A few nights ago we nailed the whole Farm Based Feminist Thing. We had dinner; homemade wild nettle/garlic pesto since you ask. (I might have had approximately nothing to do with making it, but the other day Bear and I did pick and fry up some nettles from our driveway, so we’re definitely part of the whole foraging/seasonal Collective.)
Instead of Andrew going out to check the lambs I offered to go instead. I put Raffy in his rucksack, strapped him to my back and out we went. Usually I would stay behind and do the dishes, whilst Raff would get really sad about not being allowed to jump up and down on the open dishwasher door. I thought this would be a nice break for both of us.
There were three lone sheep in the maternity field. I felt so sorry for them; the last few days of pregnancy are unbearable, but imagine being in the same ward as most of your friends and relations, all pregnant, watching them have their babies and moving to another ward, as you continue to wait for yours. No sex, no curries, no raspberry leaf tea to move things on.
Anyway, we checked the last three sheep, locked up the chicks, then walked around the field with all forty of the new lambs and their mums. It was windy and sunny and I thought this is much nicer for Raffy than being told off for jumping on the dishwasher. As it was for me, too. In fact, I got so caught up in checking that the small, still, black and white sacks of skin were actually fully alive lambs, that I forgot about absolutely everything else, it wasn’t until Scarlett barked from the lane that I remembered I had a life elsewhere. It was the weirdest, nicest sensation.
Can you feel the smugness oozing out my keyboard?
Well it’s not. Because I am very careful not to get smug. This is not because I have transcended my own ego or even that I’m just a very nice person. It’s because the absolute second that smugness descends, is the absolute second that I fall smack bang on my arse. I am pretty sure that no one else in the world suffers as acutely from this as me.
This photo is a very good reminder. It’s lovely, isn’t it? In fact it neatly sums up what this blog is about – my two boys on a tractor on a farm, and me, very much outside with them. But look a bit closer and you’ll see the dog shit on the right, which somebody, probably me, is just about to step into.
Lovely, lovely, dog shit. That’s the way it goes.
So the other night you’ll be glad to know, ended badly. While I was out doing my bit for Farm Based Feminism, and daddy was also doing his bit by washing dishes, Bear was watching the Batman Lego movie. Which subsequently gave him such bad nightmares he had to sleep in our bed, so daddy had to go to the spare room. (Do NOT feel sorry for him, the spare room has the best bed and the Christmas sheets.)
And this is where this little tale should have ended. Alas, no. The next morning we went, as a family, to check on the new lambs and watch Andrew clip the mum’s feet. Which was all fine. We then needed to move the mum and the two lambs to the field. To do this, I carried one lamb and Bear the other, so the mum would follow.
The four of us all outside on the farm, me not being inside doing crappy house jobs. I began to fear that the very comfortable glow I was beginning to feel might be developing into smug. We put the lambs down in the field, the mum followed, job done.
Then I stood up and realised actually, I didn’t need to fear feeling smug at all.