MARGARET Ashworth’s ‘Notes from the sticks: The defiance of the lambs’ on Saturday prompted readers to take quite a ramble. Here are extracts from some comments:
I was sitting in one of those stone refuges at the top of a Lakeland mountain digging into a Tupperware box of my favourite cheese and pickle sandwiches when a sheep arrived on the scene about 20 yards away. It stared directly at me as if weighing up an attack strategy. ‘Nah,’ I thought, ‘it’s a sheep, they are timid creatures’, so I ignored it. Then it wandered a bit closer. I had thought at this point to shoo it away, but I imagined that would look ridiculous to my fellow walkers, but I became wary. Then, in a moment that I dropped my guard to pick out another sandwich, it made its attack run. Straight at me, no stopping, barrelled into me, all wet wool, mud and drool and grabbed the sandwich then sauntered off. Charged all my preconceptions about sheep – especially strange was that they clearly do have the same taste in lunch box fare as I do.
39 Pontiac Dream replied:
Cheese and pickle. Mmmmm. The staple of walkers :)
Got to be a good, crunchy, strong cheddar though, none of this orange muck. Got to be proper, strong, crusty white bread cut thick.
39 Pontiac Dream wrote:
I used to have corned beef on my hiking sandwiches until I went off it. Then a couple of years ago, I decided to try the corned beef from our local butchers and it was like heaven in your mouth. Butchers’ stuff is always nicer than supermarket brands.
I used to do sliced boiled egg, crispy bacon and a spoonful of mayo, delicious, but it’s a messy thing to try to eat on a windswept col.
Wensleydale . . . the best cheese in the world. Thank you from America.
I had a baaaaaaaaaad experience with a sheep last year. I was talking to a farmer and it stole some work from my clipboard and chewed it so I had to get the customer to re-sign the work. Even though I was angry I didn’t chide the sheep as it was a blackfaced one (called Justin I believe) and I didn’t want to flaunt my white privilege.
Audre Myers wrote:
When I was a young teenager my family moved to New Hampshire. Our 3/4 acre land abutted a working farm. That had cows. They have the most beautiful eyes and really long eyelashes and they sort of look like giant pets. I couldn’t resist the urge – I had to reach across the fence and pet one.
That’s when I discovered electrified fences.
My old dog discovered electric fences by cocking his leg on one.
He never did it again!
As a young child I remember one sheep that had walked down the steep Welsh mountain that ran behind our village, jumped the six feet gap, from the narrow single track road, over a three foot high retaining wall, on to the slate roof of a bungalow. The roof had, I’d estimate, a 45 degree angle.
The sheep walked up to the top of the roof’s ridge, had a good look and then having decided there was nothing to eat there, calmly reversed its journey, leaping back over the wall, over the gap and up and away to freedom, up the mountain.
39 Pontiac Dream wrote:
Talking of sheep in the fells, Tina will get her first look of them in the Peaks in a few weeks time when we go up north to visit my mum. I used to cycle in the Peaks a lot when I was younger and the sheep were hardcore. The Rambo sheep. The terrain was dangerous, the slopes unsteady but those sheep would negotiate those outcrops as if they were walking on the flat. They’re not easily spooked and they do as they please. We found a pub called The Moon Inn (Stoney Middleton) so I mapped out the route from ours in Norfolk to there and then the pub to our destination in Saddleworth.
We love Norwich and have enjoyed a few city breaks there.
On route we stop off at Breckland Lodge (Attleborough), they do the most wonderful carvery.
39 Pontiac Dream wrote:
If you come back this way again, try Wensum Valley Lodge if you like carveries. They do the best I’ve ever had.
If you ever make it to Coltishall, we’ll look out for you. It’s a gorgeous village with one of the best riverside pubs anywhere.
Ain’t it wonderful how homely TCW is? All this stuff about how clever sheep are – anyone who has ever walked in the countryside north of the M40 knows that! – suggestions for the best carvery ‘en route’ (I apologise – is there a new post-Brexit way of saying it?) and the relative merits of corned beef suppliers. The world can be going to Hell in a handcart – China nuking the moon (’cause it closes down some of their secret satelites) – polar bears flying south on private jets so that they can prey on penguins . . . (if they can get the plastic wrappers off . . . ha ha) – and we are able to have all this stuff alongside all the stupid political upheavals. Good Lord – I really love this site! Thank you, TCW, for preserving my sanity!