One of the things I have learned living at Balintore is that the countryside has its own pace. If the single track roads around the castle are blocked by cows or by sheep then there is absolutely nothing one can do, and I no longer fret about it, even though it can take anything from 5 minutes to 30 minutes for the herd to disperse.
When I worked in Dundee, the computer login system would demand a written explanation of you were late for work, and over time my lengthy and defensive descriptions became curtailed to "sheep" or "cows". The management did not seem to need any more information, though I continued to take photographs of the blocked road should I ever need to argue my case in court.
|sheep blocking the castle drive yesterday|
Yesterday, on returning to the castle I discovered that a herd of sheep were blocking the castle drive: something I had never seen before. Indeed they were gradually heading up the drive to the castle itself. The scene was one of chaos and the shepherd had to retrieve a few sheep that had broached a neighbour's garden.
I settled down in my driver's seat as this situation was obviously going to take a long time to resolve. However, the shepherd got his unusually brown collie on the case. The dog launched itself off the quadbike, and within just a few seconds the sheep has been herded through a gate into a field at the bottom of the castle drive.
I often see dogs working sheep in the fields surrounding round the castle, but I was still awed by the peremptory efficiency of this beautiful sheepdog.