Author Archives: Frances

They Make Me Laugh

While I sat on the wall of the tiny shed waiting for Delia to eat her daily Golden Paste and conditioning cube mixture, a certain little person was hopping up and down outside trying to get my attention so I could see just how starving he was.

If you were confronted with this little face, you could not but return the smile.  It would be rude not to.

Storm was grinning at me.

I think this is called “working the room” or field in my case.

I defy anyone to have a hard heart and not chuckle even a little bit.  Or is this a face only a mother could love?

Meanwhile, on other sides of the walls, I was being stalked. I do come with carrots for the others and chucked them over so they didn’t feel left out on the food front.

Tiddles came up behind me.

We were both practising the gentle Art of the Selfie when he gave me a smacker on the lips.

When Delia had finished her bucket and was mooching round for any last little bits that might’ve dropped out, I took the bucket away and gave it to Vitamin to polish off, which she duly obliged with 100% enthusiasm.

Storm was disgusted (ears back) but for me, Storm is a bit like Asterix – despite his terrible start in life, he fell in the cauldron as a yearling and doesn’t actually need more food.

But I am a nice Muzzah, and I let Storm have the leftovers of the leftovers of Delia’s bucket.

Therefore, I was allowed to leave the field in one piece.

A Day Out

Tuesdays = flute lesson day and then into town for our messages (shopping and stuff).

The usual.  We have no lives, just our routine which I, for one, adore (obviously if I could bring Lambie, it would be perfect but perhaps Lerwick is not ready for one woman and her smiling sheep).

Since my back disintegrates with no prior warning, plus that ridiculous anaphylaxis (again with no prior warning), my comfort zone is narrow.  As I write this, I realise I am pretty pathetic, but hey, that’s how I roll these days.

Obviously, when I have to, I get my big girl pants on and do whatever is required – see next week when I go south.  But, if I can get away with it, I tend to be a stay-at-home bird.  You just never know what’s around the corner and I, for one, don’t want to know.

So, having said that, today, I had a few messages in Gulberwick – a village 2.5 miles south of Lerwick.

I took the opportunity to explore.

I was very taken with this old graveyard which has no apparent means of access, apart from over the fields.   This worries me.  How do they get there?  Is it still used?

You can see Bressay, the island at the back.

A fierce rain shower came in.

There was a wonderful shed just sitting there.

And then a warning to the shed to stay standing because we all know what can happen in bad weather.

Perhaps I need to get out more and yes, I did enjoy myself.

Super Sheeples

The Shetland Winter skies are beautiful.

Cold, but beautiful.  Today we had our first frost and, although this looks like nothing, I took this photo in the afternoon and the ice still had not vanished.

Anywho, I thought you might be interested to see how Puzzah and his new-to-him sheeple friends are getting on.

Well, we have had a few blips (mostly of the butting variety which have resulted in a swift kicked arse) but Puzzah is coming along fine.

He learns.  He wants to do right (all positive) and he acknowledges my fury at his ill-educated behaviour so I think there is hope.

To his credit, Puzzah is good with the other boys.  I would not tolerate bullying – I have a contingency plan if he is a bully (Leradale).

They all seem very happy together.  Even son and heir, who today favours the gormless look!

You gotta love Les Boyzenberries.

They are so comfortable in their lives – and any addition/change is taken in their stride because, well, Muzzah says so.

The Boyzens all came home in the late afternoon – at night, they live outside around the house  where there are sheds to go to bed in.  Today, Puzzah wasn’t listening when I called them home.

So I sat on a rock and waited.

Lambie came up to talk and smile (there may have also been some secret hugging).

Sheep are very underestimated.   They have so much to say.

And then to the front door for the daily carrot supper.  Check out Lambie’s Winning Smile.

Mostly, the carrots are for Puzzah, who is very keen.  He needs extra.

And here we are, a few weeks on, and Puzzah is a fully paid up member of The Boyzenberries.

I do love my sheepie-boys.   Yes, they are a bit of work but so worthwhile.

PBSA Youngstock Show 2017

Today was Show Day.  The Pony Breeders of Shetland Association (PBSA) held their annual Youngstock Show at the Shetland Rural Centre, Staneyhill, Lerwick.

I know this because it was bloody freezing and threatening to rain – perfect show weather then!

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So, I went along, taking some Shetland ponies along for a friend.

It’s always good to have a day out and I thoroughly enjoyed myself seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

The Youngstock Show has evolved over the years into a big show with large classes maintaining a high standard as well.

The classes took part in the indoor part of the Marts or the Rural Centre, as it seems to be known these days.  Before the classes, the ponies waited outside in pens.

There was one ring with ten classes as well as the Youngstock Champion and Reserve Champion. Everyone presented their ponies to the judge, walked and then ran up and down the ring showing off gaits and conformation.

Being a Youngstock Show, every pony was über floofy.

These two foals haven’t seen each other since being weaned a few month’s back.  They were very happy to be back together again, albeit briefly.

As well as the serious and important side of showing, children (or young handlers) are very much encouraged to participate.

There is nothing better than the smile of a young Shetland pony handler.

This pony is a total saint!

And then afterwards, the statutory sandcastles made out of the arena shavings.

So a good day in all. I won two things in the mandatory raffle – a wax jacket (it fitted, it will be very useful) and a bottle of white wine (it will be drunk;  again, it will be very useful).

As I said, a good day out.

Much Better

This morning, I went out to look for Albie and Newt to give them a special hug and some carrots that I just happened to have about my person.

I was met by this pair of reprobates waiting at the gait from our garden to the field – Efstur and Hjalti

Of course I had to share the contents of my pocketses.

Albie and Newt were not far away.

They came up for a chat, the requisite hug and I gave them their carrot ration (now slightly depleted) as well.

 

Albie is still a bit fretful and hysterical (read, highly strung) and he would not let me walk further away to take a better photo.  I had a small needy equine attachment.

I think he really suffered over at Leradale.  I have no idea why Vitamin bullied them unmercifully.  It was completely unacceptable.  We are trying to work out if she had met them before last year or in the summer.  I am not sure.

Anyway, there is no fighting, arguing or bullying now.

Albie is not scared and nervous around the big horses and that is the most important thing.  He has a tenuous grasp on life and reality at the best of times so “normal” is what he needs.

This set-up is not quite what I intended this winter but we will manage.  I saw the horses and ponies all together – all 9 of them in one big herd on the other side of the burn (stream), eating happily together.  No stress, no teeth, no aggro – just heads down eating the last of the Shetland grass.