Lambing feels like a distant memory now, which I am pleased about because I spent a couple of weeks towards the end feeling like I wasn’t making any progress with my job list, writes Marie Prebble.
It is very easy to get too busy to look after yourself properly at this time of year and I have definitely noticed this recently.
Normally, I have prepared myself much better for the shearing season, going to the gym at least twice a week to improve my physical and mental well-being, but this year I will have to jump in at the deep end.
We have been shearing rams and ewe tegs so far and just making a start on the ewes. Conditions vary so widely between farms as to whether sheep have been dagged, emptied out and indeed if they are really ready to shear.
Sticky, hard-going shearing at the start of the season is never ideal but hopefully with some warmer weather now we will make good progress.
I was lucky enough to be asked to instruct a two-day learner shearing course at Hadlow College which was a great opportunity.
Teaching shearing is something I have not done before and I got a huge amount out of the experience, with six students both days learning so much.
It really focuses the mind on slowing down to consider every movement in order to be able to communicate clearly and it gave me a bit of renewed confidence in my ability after a couple of months of doubting it.
I then returned for a third day to shear the rest of the flock with our Canadian shearer who has just joined us. We are going to be attending several competitions throughout summer in the lead up to the World Championships in July.
My parents have been on holiday in North Wales for nearly three weeks and they have enjoyed it immensely. Getting away from the farm and from the endless job list is so important and having a hobby as a distraction from farm work is so beneficial for well-being.
Mine happens to be sheep shearing, which being part of my core business does not really qualify as a hobby but given I love doing it, I suppose it counts for more than just work.