Thursday, 25 March 2010

Real Spring Lamb

Now, lambs are a prerequisite of Spring I would say, but I must admit I haven't spied one yet. I know they are out there - the girls said they saw their first one out of the school bus window back in late February. But nothing round here so far.

The other day, while I was in the mountain shop in Buxton (in the old Woolworths premises) deliberating over what shade of beanie to get the girls for their forthcoming school ski trip, I heard a couple of oh-so-busy assistants leaning over the pink snow boots on the discount stand and chatting about the virtues (or otherwise) of reality TV's latest brainchild, 'Lambing Live'. Broadly, they seemed hooked. Well, one of them was at least. I have to admit to not being as smitten myself. There is something hugely irritating about having Kate Humble gush over it all as if lamb birth was some new phenomenon. But I mustn't be too unfair as I am aware that there are many who do not have the chance to see such things for themselves. Around here we have a wonderful farm called 'Blaze Farm' - aka The Ice Cream Farm. They took the business decision to diversify and, beyond the dairy farm where you can see live milking and the cafe where you can buy freshly made icecream produced from the cows' milk, there is also a really informative nature trail (it is here I learned how to build a dry stone wall), a selection of goats, donkeys and poultry to view as well as kittens (their numerous cats are highly productive, it seems) and, of course, at this time of year, lambing.

A couple of years ago, when I had children at schools in two different counties and the Easter holiday dates did not overlap, I had six weeks to fill with engaging activities. I spent a lot of time at Blaze Farm. So much, in fact, that I am not sure I have been back since. I kind of had my fill. Yet it was here that I saw my first ever lamb actuallly being born. I had arrived with L and a friend of hers from school - both of them just six years old and full of the joys of spring ('scuse the pun). They shot out of the car like escaping gas and whizzed into the lambing shed. Straw bales are set up where the children are allowed to hold new born lambs; there are the lambing pens themselves and then the pens where mother and child bond (just like Lambing Live, you see). I had a small camera in my pocket, just in case, and, as luck would have it, I wandered in after the children just as a ewe was giving birth. It was jolly exciting - bit like the robin in my feeder (previous post, for the confused). The girls made yuck noises while l took photos...





Anyway, I was at the Cheshire Schools Music Festival in Macclesfield on Monday night, for my sins, and I happened to find myself sitting next to the farmer's wife (who is hugely creative and also runs a Pottery Cafe at the farm). I asked her how they felt about 'Lambing Live' and she rolled her eyes saying how her husband had groaned and said 'Now I'll just have a load of people coming in telling me how to do my job!' Poor man, I feel for him.

In the meantime I'm looking forward to seeing my first Spring Lamb and will just have to close my eyes and think of England when one of them ends up on my plate in a year's time covered in mint sauce...








PS: have just found this rather amusing article on 'Lambing Live' and the relative merits of Reality TV.

2 comments:

Pondside said...

There's no program like that over here - our reality shows are all about out-of-shape women getting naked, fat people getting thin, mothers swapping families etc etc
Happy Easter to you and yours. Will there be lamb on the menu?

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