Well never for one moment did I imagine that I would be visiting not just Scotland but Tain in Scotland, which is on the last estuary or inny-bit on the right hand side of the map, and actually have just a t-shirt on in September but yes folks it did happen. The weather was beautiful, quite a change from the 3 week camping trip I did as a child in 1978 or 79 en famille, when it rained for 2 weeks and 4 days. The other 3 days we were in Betty Hill right at the top where the sun shone and we swam in the sea. Hmmmm amazing how little one feels the cold as a child. There were lots of castles in our area and I was informed they are mostly owned by wealthy Russians, Chinese oh yes and Madonna. Rumour has it Robert Mugabe has a castle somewhere in Scotland too. The Highlands were stunningly beautiful, I had never seen them before due to fog. They are not dissimilar in fact to an area called Nyanga not far from where we lived in Zimbabwe. Maybe that explains why Mr. Mugabe purchased a castle in the region.
The pictures at the beginning show firstly the French team competing at the trials and then the south Africans who were competing in The World Sheepdog Trials for the first time this year along with Spain. There were 240 dogs running from 25 countries. The dog pictured below is father to one of ours he, Gary did not have a successful year this year only making it through to the semi finals day. Apparently trialing is an excellent leveler probably because there are so many variables over which one has little or no control, sheep, weather, dog, judge. So, on the right, or wrong day, a novice handler can beat an experienced handler.
This years winner was a local Scotsman Mike Shearer and his dog Bob. Scotland also won the Team prize.
There was more to my trip than just dogs as I met up with friends from Zimbabwe and we swapped catch up info for 10+ years which was fun and interesting and it is always amazing how old friends just seem to slot back into place with no effort whatsoever as if we had only been together last week. Nobody had changed much, a few more grey hairs and wrinkles but humour, conversation, tea and brandy flowed.
Gavin's parents flew back to Zimbabwe today and were lucky enough to have enjoyed a little bit of France's beautiful summer weather before they left. They should be landing right about now.
Back to the markets this weekend and birthday parties to organise the following weekend.
See you all soon
I am farming sheep and goats on the Dordogne/Gironde border with my husband and our 3 children. We have an on farm butchery and sell our meat direct to the public via the markets and delivery points in our local area