Well that was entertaining - Tactical Ninja
Jan. 18th, 2013
10:06 am - Well that was entertaining
So you know how yesterday I was all "Yes! Tonight I shall shear those lambs!" Well, that was all fine and dandy up until about 3pm when a giant thunderstorm rolled in from the south, and in about 5 minutes flat Horokiwi had disappeared completely and everything was being doused in sheets of rain. So much for that.
However, Charlene's show sheep still needed to be primped. The show is on Saturday and we had no time, so she got her sheep in in a lightning storm while I braved the motorway and people's having forgotten how to drive in wet conditions, and luckily it stopped raining just long enough for us to do the job. Since I've never done this before, I took pictures for posterity.
Here is the first picture of the offending backside. I have to say, having sheep tame enough to stand while you fiddle around with their rear end is a bonus in this situation. Are you horrified by the messiness of this *ahem* escutcheon?
No, nor was I. There are no dags there and to me it looks like a perfectly normal sheep's rear end. However, show judges are looking to take points off and the word on the ground is tassely bits on the hocks, straggly bits on the underside of the tail, and anything in the wool is Bad. So off they come. Here I am being shown what needs to be done:
First, trimming the tassels on the end of the tail, then shaping the wool so that it looks natural. The *ahem* escutcheon needed the removal of the shorter bits of wool that collect lanolin and urine underneath the vulva, which resemble dags but aren't. And those tassely brown bits on the inside of her hocks needed to come off, again making it look as natural as possible. Yes, I felt like a hairdresser.
Here is the finished article:
Have you ever seen such a tidy sheep's arse? No, me neither. Actually, I have. It looks like this:
But that's a bit obvious for the judges. The deal here is to make it look as though your sheep is naturally just too damn classy for tassels, straggles and daggy bits to ever form on its illustrious nethers. I like to think I achieved this. Here is the final result:
I think she looks stunning, myself. She is indeed a lovely looking sheep and has all the right characteristics*, but she'll be up against some tough competition (who I also shear but whose owner does her own primping). However, Charlene is one of those people who doesn't do anything by half and even though she's only got 9 sheep, they are all of very high quality and her breeding program is likely to produce even better ones in the future. I would love to see this sheep win a prize for her.
This is me brandishing my sheep primping scissors at the rest of them, while they give me the side-eye from afar. Yes, those are actually dressmaking scissors. In fact, they cost me more than my actual dressmaking scissors, because for fiddly trimming jobs around sheep's tender bits I want them to be sharp and stay that way. I think the sheep appreciate the lack of stabby too.
* Most characteristics sheep are judged by are based on the likelihood of them producing an efficiently cut-uppable carcase in the fastest possible time with the highest yield of meat (so things like a nice long flat back to produce lots of evenly-sized chops for example), or their ability to produce a high-quality, even fleece with minimum waste (hence the distaste for tassely bits). It's all about the dough with livestock, basically.
I also spent some of last night going through old photos. You see, I stumbled across this the other day - it's a history of the York Sub Aqua Club. As it happens, my Dad was a bit of a pioneer of SCUBA (and was a line diver before that), and some of the stories in that history were suspicioulsy familiar - particularly the one about the shooting and the one about the 'two blokes with buckets on their heads in a lake near Elvington' - and I have photos to prove it. So I contacted them. Turns out the BSAC is having its 60th Anniversary this year, and they would love to have the pics. Also, the guy who wrote the history probably knew my Dad. Among the pics I found a whole lot of other stuff, including this:
Note the bit in 'profession' where he's crossed out Electrician's Mate and written in Dolphin Trainer. Heh. This was 1961 and it was actually true. I have photos to prove that, and I think I'll put some in Monday's post.
My Dad was pretty awesome. Also, check out that knitted vest he's wearing in the pic. He never did have *ahem* subdued taste.