Posted by: kathandroger | June 23, 2019

Music Weekend!…and shearing again.

Our grass seems to grow more quickly each year. It needs cutting at least twice a week at the moment, and each cut takes about three hours. I used to love it, but it has become a bit of a bore, although at present the cherry trees are in full production, and each pass under them means stopping for a handful of the lovely fruit. Things weren’t helped yesterday when I stupidly mowed a hanging Globe Artichoke bush and completely buggered my mower! A bit of metal glue on the works and fingers crossed it may mow again. But at least the sheep don’t grow their fleeces at the same rate. The two ewes, and Hercules the ram, have good thick fleeces, and with the coming heat wave it was time to get the old sheep mower out and try and catch them for the annual haircut. Unlike some of our neighbours, I don’t shear the lambs, who seem quite content, even in the hot weather. Catching sheep is a bit of a game. I find it much better to do it quietly by myself, rather than several cussing runners trying to round up several excited sheep. I built a sheep trap a few years ago, and it seems to work, by putting some food inside and then quickly shutting the wire gate when they all enter. Hercules the ram is never any problem, being the last in and the last to try and escape. Rosemary, on the other hand, the mother of sixteen lambs, is always very suspicious and the first to escape. So it was on the first mornings attempt; only Hercules was caught. Now he is a great big heavy old chap, who has not attacked me for a couple of years, and I like to think we have an understanding. It appears I am right. The old ram just stands still and lets me shear him standing up.IMG_0834This is only halfway through, and it is a bit of rope on the grass, not Hercules eating a snake! The cans  contain a wonderful aluminium spray to be used on any cuts I make in the skin with the very aggressive electric clippers; they were hardly used this year! He didn’t thank me, but I reckon he must have felt better to be rid of that mangy old overcoat. He certainly looks better.IMG_0838And to my astonishment, the two ewes were easily caught and sheared the next day. I see that the World Sheep Shearing Championship is to be held in France this year, not far from us, and the top chaps shear a sheep in about a minute. That is about half an hour quicker than me!

One nice event each year in France is the Fete de la Musique. This was started here by Jack Lang, the then minister of Culture, in 1982, and has now spread worldwide. It is held on the longest day, June 21st, with some latitude for events on two days. Locally the villages have some sort of celebration, and I was involved in Le Grand Pressigny, a few miles from us.IMG_0846Those empty seats were not empty for long; various groups, both young and old performed in two locations in the village, food and drink was widely available on the streets, and the weather was perfect for a great evening. It was typically French, in that temporary traffic lights were installed, by villagers, not the Police, and the centre of the village was completely closed to traffic for the event. I was chatting to a retired Policeman from the UK, and comparing the ease with which a village can be closed here and there!

So here we are at the longest day, and the evenings will soon be drawing in! The Barley is ripe for harvest,IMG_0830 and my favourite time of the year has gone. But I still heard the cuckoo this morning, so all is not lost.

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