Getting well and truly stuck in at a sale of sheep

Break of day. A distinctly uncaring prod and remonstration to get up. We need to be off early to that sheep sale. Or some such words. Only heard with clarity when a soothing cup of tea had been administered.

So sandwiches made, flasks filled. Glucose tablets, thermal protection, anti-scrapie jabs administered. I jest.

Importantly my iPad was charged up and fully downloaded with the TV programmes I never seem to be able to watch in real time.

A friend, similarly addicted has pronounced the fact that bedtimes have never been so exciting. She recently sent me a pair of cashmere gloves so that my hands do not freeze when holding the tablet above the bedclothes to watch a back episode of my all time favourite Inspector Montelbano. The blue sea and skies of Sicily are addictive especially when mist, rain, drizzle and downpour seem to be the default setting on weather conditions.

Even arriving early at the forsaken airfield where the sale was taking place we were taken aback by the number of vehicles already parked up.

Directed to join a line of 4x4s and trailers, we noted the independent minded few who had ignored the marshals and parked up on the edge of the airfield. Bearing in mind the number of vehicle thefts from venues such as sheep sales, we thought they were risking it to park up so far from the sale area. Silly us. They were the wise ones.

We left the Landrover and trailer to go and check out the sheep for sale. Pen upon pen of bleating stock, with more arriving by the minute in small trailers and huge cattle trucks.

Shearlings were amongst the first to sell and not as dear as in previous years. John had picked out some Texel crosses. Not what he originally set out to buy, but these girls looked fit for purpose.

We adjourned back to the Landrover for a cuppa before proceeding to the collecting pens. Within that short space of time the brilliant organisation of the marshals had left us totally penned in, A Landrover and trailer filling in a much bigger 4x4 sandwich. No way of manoeuvring out.

I was left with instructions to wait until one of the vehicle drivers on the outside of us arrived back and to ask them to move.

Within minutes I prevented us being a club sandwich as yet another line of vehicles formed alongside.

After an hour of sun filled Sicilian skies courtesy of my iPad and a grumpy Subaru driver returned and grudgingly moved his vehicle. I slewed the Landrover and trailer out of line and set off to find John.

Next step was to fight it out with the cattle trucks waiting to pick up multiple pens of sheep. They had blocked most of the pen exits. Chaos. And muddy chaos at that.

Soothing words to a driver who’d “only got three hours left on my tach and I’ll have to sleep in the ******** cab unless I’m away soon” and we were in and away.

Mrs Downs Diary