IT APPEARS that I have once again succumbed to my softer side.

For some weeks I have been keeping my beady eye on Stanley, one of our young rams. I wasn’t sure wether he was just out of sorts or there was something actually wrong with him. If truth be told, I don’t think that he has ever got over being separated from his mother and twin sister, back in the summer.

Anyway, whether it was really happening or not, I got it into my head that Stanley was being bullied or left out by the other young rams. So after lots of consideration, we decided to move him back in with his sister and the other young female sheep.

Before we moved him, I roped Wendy into make the necessary checks, so we didn’t have any accidents with the young ladies he was moving in with. Thankfully, with Stanley, it appears that the necessary action was taken care of properly back in the spring.

For the past few years our two older border terriers have been regularly getting hand stripped every six to eight weeks. For whatever reason though, we have let things lapse in recent weeks and we just haven’t got round to getting them booked in. This somewhat idle behaviour has contributed towards creating a dilemma in our house. You see the thing is, because the two dogs have far too much fur at the moment they could easily double up as Christmas trees in our house and someone around here needs very little encouragement to decorate another tree or two, believe me.

I’ve noticed a change in myself lately. It is a change which I’m sure needs a whole lot of working on for it to make a real difference, but I have noticed that after 50-plus years, I am learning to become more patient.

I noticed this miraculous occurrence in relation to the weather. I have found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the weather. Often I have earmarked jobs which I need to get completed or even started, but in so many instances, the weather has interrupted my plans. It’s taken a while, but I’m learning to chill out a little when the rain starts messing things up and I’m realising that I have no influence on the weather, but I do have an influence over my attitude. Instead of chuntering on about it to all those I meet, I have started to seek out alternative jobs which aren’t impacted on by the weather.

You’ve heard the saying ‘water off a ducks back’, well in my case it’s now ‘water off a jock’s back!’ and long may it continue.

As 2015 draws towards a close, I was thinking about what we have achieved this year down at Long Meadow Farm and in looking forward to the next chapter of our journey, was considering what life has in store for us in 2016. My thoughts quickly moved away from thinking about our lives to the lives of others in today’s world and was reminded of words from the popular Christmas carol ‘I Heard the bells on Christmas Day’.

“Then peeled the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men.”

Can we wish you all a Happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.

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