Ed Has a Little Bottle-Fed Lamb

If you have been dreaming of Bruges, a guest post by a fellow blogger, dream on, and then may I bring you back to the Cornish climes? This post is about Meg, a border collie, her master Ed, a farmer, and new-born lambs.

Now The Byre is an atmospheric barn conversion in Lostwithiel, Cornwall (You can book it through Cornish Cottage Holidays and there are other cottages on the farm too). We got a fantastic bargain. For 8 nights we paid up £385 and then Ed threw in a free night. Now no one in all our years of renting cottages in the countryside has been ever so kind as Ed. A free night! Egad. We had one more day of exploring the countryside in Cornwall which we cannot resist even if it means that we have to return home to Northampton bleary-eyed, post a long day of walks and then 5-odd hours of driving.

Ed lives with his vet wife, Nicki, in Lostwithiel in a rambling farmhouse. They have a menagerie of sorts. A tabby cat who likes to lie flat on their guest bed and luxuriate in the fact that Ed’s son and girlfriend had just vacated its quarters, and then there are the two dogs, Meg and Gizzie. Meg is a border collie who does a fair bit of work in rounding up the sheep and Gizzie is a Jack Russell Terrier who was rescued by Ed and Nicki because he had too many brothers too deal with in his previous home and had therefore started to exhibit signs of aggression. You would not suspect his troubled past from his mien now. He is just a typical Jack Russell, as curious and friendly as they come. You have met both Meg and Gizzie, in a face off, in my previous post.

Then there are the couple’s flock of Shropshire sheep which seemed to tick off on all counts attributed to the 1929 heritage description of the Shropshire sheep’s general appearance: “Alert, attractive, indicating breeding and quality, with stylish carriage and a symmetrical form, showing the true characteristics of the Shropshire.” I do not know about quality but they certainly possessed style *I hear your sniggering

In the lead photo, you see Ed feeding the lamb. That is not because he is trying to domesticate him. In reality, the little one’s mother had refused him milk, so Ed has become his de facto mum and dad. When we left them, Ed was trying to get him to join the flock who have 9 acres of land for their chewing and pooping pleasure.

Ed’s father owned a huge farm where he kept a herd of 200 cattle but dairy farming became a part of his history to be talked about because of the change in times, inflation and the fact that his son and daughter were carving out their own niche in life.

“Plus all my conversation was going to be centred around cows, you know,” said Ed.

The son is a communications press officer with a cricket board and the daughter is a psychologist. So Ed sold off his farms and bought the farmhouse with Nicki where they lead a quiet life with their menagerie. They even have bee colonies, where on a cold grey and windy day amidst a patch of berries, rhubarb and leeks, we heard about the intelligence of bees, how they can figure out ways of stinging you, apart from gazing at an ewe who had just given birth to twins. She was busy licking them clean even as the red trails of placenta hung down her behind. You see, the placenta is not snipped off as in humans, because they have their own ways of dealing with. They often eat it up if they are wary of predators around their babies. Nature surely equips her creatures, does she not?

But beware of Meg’s charms. She is no less than a Madonna. She comes without tight corset tops, skinny jeans, or the need to colour her mouth siren red. Everyday before leaving the cottage and after our return, we used to have a session of squealing and whining and crooning – all of which she did. We had long conversations. Adi, Meg and I. She had a fairly unladylike comportment, I have to admit and about which I did berate her but to no avail. Having identified Adi as the Belly Rub Guy, every time she spotted him, she would start crooning, raise her hind leg, and in a brief second or two, lie upside down for her quota of rubs. If you do meet her, carry a big batch of belly rubs for her, will you?

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Meg the Madonna
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Who wants to be a lady, gah!
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Stylish Shropshires 
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Ewe are looking at an ewe so please do not go ewe once you spot what we have been talking about.
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Bottle-fed boy. He had a soft and springy feel to him.
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Ed’s bee colonies 
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‘Did you say, you cannot see us seeing you? Take your rude self off our pasture.’
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Lambs’ Tales
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38 thoughts on “Ed Has a Little Bottle-Fed Lamb

    1. Indeed they are. Fashion Forward to the hilt… aw thanks. Ed is. I forgot to mention how his wife and he were quintessentially cute. At the end when we had been chatting for some time, it being a holiday and because I did not want to hold them up for long, I had said: “Well we should not be interrupting your holiday, hope you shall have a lovely day.” They said: “You too”, turned abruptly and walked off. That sight of them walking away warmed my heart because they were two proud people who did not want to overstay if you know what I mean. I quite wanted to run back and give them hugs. But weirdness might flip a Cornish farmer and his wife out, so I had to keep myself where I was.

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  1. Oh, these must be the lambs that you guilt-tripped your husband about eating 😉 They are very cute. I have never seen sheep placenta, though I have seen buckets and buckets of pig placenta. Mixed in with the obligatory still-borns. And maggots and flies. And the stench. Sorry, I got a little side tracked. Cute lambs!

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    1. I am not going to scrunch up my nose and say ewe (because that is the theme of the day ;)), but new-born piglets squealing away must be adorable (that is if they can find their voices so soon). And yes, you just got it. That bottle-fed baby we gingerly petted one day is the one I guilt-tripped Adi about. Worked 😉

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  2. This looks like an amazing way to experience Bruges. It seems like the vet- farmer combo is a common one. I grew up on a dairy farm with a veterinarian mother and farmer father, and now my brother is taking over the family farm along with his wife who has just graduated from vet school! Your post reminded me of growing up in the country side surrounded by animals and the daily unpredictable excitement of farm life. We often had to drop our plans to help my mom and dad roll a cow over who had gotten a twisted stomach. (The easiest way to untwist a stomach is to roll the cow in the direction opposite of the twist, solving the problem without surgery… easier said then down when working with an animal the size of a cow), or search for a missing calf.

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    1. That was fascinating, Lingyun. It must be so wonderful to live in harmony with nature as you did in your growing up years. The way you described the untwisting of the cow’s stomach gives me the shivers. You must have such a hoard of stories to tell and I am all ears. Good to have you back after a long time btw 🙂

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      1. Thanks! I’ve had some exciting life events that have kept me from the blogging life for the past little while, but I’m happy to be back! One of them is I’m expecting a baby boy in September! I likely should blog about some of my farm life stories sometime… On top of the farming stories, my mom liked to bring home rescue animals, so we always had a house full of excitement.

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      2. Gosh that is exciting news, Lingyun. Indeed big enough to keep you busy. May September come soon and bring a blooming smile upon your face. I like the sound of your family and your mother with her penchant for animal rescue. I would love to read about these experiences when you do post them. Take care xx

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      1. That would be nice, however I only love adoring our furry friends from a distance 😉
        am a bit cautious when they are around me ..unlike my family who would never leave a chance to pet and pamper!

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