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Diary: Weathering Storm Barra and lambing 2022 prep

In this week’s Farmer’s Diary, sheep farmer, Clodagh Hughes, discusses weathering Storm Barra, putting a cover on Gorsey and preparing for lambing 2022.

I hope you all survived that wet, windy, and most unwelcome visit from Storm Barra to our shores.

Although we do get our fair share of wet and wild stormy weather, along with the odd period of drought, I am sure glad we do not experience the utter extreme and often devastating weather conditions that other parts of the world do.

In saying that, my week on the farm was made extra difficult due to the ferocious winds and rain, we did encounter from Monday night through Wednesday, courtesy of Mr Storm Barra!

Working outside and with animals can be trying enough some days, without the added problems that arise from stormy conditions.

First off, I must say how lucky we are (touch wood) that we rarely lose our electricity, and if we do, it returns within a few hours. No structural damage was done either, and we have literally’ weathered the storm’.

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Being an in-land dweller, I realise that we tend to get off more lightly than our coastal comrades, but we were hit good in the northeast for a couple of days.

Amidst the wind and rain were harsh hail and sleet showers that’d cut the face off you. I had to wear a scarf to protect my beautiful complexion. Ha!

But seriously, they were like wee pieces of ice lashing against your face.  And the wind! Don’t mention the wind.

Every bloody time I’d open a gate, leave a bucket down or move anything about the place, I’d turn my back, and within seconds, the before mentioned item would have scarpered off up a hill or over a hedge.

I know you are reading this with a smile on your face but believe me, the choice language I was using was carried off on said wind and probably ended up in the Isle of Mann!


Enough about the weather, I said in my last entry that I needed to ‘rug up’ Gorsey, so; I decided to post a video of my attempt on my social media forums.

Well, folks, I actually got a laugh out of it myself. Firstly, I’ve never put a rug on a horse before. Any animals we had at home years ago were either younger hardy wee ponies or stabled for really bad spells.

Secondly, I should’ve tied the big fellow because he made me look a complete fool moving around the whole time. I looked like such a novice, but hey! If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

Lambing season

In other news, I am slowly getting my shed in shape for the upcoming lambing season Feb-March 2022.

Don’t say anything yet, guys, but I’m banking on getting some help from my husband when he is off for Christmas on the 23rd.

I have also booked my scanner to come that week also…fingers crossed, everything works out.

Oh yeah, and I missed out on a Farmer Time zoom call with my buddies in Galway. Thanks, Storm Barra!

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