WE KNEW that there would be many challenges we would encounter whilst ‘Living the Dream’, but this week has handed us yet another unexpected challenge.

After bringing in reinforcements we have moved the remaining ram lambs to their new home on the farm. As you would expect, there has been lots of noise from both the ewes and the departing lambs.

What I didn’t expect was how I felt when I went to check on the sheep a couple of days after they had been moved.

I sat in the middle of the field and as many of them do, the sheep gathered around me, but this time things were different. The look on many faces told a story. A story of heartache and despair, as they wondered where on Earth had their lambs gone.

Now, I’m not sure what they were thinking and I’m sure I sound like a big jessie, but I did feel bad for them and wondered whether we had done the right thing, moving the lambs. This wasn’t helped at all when ‘Kehna’ came up to me, after bleating very loudly in my left ear, and rested her head in my hands and just stood with her eyes closed. As the daylight faded, I stroked her face for what seemed like ages, to in some way try and console her a little, whether it did or not I’ll never know, but I just felt it was the right thing to do at the time.

I’m sure in time we will learn to understand these animals but in order to learn these lessons we must work our way through the challenges as they come our way.

This week we have been smartening the place up. We had the hedges cut, got on with more weeding, dead heading and grass cutting, again, and we also gathered up hundreds of poppy seed heads.

Why collect poppy heads? Well, we have had countless visitors comment on our poppies and many times have been asked if we could save them some heads. So being the obliging sort we are, we have been doing just that. By doing this we will not be tempted to repeat last year’s error by throwing them on the compost heap, with the rest of the old flowers and weeds. This quickly came back to bite us in the behind, as we used the same compost to fill the new raised beds we constructed back in spring. So, as you can imagine, our mistake has meant that we have had fantastic display of poppies, weeds and nettles but precious few vegetables at all. We are learning though!

As part of our brightening up plans, we emptied 10 large china pots and spent some hard-earned money filling them with beautiful geraniums. They did look an absolute picture, but alas, not for long.

We came out the next morning to find the ducks scoffing their breakfast – our new flowers. We have managed to rescue some, but I am so tempted to have roast duck for dinner very soon.

To end this week’s ramblings, I wanted to mention that each week I listen to music as I get my thoughts together and this week’s music has taken me straight back to sitting in my Dad’s purple Allegro, listening to Cilla Black once again on the 8 track. It was so sad to hear of her passing away this weekend but her music will, I’m sure, live on.

Anyway, I’ve got to rush, there’s a rabbit digging up my lawn…