I got up at seven o’clock and went out into the cool early morning and chopped 2 cords of firewood before breakfast. The rest of the morning John and I spent restanding a ½ ton slab of slate fence beside the stables. After a sumptuous lunch of roast pork we packed up and said goodbye to Sally and the kids then John drove us down to Petersfield in Hampshire. He dropped us off at the railway station and I rang Ali1 who came and collected us in a battered old Toyota pickup loaded with bits of wire, dead lambs and other bits and pieces.
After a cup of tea at Marden Farm we went for a tiki tour2 around some mobs of ewes and lambs that Ali is looking after. It was great to be on the land again and we even had to lamb an old ewe!
We spent the evening drinking up large at the local pub. It was just like old times…even Chopper3 turned up to welcome us!
1Linda’s cousin, also a former high country shepherd, who was managing a farm near Petersfield.
2New Zealand slang for looking around
3John “Chopper” Darling was another shepherd I’d worked with back in New Zealand. He was a renowned drunkard and readers may recall meeting him at the Red Lion earlier in the year.