tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Counting sheep

Last night I laid awake for quite a long time trying to remember if I'd turned the tap off last time I filled up the water troughs for the sheep. It got me thinking about memory.

When I got to the sheep on Monday, I found that two of the gates between my carefully chosen and separated mobs had collapsed (through age and neglect - i've never seen a pipe gate disintegrate quite so completely before - there's a pile of netting and three or four separate pieces of tubing lying on the ground), and they were not only all back in together, but they'd pushed over the boundary gate and were happily munching grass in an unused gully next door.

Now, this gully is my client's 'emergency paddock', kept for times when it's really really needed. And, considering that she has left me with a farm that's slightly overstocked, with half of the sheep in less-than-average condition, at a time of year when the grass isn't growing at all, I think this constitutes an emergency. Despite my careful juggling management, the grass is running out.

Coupled with this, on Monday it was already approaching dusk when I got there after work, and I didn't have time to drag a new gate (about 40kg) the 300 or so metres to the place where it's needed, hang it, get the sheep in and separate them again, and shut them away in their respective paddocks.

So instead, I decided to count them to make sure they were all there, then go round and open all the gates and just let them go to it. I'll know when the grass starts growing again and then I'll sort them all out, shut up a couple of paddocks up for the future, and start with some kind of grazing routine. Meanwhile, the hoggets will hopefully have enough space so they can snatch a decent feed before the bigger sheep come and maraud them.

Discretion is the better part of valour, yeah? The downside is that my little routine of giving First some work with the hoggets regularly will probably go out the window. No stock rotation means no shifting sheep. ;-/

So, my mind was on all this stuff when I left. I remember turning the tap on, but I don't remember turning it off. The unusual has completely overcome the routine in my mind, and my inability to remember the routine is keeping me awake at night.

Hey, maybe I should drop a brick on my foot every time I turn the tap on and off, then I'll remember whether I did it or not by flexing my toes..

.. or maybe, if it's the routine-ness of it that makes it hard to remember, I should inflict a new injury on myself every time, to keep it fresh. Hmm.

Anyway, tonight I guess I'll find out. Wonder where the sheep will be?

Also, I wonder why, when it's about the sheep that are my responsibility, I'm prepared to be flexible and change all my carefully laid plans in an instant to keep up with changing circumstances, yet in other aspects of my life, the prospect of change brings out all my worst characteristics.

Clearly I need to spend more time hanging out with sheep - which, essentially, means I need to become independently wealthy. Either that or civilisation needs to collapse so that money isn't important any more. I wonder which is more likely to happen in my lifetime?

I am going to see Prince Caspian tonight with Tommy and Mum and grist and maybe xhile. I'm told it's better than the first one. I liked the first one, so this is excellent news.
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