Sunday, December 18, 2011

Water in my ears!!!

When Shaun suggested that now he was going to be working for us we should shear all 5,000 sheep ourselves it didn't occur to me that at times I was going to be the only shed hand.  The last three days has seen us shearing every day.  Only small amounts between 60 - 100 a day.  I have wangled every way possible for it to be just me and Shaun in the shed, to the point that I even suggested that he (Christopher) should take some time out and go and have a picnic.  When it is just me and Shaun I ask him to shear as fast as he can so that there will be less left to do when they are both on shearing together.  It has worked quite well and most days I have only had to spend at the most an hour with them both shearing.  Yesterday it was so hot and there was so much work to do I swear the sweat was running down my face and filling up my ears.  Christopher and Shaun just laugh at my struggle to keep up and to give them credit they are very tolerant.  Today I was thinking its a wonder I haven't had my fringe trimmed in my struggle to move the crutch with its copious amounts of gooey shit.  When you go in to remove the crutch the sheep is slightly laid back and if you are a bit slow like me the shearer moves the sheep up into the up right position while you are still doing it. At times the shears seem very close to me.  Today in the shed was also interrupted by a retching session on my behalf.  I was standing at the wicker basket pulling the stained wool of the shit when the overpowering aroma of ammonia went right up my nose.  It was so strong I couldn't stop myself retching.  I could hear Christopher saying to Shaun whats wrong with mum has she swallowed a piece of wool and Shaun saying I don't think so I think its the smell of the shit.  Of course all of this very hard work for me can be avoided by crutching the sheep.  We would normally crutch and wig all our young sheep but this year because we were so late getting Theo back into the water we run out of time to do it.  It wont happen again, not while I'm the rousie anyway.
Besides shearing we have now slaughtered and sent to Stanley 89 lamb for our customers.  We have also continued to lamb mark all ewe lambs that come in when we are selecting Xmas lamb, those wether lambs that are not big enough have also been marked.  This afternoon Shaun and Christopher are away to gather all the rest of the ewes, lambs and hogs in.  Today we will continue to lamb mark and draft of the rest of the hogs for shearing tomorrow.  We will also select the last 24 lambs for slaughter.
When that is finished the lawn needs mowing the rest of the weeding in the garden still needs to be finished.  The house is a bit of a tip and needs tidying.  The last plane to take lamb out comes on Tuesday then we can go to Stanley for Christmas.  Bring it on.
With the weather being beautiful I have really enjoyed weeding in the garden.  I was really pleased to find the swedes that had obviously blown out of one plot were now growing in the top of the potato patch in the other plot.  I weeded ever so carefully so as not to pull any out so that they could be transplanted when they grew a bit more.  I was immensely pleased with myself for saving them all and reckoned I had probably found the whole pack full.  I kept saying to Christopher have you been and looked at all the swedes but he had been too busy.  Yesterday I was at the clothes line when he came back from the plane.  I said come and look at the swedes with me.  We peered over the fence and I thought they don't really look like swedes any more.  In the couple of days since I had last been in the garden my carefully looked after swedes had turned into stinging nettles.  Now I have to start at the top of the plot again and pull out my dozens of carefully looked after stinging nettles.
Finally for today the Bremen cancelled her next trip to Barren island on the 21st December.  This is a shame but we never count on the money from tourist boats because cancellations are quite common.  Sometimes it is frustrating because they can be cancelled very late.  One time we have  flown Christopher's mother out to help us on the day and the vessel cancelled the day before.  There is no cancellation fee so on that occasion we lost money  but when they do come in it is a good days pay for us.  Hopefully she will not cancel the next one.

1 comment:

  1. Busy, Busy, busy! I guess you know the proverb, "Idle hands are the Devil's plaything."
    You have no time to be involved in any devilment.

    YOu need to learn to do the shearing so the "boys" can get their nose it it.

    I hope you have a good rest and a lovely Christmas in town. All the best in the New Year.