Thursday, 23 August 2012

Should you be worried?

Doesn’t it strike you as odd?
A man, left on his own for a day while his fiancé is away, then spends a whole 9 hours watching sheep on TV?
Even when a friend visits, he shoves a glass of Chardonnay in his hand and tells him to shushhhh. There’s a really good one on, right now.
Especially when its 35 degrees and he is under cover of the terrace….with the speakers blasting out at 80 decibels.
Why would you do that?
Should I explain?
Could I explain?
Where do I start?
Would you understand? I’m not sure.
If I admitted that it was a passion, would you be worried? Because, I am afraid to say, that it is.
For many years I bred pedigree sheep and I loved every minute of it. I never made much money doing it and quite often I lost loads. And it should have been a business – but I treated it as a hobby.
Money was made elsewhere, and my spare time was spent with the ewes. They gave me immense pleasure, taking them away on holiday to shows, and selling their offspring at sales.
Odd? Well yes, I suppose it is.
But there is far more, so much that I don’t think I could vindicate it into words. Each year, I would put my brain and skills to the test. To sell this years crop – and buy next year sires. It was a game of chance, cat and mouse, pin the tail on the donkey – and dominoes. You pay’s your money and you takes your chance. Thankfully, I won a few hands, but I could never compete with the real experts.
In 2005, circumstances took all my flock away. It was a sad year, and one I never want to dwell on. But for 10 great years, my Texel sheep breeding days introduced me to fabulous folks, gave me huge heartaches, but with some top moments and celebrated achievements that I doubt I will ever encounter again.
Gone, but not forgotten.
So, despite my recent adventures, and our 16 strong flock of moutons on our little French smallholding of whom I both Wendy and I are mildly fond of, a day watching 500 proper ram lambs being sold on TV has been one of the most enjoyable I have had in months.
I don’t think I explained that very well, did I?
My latest novel – In Bed With Sheep – will probably be in excess of fifty thousand words and yet, still, I may not manage to elucidate my passion for the sheep species with enough decorum to excuse myself of the inevitable finger-pointing that will ensue from this declaration of the today’s activity.
I don’t care – I have just enjoyed taking the day off to watch 9 hours of sheep on TV.
For that, I make no excuses.

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