Friday, November 25, 2011

Im back!!!!

What a night last Thursday was.  It wasn't bad enough that it blew an absolute gale but at 11:30pm we had a thunder and lightening storm right overhead.  Normally our lightening is sheet but that night it was fork. It knocked out the electricity in the house.  Fortunately I guess that is what a trip box is for so in fact it tripped the house.   It struck the receiver on the television satellite dish and burnt that out or whatever lightening does.  It knocked out our Internet connection but bizarrely  not Shaun and Tanya's and that is why I have been quiet of late.  Cable and Wireless came to the conclusion along with Christopher that it was the line driver gone, this sends the signal from the mast on the hill down to the house.  On the Monday we had a plane come in and drop of a new receiver for the TV.  Result that worked.  They also dropped of a line driver for our Internet, nothing.  It then appeared that the line driver wasn't powerful enough to send the signal the distance required, still no Internet.  The next day the plane came in again and dropped of what was described as the rolls Royce of line drivers.  Still nothing.  Christopher was up and down up and down to the mast, connecting it this way, then that way.   He knows a fair bit about most things but he isn't a technician. In the end he was about to give up when he suddenly thought I wonder if it is the lightening conductors (not sure if that is what they are called).  Back to the house, back onto Cable and Wireless, do you think it is the lightening conductors.  Well probably not but you can try.  So last ditch effort to fix it himself he took them out and away it went.  In hindsight he said he should have thought of the lightening conductors but there you go.
So life has been busy.  Christopher and Shaun gathered the hogs and shearlings in.  Then we all helped draft.  No ram came in so Shaun has been absolved of blame of lambs in amongst the shearling ewes.  First we shore the wether hogs which we have run over winter for old season lamb.  Despite major misgivings about the condition of them when we had been out looking at them in the vehicle they turned out to be in very good condition.  They are well grown and the influence of the SAMM genetics are now becoming very evident.  We now need to concentrate on the micron to make sure that is does not become too coarse.  There is definitely a coarseness creeping in but we have some lovely, very large, very fine SAMM rams now so we should be able to breed any coarseness back out.  Its all a balancing game when you want a large sheep but also a fine wool. 
The arrival of a small number of lambs in the shearling ewes would appear to have an explanation as we found two large rigs.  A rig is a ram that has been marked but one ball has been left out.  If they were small animals they probably would not have left any lambs but these were two strapping boys.  The fact that they are only hoggets and only have one ball each explains why there are not too many lambs.  Who is to blame?  Well Christopher puts the rings on the testicles, so I guess it was him.  Unusual for him to make a mistake like that but the evidence is there.  After we shore the wether hoggets we had a day off for the men to press up the wool.  Then we started the ewe hoggets.  We had a lot of rain while we were shearing them and ended up only shearing part days as we had to put the clippies back in the shed as it was too cold and wet to leave them outside.  Ended up leaving 100 for Shaun to shear by himself as we had to come down to George Island yesterday as we had people coming today.
Oh and I have my four wheeler.  It is cool, 6 gears, 5 forward and 1 in reverse.  No pictures at the moment as I have a serious megabyte shortage.
Will get back to the comments but again may not be this month.


  1. Such a lot of news! You have been having some challenging days. I am glad you have your Internet connection back.

    I find your sheep handling interesting although I do not always fully understand the terminology.
    The one word that has confused me for some time was the use of the word "hog". I only know this as referring to a pig over 120 pounds. I thought for a while you were raising a few pigs.

    One of my interests is English dialects. I finally found the term " hog" referring to sheep in the South Cumbria dialect in Britain.

    Are there people in the Falklands from this area of Britain?

    Has anyone ever written a Falkland Island dictionary. I am sure you have many interesting and even unique words that you use with ease and don't realize to outsiders they are strange. I know there are such Canadian words that even our neighbours the Americans find strange. In my part of Ontario, French Canadian words and phrased can find their way in daily speech.

    There was a moment when I thought you might have had Hog Island Sheep, a unique hardy American breed that developed when the sheep were feral on a island for 200 hundred years.

    Of course you could be raising some sheep-pigs.:) It is amazing what you can learn on the Internet.!

    What kind of sheep do you raise? Do you allow the importation of sheep to the Falklands. I am fond of Icelandic Sheep, which can be raised for wool, meat and milk. Iceland does not let any sheep to be imported to Iceland. I think this is to keep the breed pure and to keep disease out. This is also true about the Icelandic pony.

    My friend Lynne is amazed at how many variety of sheep there are. She was very impressed when she lived in Yorkshire how all the children seemed to know all the local varieties of sheep.

    I am busy splitting and piling wood these days. I don't seem to be as strong as I used to be. My aches and pains slow me up a little. I guess my age is catching up to me. It is hard to ignore.
    At least I now have enough wood for a long and cold winter. So far it is holding off in this area while all around us they have had snow, some places as much as a foot or more deep.

  2. I have been looking at the links you put on. The South Cumbria dialect was interesting although it had hog the other words apart from gimmer were not familar to me. Although some people here use the word gimmer we use the word shearling. Christopher says I should use the correct word for hog which is actually hogget.
    I think there is a dictionary of Falkland Islands words and next time I am in Stanley I will look through my dads books to see if he has it.
    I liked the link on the sheep/pig. We breed on George Island the Dohne which is a 60% fine wool, 40% meat. This is a cross between a south African mutton merino and the pippin merino. The south African mutton merino was formally the german mutton merino. On Speedwell we breed the SAMM which is 60% meat, 40% wool.
    On Barren we put Pol Dorset rams across ewes that are replemished from the George Island ewes. All lambs from Barren go to the abattoir as the Pol Dorset is a very coarse wooled sheep but the cross produces an excellent fast growing lamb.
    We have very strict import regulations for genetics. We enjoy a more or less disease free status and stringent regulations are in place to maintain it.
    Im glad you now have your wood all cut and are ready for winter. I really enjoyed the e-mails about New Zealand. It is somewhere we would both quite like to visit. It was interesting that they catered for their tourists much the same as us. We also do a shearing/wool handling display. Christopher does a dog trialing display and we also have home baking/tea/coffee in the house so people can come in and have a chat.