Category Archives: MyShetland

Body Modification

I have been reported to Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) for having three untagged sheep on the premises.

It is illegal and, if I don’t tag them, I will be fined £5,000 this week.

So, with our backs up against the wall, we had no choice.

The sheeples are now all double tagged – one in each ear.  One with a microchip and one without.  Both have my flock number and their number.

We tagged them in the order they arrived in our lives.

Lambie is No 1.

‘Bert is No 2.

‘Ster is No 3.

What can I say?  I do not agree with this practice.  I think it is cruel, barbaric and very wrong.

When I asked why the sheeples should be tagged. I was told it was for identification purposes.   I could identify my three anywhere. They don’t leave the premises. They are pets.

If I tagged my dog, BeAnne, I would be reported for cruelty.  Why is it different rules for sheep (and cows)?  Do not use the argument that it doesn’t hurt them because it does.  While it was being done,Lambie ground his teeth (pain) and is now hanging his head on the floor.  He is very upset, he hurts and he is telling me.

Thirty minutes before they were tagged, Daisy and I put Emla (local anaesthetic cream) cream in their ears but I don’t think I put it in far enough so it didn’t work well.

‘Bert and ‘Ster pretty quickly got over their ordeal.  They’ve had chats, biscuits and scratches.

But I spent an hour sitting outside with Lambie playing him The Carpenters trying to calm him down.

Five hours on and Lambie is still very upset and stressed.  He is not lifting his head.  No biscuits in the world is going to make this situation better.  I may have to buy some medical Wotsits.

My poor boys.  Bureaucracy stinks.

A Day of Rain

Today, as it was non-stop rain, I spent in the house doing “stuff”.

I tried resting – I want to get rid of my cold which is refusing to budge – but ended up discovering a steam cleaner I didn’t know about, blasting the kitchen, tripping over its electric cord, breaking my new-to-me equipment (twice).  I gave up my cleaning endeavours and baked a cake.

The cake is for Flossie, my youngest daughter, to celebrate passing her finals – she will graduate at the end of September.

Meanwhile, the horses and ponies have been entertaining themselves in the rain.  I think that is Albie and Efstur having a very good game together.  I love the way Efstur just sits on Albie at the end!

I can vaguely see them in the never-ending drizzle.

But rain is good – the grass is really growing now and we are now at the stage where I have to be careful where I put the animals.  It really is a juggling act all year round.  Too fat, too thin, nursing a foal, running up and down the fence shouting at the ladies, in training, not in training…… all reasons for grass or no grass.

Meanwhile, during my abscence my vegetables have done about as badly as they can.  The rocket has gone to seed having had no leaves, the peas are dying and the only things making an effort, that I can see, are the carrots, beetroot and lettuce.

I am learning.

Still, lots to do and when the rain stops, I might even ride a horse!

Home, Sweet Home

Yup, you guessed it, first one through the door.

My darling boy.

Some hard work – building another electric fence field for Fivla and Vitamin, checking Lyra and Delia, over to Lyradale to look at the grass growing (lots ready for winter) and then home.

After all that Floss and I went to say hello to everyone.

Hetja and Lilja were pleased to see us.

My little foalios have grown so much.  I had to reintroduce myself.

It didn’t take long – I had carrots.

Once hugged and carroted, I went into the Boys Field.

You have no idea how much I have missed my little boys.

I happily sat down and was hugged.

All the Minions came up.

Little Newt had the last of his foal fur hanging on so I spent a while gently pulling it off, especially that bit between his front legs.

But I successfully managed to turn him into a Little Handsome Prince.

Dearest Albie is fantastic.  I am so proud of him.  Such a loving little chap with superb attitude and manners.  He is growing up to be a real sweetie of a pony.

Happily rounded in every way, this little orphan is also a fully paid up member of the Minions.

Watching him initiate playing with his bigger Minions gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

They all adore him.  Sitting with my little boys is my idea of heaven. I have missed this.

BeAnne is not letting me out of her sight, even if it means being Minioned too.

Happy, happy, happy.



Last Day of the Garden

I am off back home to Shetland tomorrow.  One taxi, two flights and Daisy has promised to meet my plane to drive me home.

I will miss so much.  A different life.  My old one.

Yesterday, it rained most of the day and all of last night.

Mum’s garden was hugely grateful, despite my constant daily watering.  Rain is so much better than standing with a garden hose.


The flowers are very happy and everything is making a huge effort.  As I walk around the garden in the evening, we are bombarded by the divine different scents – stocks, lilies, roses, honeysuckle.  All amazing.

Meanwhile, while the Catalpa bignonioides ‘Aurea’ (Golden Indian Bean Tree) blossomed.

It was magnificent.

And then the rain it rained and all the blossoms fell off overnight and now sit on the lawn like old wedding confetti.

So, there may not be a blog tomorrow.  I will be travelling north (all 800 miles) and then there will be my ponies, sheeples, dogs, daughters and OH waiting for me – not necessarily in that order, but you know what I mean.

Red Kite

Pip and I were going on the daily early morning dog walk, as per our now well established and usual routine.  I had my camera with me just in case something caught my eye.

Othe home stretch, while Pip was dreaming of the soon-to-be-his breakfast, I thought I saw a large brown chicken and a magpie in front of us.

Of course, the chuck took flight and went up into the branches of the nearby oak tree.

So, Pip and I followed the bird to see if I could take more pictures.  Pip was very good and kindly forwent his breakfast dream to come with me.

I quickly identified the bird as a Red Kite.  They have recently arrived in our neck of the woods (the last 10 years) having been re-established in 1994  on Christmas Common in the Chilterns 25 miles away.

I had never seen a Kite before – I’ve heard about them, but never seen one flying above me.

I was very impressed.  It soared beautifully.

I am now looking up information – Kites have a wing span of more than six feet.

They are considered scavengers.

From Wikipedia – “The red kite (Milvus milvus) is a medium-large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards, and harriers.”

From the RSPB – “The red kite is subject to the longest continuous conservation project in the world.”

Apparently there are now about 2000 birds in the UK and we have one living near us!

It eventually flew away so Pip and I went home for our breakfast.