Sparrows fart of the penultimate longest day was spent rounding up the Ryelands, who with their sixth sense knew something was about to happen so did what any canny Ryeland would do and headed for the hills. As ever with time at a premium things did not go well when the naughty flockers failed their breakfast appointment and were later found in ones a twos amongst the thorny gorse bushes.
They did this on purpose as they know that shearing a thorny sheep is almost as bad as shearing a wet thorny sheep. Thankfully we got the flock under cover for 24 hours and missed several deluges so when Stephani and Steve (honest) the mobile shearers (although after shearing 100+ sheep that day neither seemed particularly mobile!)pitched camp in Rock HQ's yard we were on for a couple of hours free (almost) entertainment and farm gossip while the flock got their kit off.
A sign of how relaxed we are around the militia nowadays is that we felt able to comment on Steve's shearing skills and helpfully gave him Ferny Fern Fern from Ferntown as his first victim. Ferny Fern Fern from Ferntown, a shear virgin, went bonkers, which was funny, and Steph had to assist Steve grapple the beast, which was funnier. Ferny is above asking for her fleece back.
Soon the Ryelands were deficit fleece and we took the opportunity to carry out some essential maintenance on our captives. We wormed, marked and blow fly treated them, which is why they look like a farmyard modern artwork or an explosion in a paint shop. The blue is our mark, the red is accidental leaking of essential body fluids and the pink is the blowfly wormer fluid which has to be applied externally in a cross shape. At least that's what we were told by the itinerant medicine seller before he ran off laughing.