Firstly Happy New Year to ewe all, i hope it went without too much hassle but i fear, like here many of you will have endured storm after storm- and felt the impact of relentless wind and rain over this festive period.
I can only hope anyone who has suffered damage only suffered structural damage, and we count our blessings here that everyone survived and only an empty garden shed was damaged (which did a good impression of the leaning tower of pisa thanks to strong tie downs!)
2 yo Little Gem- photogenic wee cutie
We took a few days off over the xmas period to take stock of things that had happened in 2023 and what was coming up. As well as crafting i have a number of other jobs on the island and they have bee taking up more of my time lately and will be for the forseeable future.
Ive been working with North Ronaldsay Wool for nearly 12 years and needle felting for a few years longer than that. Making small sheepies was something that took my mind off some sad times when i started, and back then i wasnt engaged in working for the main service providers on a remote island
I do enjoy meeting folk at Craft Fayres but the need to make things for them, as well as the gift shops throughout the year leaves me with little time to be creative in other ways.
Ten yo Daisy and 6 yo Dandilion- both hand reared
This year is Daisy and Poppys 10th birthday, and also will be a bit of a milestone one for me. Rather coincidentally this year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Rare Breed Survival Trust coming to the island to take sheep, in order to help prevent the breed becoming extinct- until that time North Ronaldsay Sheep were ONLY found on North Ronaldsay- and a catastrophe on the island could have been the end of them.
8 yo Hercules- the nicest natured ram ive ever met
Its also 25 years since i thought up the character and name "Woolly Wally" -when i was an aspiring entrepeneur living on a remote North Wales smallholding - with the responsibility of my frst ever pet sheep- Rachel. And Woolly Wally has always been inspired by my woolly family, with the aim of supporting them.
So having thought long and hard i have decided in 2024 to give Woolly Wally a "holiday". I wont stop being creative but by stopping doing what i have been doig these past severalyears i hope i can spend time on some creative ideas i just never give myself time focus on.
Poppy and "Old Babs"- age unknown but prob ancient cos shore sheep live forever
So i might post blogs throughout the year so you can all get a regular dose of cute sheep news, but Im also thinking that Social Media has a lot to answer for and i never wanted to get sucked into that way of living.
You wont see me in the shops or the craft fayres this year, but if im lucky i might find other venues for my new output- time will tell and i guess we will see this time in 2025 to see where to go from there. All i know is life is short and there is no value in continuing to do something slavishly, and not even trying to progress or follow other dreams.
Opal and Jasper- the babies, need the opposite of "humanising"!
I recommend anyone out there who has been dithering on making a decision to just do it. I know i am not the usual kind of person- i moved several times a year for years all over the UK for work opportunities in my younger life: i remember clear as day the feeling i had when i was faced with redundancy from the city farm i had been at for 9 years- should i stay in a safe, easy accesss urban environment (though it was killing me mentally and emotionally) or should i venture back to the countryside- but would i fit in after so many years away? I had to make the assessment and took the plunge. Brave? not at all, im no risk taker, but i can follow through with a decision once made!
I hope 2024 allows you all follow your dreams, to have a safe and fruitful year, sometimes its a case of one step in front of the other until you've completed that marathon!
best wishes from all the woolly, feathery and hairy family at Woolly Wally Farm