Sports fans slow me up in the snow

Sunday Mirror - - SAIRAKHAN -

THE north wind doth blow and we shall have snow...

It wasn’t a white­out but there was enough to get the chil­dren up at dawn drag­ging sledges, skis and snow­boards out of the wood­shed.

Ev­ery­thing takes so much longer to do when there’s a car­pet of snow.

Not only is it dif­fi­cult to travel around the farm be­tween the flocks but I am ac­com­pa­nied by a number of win­ter sports en­thu­si­asts.

After I have filled the quad bike trailer with hay and fod­der beets for the sheep I have to load up all the kids’ equip­ment too.

Ski poles, crash hel­mets and baler twine! Yes, lots of it – for when the chil­dren tire of walk­ing back up the slopes they at­tempt to get one of the sheep­dogs to pull them.

They try it every time but de­spite the dogs’ lim­it­less en­ergy it never works!

Last year they tried Lit­tle Joe the Shet­land pony but he either stood rooted to the ground or set off so quickly that they had to let go of the makeshift reins.

The doors to the barns are wide open for the sheep to take shel­ter in but they rarely do.

One of my favourite barns on the farm used to be a house. The fire­place re­mains and the walls are still par­tially plas­tered.

Diaries de­scribe a rau­cous all-night party there 200 years ago.

Unimag­in­able now that this re­mote, in­hos­pitable place should have such a colour­ful his­tory.

SLOPE Win­ter sledg­ing

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