembrokeshire blabbering on about taking a nap on the beach in glorious sunshine. Here I was in full rain gear, soaked to the skin, highly unamused...life is just so not fair sometimes! Well I did get 30 minutes of sunshine right after I finished work for the day so I sat outside with my dogs with steam coming off my wet weather gear. ...and then I came inside, got on the internet and bought a clothes dryer! Couldn't find a walk-in one though.
Last week we finally had a visit from our electrician. Eight months without lights in the kennel was enough! These lights are now restored and while we were at it, the cottage went through a major rewiring project. There are a couple of bits and pieces yet to do, and the outdoor lighting needs to be done later in the year but we are getting there....slowly! Now to find someone who will pound some fence posts in for me...
Just in time for my outdoor maintenance projects came a brand new, very cool, 'right up my alley' kind of tool kit.
...made of chocolate!!! Thank you Yumiko! These Japanese chocolate makers are clever! If I ever get peckish while out working, I'll have an instant snack. Over the last few weeks we have sampled chocolate from Spain, Finland and Japan. Do you folks think I am a chocoholic or something???
We once again spent the weekend out trialling, this time at Nigel Watkins' place. Four trials in two days! Bliss. We were greeted with real Welsh weather. Warm one minute, freezing cold and wet the next. I remember pulling on my gloves one second, and whipping them off soon afterwards as the sun came out. The best thing to do in weather like this is volunteer to set out sheep and move sheep from one place to another! Being on the move all day kept me toasty warm. Of course I was knackered by the end of the weekend after running up and down the field. The sheep kept us all on our toes! I am pleased to report that I made it to the chute 3 times during the weekend and the sheep ran straight through each time. Magic! Thank you Nigel for training my sheep to do this little trick! Some sheep were downright snotty about the chute and defied any and all attempts by the dog to keep the sheep on the field. Penny managed to gain a couple of additional national points after a 4th placed finish in the morning trial on Sunday. We braved the first run of the day. Meg finished 3rd in the afternoon trial with a tidyish run. Pennant Williams and Sweep were the class of the field, winning two of the four trials. Nice runs! This week is the 'big' Llangadog trial and it will be a very early start to the day.
The sad news...we lost a dear friend with the recent death of Margaret Secor. Some of you might know Margaret. She was a frequent spectator at sheepdog trials here in Wales. We first met her at the Defaidty trial in North Wales where she fell in love with little Sioux. Late last year she visited us and attended a Carmarthenshire Nursery trial and the Three Counties trial. With her health failing her, and not wanting to be a burden on her friends, Margaret moved back to the USA and died not long afterwards.
Wales was Margaret's all-time favorite part of the UK, so it was fitting that her trip to our place in South Wales was her last "local" jaunt. One of Margaret's daughter's wrote to us saying "Mom could never see why so many people were fascinated by Ireland when there was so much more beauty right next door in Wales (not to mention the brilliant border collies!)." Too true! We surely will miss Margaret, and will be ever thankful to her. God bless, Margaret! Remember Margaret's sentiments if you are thinking about coming to this year's International in Wales in September. There is beauty right here in Wales...and brilliant border collies.
Till next week...be kind, and happy trialling.