Closing the Sheep Chapter

In recognition that not everyone following this blog since the early days will have followed my recent FB updates and also to give me chance to explain things more fully, this post aims to explain why I decided to disperse my flock of Kerry Hill sheep recently. As per usual I think this is likely to dig into some deep emotional baggage along the way, otherwise there is not really much point in me writing it down!

The decision to move on and sell the flock was actually quite an easy one, I have been surprised how many people have viewed it as a big thing, or something with huge emotional ties for me, ultimately it reflects a need for me to simplify life down to things that I currently enjoy and want to do. De-cluttering my life to a point where I can work out what actually matters to me, with a view to building back from there. My enthusiasm for sheep ‘maintenance’ was close to non-existent this summer and I could see that was leading to jobs not getting done and that would inevitably lead to health issues for the flock. If I was not prepared to properly care from them, then they had to go, a simple welfare issue that I couldn’t ignore and as soon as I recognised this, the decision was made. A brief flurry of reaching out to fellow breeders and a new home was secured in a deal where hopefully all parties end up happy, especially the sheep. I bid them farewell on 3rd July and my 9 year 2 month chapter of shepherding was closed, at least for now.

Of course, an Adi blog post can never be as simple as that though can it? Definitely not.

A lot of recent soul searching has reminded me of the circumstances around decisions made in years gone by and this one goes back 10 years to the Coast to Coast walk. During that walk, Jackki was, as usual, left at home to hold the fort, a role she had always filled without complaint while I swanned off around the world for either work or pleasure, although mostly work. I was not oblivious to the pressure this placed on her and tried to minimise the impact where I could but she was always supportive and rarely asked me to change or abandon such trips. For this trip however, I really underestimated how much she was struggling with her health and the pressure of work and I should have cancelled. All through the trip our conversations got worse and worse and Jackki was really upset and questioning why I always seemed to need to go away doing these silly trips and putting myself and others ahead of her and the family. I was really caught by surprise and shed a lot of tears during that walk and felt like a real selfish prick for allowing her to feel that way, I had let down the woman I loved and it was an awful feeling.

So how is that relevant to you getting rid of sheep then I hear you ask? Bear with me, I am getting to that.

Some serious soul searching while crossing the North York Moors and the heart to heart conversations when I got home after the walk led me to a firm decision that I would never again put my personal desire for travel ahead of my love for Jackki. Simple. No more stupid trips unless we could do them together. Simple.

I am a restless fool though and still needed some crazy shit in my life and the outlet I found that would keep me tied to Jackki’s side but also give me new experiences and get me outdoors was…sheep. So a large part of the whole sheepdog training and sheep keeping stems from a desire to tie myself to activities that would keep me grounded and at home. This new chapter opened us both up to some very happy times together, new friends and of course, it led us to our happy years here in Lanehead. Without Jackki, it was inevitable I would start to resent the shackles that the sheep definitely represented in my head. I absolutely love where I live and I need to be here because I want to be here and not because I feel tied to the place, does that make sense?

Anyway, enough from me. There is actually important shit going on out there and this life, death, grief thing is hurting one of my closest friends right now and his feelings are more raw than mine and I don’t think my self pitying waffle will be much help. Here for you mate.

Adi

2 thoughts on “Closing the Sheep Chapter

  1. Do what makes life simpler and live the best time possible, life goes on and we have to make the most of it.
    We are very fortunate to have a wonderful growing family.
    Love you loads xx

    Like

  2. Life is about living it. I’d come to Jakki with my tales of woe, she’d listen and usually her reply was ‘and?’ She instilled in me life is yours to change and do want you want with, if it’s not working change it. The most important thing is not to waste it and be happy, don’t sweat the ‘small stuff’.

    Liked by 1 person

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