So lambs down at Sarah's place where they are being fed frequently. They are less dehydrated and looking good. Argument raged through my head as to whether I should stay there and help with the night feeds, but I was shooed away by Sarah who said I needed my sleep. The guilt washed lavishly through me as I drove away, with the instructions that I had to milk the mum sitting uncomfortably in my head.
So I made a return to Labartere. The ewe was standing at the field gate, looking better in herself. Hubs and me got her over into the Paddock. She went quickly, thinking that her lambs were going to be there. Hubs had computer work to urgently do. He moved off, with a 'Good luck with the milking'. Crikey!
So I followed the ewe back into the sheep barn, to find her conveniently nosing about in the small pen at one end, the one where she had stayed with her lambs. I shut her in. I tried milking. Ooooerrrrr! First of all she wouldn't stand still. She is a big sheep, and I am but a mere human girl. To grab at her coat to keep her in one place took two hands. Those I had. But then there was the milking bit to do. Obviously this needed more hands. Only having two, this proved a difficulty. Anyway, I had a go. One hand holding the mum, the other feeling around her undercarriage. Oooh, but that was a strange experience. She was all hot and her teats felt rubbery. I did a bit of a squeeze at the end of one. She bucked and shoved me away. Not to worry. Small enclosure, not much room for her to escape me, so I tried again. Nope. Wasn't going to work.
So I gave up.
Into the house I went, and there I had a tear. Not a big one. Just a bit of one. And for all of two minutes I had it in my head that I wanted to go back to the UK. Sell. Go. Do what others are doing. Retreat. Trying to build a new life, with all its attendant difficulties, was proving far too much for me.
And then swiftly did those thoughts evaporate. This was too self indulgent. One makes decisions to try something new, therefore one must persevere, and with a smile on one's face as well. This I did, helped by Hubs coming into the kitchen and seeing my tearfulness. "Come on," he said, "Lets go milk that mum"
So we did. Having milked cows Hubs knew how to milk the ewe, and quickly the milk was squirting into the bowl, despite the ewe's disinclination to help. We managed to get the pressure off her udders although didn't clear all the milk because she was still too sore with the mastitis and she was p*****d off with us. Well wouldn't anyone be, having their milking equipment manhandled!
Back in the house, me and Hubs sat, both exhausted by the efforts of it all. One can do several things when one is in this state of being. One can either moan and complain. Or have an argument with one's partner to relieve the tension. Or discuss selling up. Or one can go make a lovely plate of egg and chips. Which I did. Then off to bed, putting an end to a day which had been, quite frankly, fraught.
Not to worry, another day ahead, and I am off to see the lambs shortly and help Sarah with setting up a website by way of thanking her for her efforts. I think we will have to have a go at milking the ewe again before I do so.
My spirits are up. There are times when one has to stay up on one's feet despite the nagging desire to go to sleep for a hundred years! Ah well, better than sitting in front of a TV, which I did loads of when back in the UK.
By the way, I looked at the Black Cockerel this morning, and my intuition said that he will be needing to be recycled soon, the reason being that he is starting to show attitude. But he didn't have the mop thrust at him last night to get him out of the tree in which he was trying to go to sleep, because he was actually inside the Hut. Mmmm, perhaps he is aware of treading a fine line now! One of the other hens has gone broody in the empty rabbit hutches that they decided to use as nest boxes. But Hubs booted her off, because she had taken unto herself all the eggs laid that day, which were four in total. No doubt she will keep on wanting to sit on a clutch. No doubt we will try to encourage her not to!
So bless this smallholding life. Now where can I buy a penny's worth of patience!