Benj (aka Eldest Son) came home at the weekend for a brief spot of rest and recuperation. But, this being Les Fragnes, he didn’t end up with much rest. He was barely through the door before we had him making sausages. This is something every man should know how to do. Chris passed on his valuable knowledge, which he only acquired about a week ago, and Benj has earned his stripes. He made some wonderful bangers.

And next day it was sheep wrestling time. We’d noticed Lambo (the sheep formerly known as Lamby) hadn’t been his usual exuberant self for a couple of days and had been keeping an eye on him. At last we detected the tell-tale signs of flystrike so we whisked him into the stable for a spot of shearing and spraying with a very powerful chemical to kill the dreaded maggots off. Lambo, being handreared, is a totally amiable idiot, bless him. However, he’s a very large amiable idiot so it took Benj’s and mine combined strengths to keep him still. Flystrike makes an animal’s skin very sore so it’s not pleasant for them when it’s touched or shaved. A sudden kick or wriggle during shearing could leave Chris minus a finger. The sheepshearer is a powerful and merciless piece of kit. Anyway, after his treatment Lambo perked up within a few hours and has rejoined his girls again. And so has Benj.

Lambo's new half-shaved look!

We’ve had another case of flystrike, presumably set off by the unseasonably warm, damp weather we’ve had this October. The Suffolk ewe had a small patch as we discovered today, but since we were Benjless again, it was up to Chris and me to do the wrangling alone. Rors kept an eye on the other two ewes to stop them breaking out of our temporary corral. So I spent half an hour hanging very firmly onto an upside down sheep on my lap while Chris got busy with the shears. After a bit of chasing around and a few tackles, that is! Either we’re getting better at handling the sheep, or they’re giving up sooner, I’m not sure, but today’s sheep manipulation went a lot better than when we did the blood tests back in the summer! We gave her a spray too. A badly (from our point of view) timed kick sent a shower of dilute Acadrex over my face so as soon as I could I raced to the bathroom to wash it off. It’s fiercesome stuff. But at least I won’t get flystrike!