“We’re not going home until I’ve touched an alpaca,” I said to my husband as we piled into the car this morning. He raised his eyebrows at me and gave me a look I know well as he started the engine and backed off our drive. And so began our trip to Skipton Sheep Day.
I saw this event come up on Facebook and of course I was desperate to go. I am the girl who’s just signed up to a fourteen deep waiting list for an allotment so she can FINALLY keep chickens. I’m totally obsessed with rural life and want nothing more than to live on a small holding with pet farm animals and make cakes with delicious eggs from my very own chickens. Think Barbara from The Good Life – she is my actual role model in life.
I was so excited I kept forgetting about Edith but luckily Rich was on hand to look after the pram while I surreptitiously pushed aside eager children to stroke goats and sheep, donkeys and ponies.
I saw these cute little tiny sheep that are apparently the rarest in the UK. They are called Boray sheep and are from the Scottish Isles. They are a very primitive breed with a very coarse fleece and don’t produce a lot of meat (so the lovely owner told me) hence their unpopularity with farmers. They’re also not particularly friendly and the rams have HUGE horns so they’re not really pet sheep either. But, they are used in Viking re-enactments as they are the most authentic so our interest was piqued.
I also saw these super cute dudes – I have no idea what breed they are but I will tell you something: when I do get my small holding these are the sheep I will have. Look at those dreads! And those little black faces! So adorable.
It wasn’t all about the animals though (although they were amazing and The Sheep Show was excellent). I managed to get some chutney for the father in law for Christmas and some gorgeous Damson Jam for me. There was also a sticky toffee pudding stand as well as a gin and Prosecco bar, however, we’ve had to really tighten our belts so we couldn’t go for too many treats, which was a shame.
I also saw Sarah from Little Beau Sheep selling her super cool wool felted products. One that’s definitely on my list for the future is her wool soap. It’s soap inside a sheep made of wool and I conditions your skin with the lanolin when you wash AND makes the bar of soap last longer and with less mess on your counter tops. My hands are really taking a bashing with all the hand washing I do because of Edith so I treated myself to some lanolin balm. My lips are often sore so I put some on and they’ve been soft and lovely ever since.
I also chatted to a lovely lady about the National Trust and I’m now even more resolved to go and visit more of the amazing places my membership affords me. It’s such a great scheme and you’re guaranteed a fabulous day out wherever you choose to go.
But, did I get to touch an alpaca? Yes, reader; I did. This is Archie and just look at his incredible hair! Apparently, they’re very similar in keeping to sheep so maybe I’ll add some of these to my small holding list. He’d just been clipped but his coat was so so soft.
We all had such a great day out and at very little cost. I’m really looking forward to going again next year. I’m off to look at small holdings on the internet and see if I’ve got enough money in my purse for one…