Friday, 19 October 2007

dear controller of Scottish weather........

i know, i know, i have been complaining about the lack of wild and windswept, typically Scottish weather.
but for this weekend
can you make sure that the West Coast of Scotland remains dry

thanks in advance

new sheep owners xxx

we are venturing forth from the East coast over to the West coast to meet our new girls.
part of our new life involves me being a registered crofter
this of course involves rearing and dispatching of your own animals, growing your own fruit and veg and generally looking after your own piece of land.
the trouble for us is the fact that we are Vegetarians.
i have been unable physically to eat meat for as long as i can remember, my mum tells me that i really was not keen on the taste of meat when i was first on solid food
i basically feel that i was born vegetarian

so - we purchased this piece of crofted land and began to think what on earth we were going to do with it apart from building a wonderful and unique house on it (news of build coming soon)

we will of course grow fruit, veg and flowers aplenty

but we also desperately want to keep animals

as readers of this blog will know - we already own a pig called Jo - he arrived before we did!

and we have decided to keep rare breed chickens and hopefully help to increase their numbers.

also on the list are ducks of various types including my favourite - indian runners.

hopefully we will still have our two loaned donkeys and i would one day soon like to have my own horse, but we also needed to have livestock to keep the grass down.

Highland Cows are of course my most favourite option, but we will have to wait until we can purchase a little more land - so in the meantime we have plummeted for sheep.

again the trouble with sheep keeping is the fact that in order to have lambs each year - which i would just love, you really have to sell on excess stock or before too long there would be sheep living in your spare room because of the lack of space outside!

for us there is no chance in us ever parting with any animal that has become part of our family, so we are lucky enough to have the chance to own a small number of very rare breed sheep.

we will meet them this weekend along with the couple who are doing amazing work in keeping this particular breed from disappearing altogether.

the chance to learn all we can on a bit of a crash course in sheep keeping, spend time with our girls and let them know that we will be back to collect them really soon, that we will go home and quickly put up new fences, erect a shelter full of soft straw, but above all else.......

never, ever send you to slaughter, sell you to anyone else or neglect you in any way

instead we will speak to you every day, make sure you are happy and let you all grow old with care and grace x

i cannot wait for this weekend

t x


Rowan said...

Hope you have a great weekend meeting your new girls - I have the answer to your what to do with the sheep problem - learn to card and spin and then use the fleeces to knit with - then maybe you could sell the results? How are Bean and Tallulah taking to all of their new companions?

Monkee Maker said...

How you ever find the time to blog amazes me - you have so much going on up there!

Hope you have a smashing weekend meeting your latest woolly lovelies :)

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

I would love to see photos of your sheep! How wonderful what you are doing at your new home. I am very partial to cows myself... I think they are such beautiful animals and I just adore their eyes and eyelashes! I take photos of cows whenever I can. Someday I should dedicate a post to them.

I think my only daughter (7 yrs) was born a vegetarian, too! She puts me on a serious guilt trip whenever I cook meat for the family, especially beef!!! She gives me a stern look and says, "You KNOW that's a COW, MAMA!!!" She's right! Perhaps I should learn a lesson from her!

Sea Angels said...

How fabulous, I love reading about your home and the crofting life. It must be so difficult at times ticking all the boxes, yet as you say still being vegetarians and making it work, you are fab. Now are you too far north for Alpacas cos I could make you a nice felted jacket from some alpaca shearing Ha ha! very soft.... HAve a super weekend, oohh I love his name so magical Hugs Lynn

the vicious chicken said...

Oooh exciting news - sheep are very good :o)

Here is what I can tell you about sheep: they're like cows only smaller and more fluffy, OR like monkeys only bigger and less adept at swinging from trees (and less inclined to drink your tea when your back's turned). I'm sure these gems will be of great help to you in your crofting life.

Sorry, just re-read that and it's a bit weird even for me. It's been a long week...

mummy said...

how wonderful,i do love and miss you so make my heart burst with pride.loads of very big hugs coming your way missie.!!!

mollycupcakes said...

Hi Tracy,
That sounds just wonderful, I can't wait to see the photos of them.
And if I where a piggy your house sounds the place to be hehe! love, grub, shelter and snuggles.
Have a lovely time.


Catherine x

Vintage to Victorian said...

I shouldn't be ... but I am ... so envious!! Have fun with your sheep. Just remember they are far more intelligent than people give them credit for! I do hope you eventually get a highland cow or two. That would be just perfect! And a small herd of alpacas to round off the menagerie. So exciting!!

dottie angel said...

the luckiest sheep in the world...i've said it before and i will say it again, what animal, small or large wouldn't want to live with you...come to think of it, not just animals but people as well...

picturing you in Scotland (how we miss it from years ago) and wishing you a fantastic weekend with your girls (can't wait to hear their names)...

Tif :)

Clang Clang said...

blimey - this sounds so amazing. You can never have too many sheep I say (!). In my fantasy land where I have more than a small terrace flagged yard to call my own, I will have a goat. She will be called Poppy. It will happen. You guys are giving me hope anyway! Loads of luck this weekend. Give them a kiss or, oh, I don't know, a ruffle, from me.

Rowan x

Holly Woods said...

Darling post! Tracy,
Dreams come true.

Holly Woods said...

Have you seen the sheep over at Getting Stitched On The Farm.?
Kristen's blog was the first one I ever visited. I think you will like it too.

Katie twinkles said...

Sheep, dagging, foot-rotting, spraying, going flying at feeding time cos' you are just getting in the way of eating.....mmmmm
I think it will be good to now get a border collie and if you need a contact I have a very good friend who's a shepherd and who has far, far too many black and white doggies.....


dottycookie said...

Those are going to be very lucky sheep!

Have you seen the article about the veggie sheep farmer in this month's Country Living? She grows them for wool and rescues lambs destined for slaughter - it's pretty inspirational and I immediately thought of you!

carolyn said...

There is a really nice article about a vegetarian sheep keeper in Nov Cluntry Living, could be inspirational for you.

Miles Away In France said...

ooh, how exciting, you must show us some pictures.

My blog is up and running again.

Racheal x

Barbara said...

As a vegetarian myself your latest venture sounds quite wonderful. Living in a rural area where the number one economy is sheep and cattle farming I often find it hard to reconcile the scenic beauty of the countryside and the animals within it with the reality of living in a market town. Thank goodness the local slaughterhouse closed down last year! Good luck with those lucky little sheep.

Cottage Contessa said...

Hope the weekend goes well for you sweetie!
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

Love Honor Disobey said...

Gosh are so busy! How do you ever find the time to take care of all those animals and do your crafting?!?

The little sheep sound so lovely. My friend lives on a working farm and I helped deliver a lamb was so magical! You are so lucky.

I am going to the post office on Wednesday by the keep your eyes peeled for a parcel.