The shepherd next door is leaving.
It is sad as he has only recently arrived in the area, the sixth in two years... says a lot about the employer rather than the shepherds.
Next door is a few miles away.
We rarely see our neighbours and besides, the shepherds tend to work long hours up on the hills. We had to ask the shepherd for some advice and after a few attempts, finally got him in.
He and his wife were lovely. I felt sad that they were leaving as I felt a real sense of warmth and friendship in the little while that we chatted with them.
They were very tactful and diplomatic about their reasons for going but I believe that what was left unsaid spoke volumes.
Anyway, we asked if they needed help and they asked if we would care for their ducks and also if we were needing another sheepdog.
Rosie is brilliant at catching escapee poultry and soon we had a car full of ducks, silently hissing and bobbing their necks as a warning, Muscovys all, companions for Bobduck.
I had this little bundle on my lap.
We have named her Grace and she is settling in very well. PieDog was a little miffed at first but he was given lots of reassurance and extra fuss. They are both tumbling around on the grass as I write, chewing one of The Farmer's socks. Brave dogs.
I am surprised that such a little dog can jump up and open a door but she can.
We are back to stair gates and all the safety measures we had when our son was little. I can never remember the day that these things were removed but possibly when he started climbing trees and unlatching safety gates.
We are all back to wearing one slipper or odd socks, a familiar pile of them 'rounded up' and chewed by Grace.
The ducks are overjoyed with the permapuddle and the grain store. Fat little ducks.
We are just waiting for the rough weather to pass and hopefully we will get started on the harvest soon. Sheds are being scrubbed out, combine worked on, paperwork ready.
All would be fairly straightforward if BT had not put a new phone pole at the end of the road. They never told us, just put the thing up (although we still have no phone) - we cannot get past with the combine.
Some of the new farm additions are very welcome.