It's true, I did have a little drink several hours ago (a glass of cherry brandy to keep out the cold, medicinal you know) but I don't think that's the reason I'm crying out for sleep. Yes, lambing is very tiring and it's been more than two weeks of 5a.m. starts and doing all the animal feeds so that OH can do the late shift, and the usual workload has been unremitting. So that puts a distinct edge on things. But waking up at 2.45a.m. to find there is no electricity has just about done me in.
No turning over and snoring, oh no. There are ducklings to keep warm, incubators to sort, ewes to peer at with poxy torches, setting up the generator, turning everything off, playing tag with the fuse box which just won't cooperate and then, finally convinced it ain't at our end, ringing the leccy board who rush someone out for 6am who pokes about and says yes, their wires are shorting on the electricity pole outside the house and he'll have to call in back-up from Barnstaple as they are not allowed to deal with live wires solo. As he waits I attend to a ewe who has twins, but is anxious NOT to be put in a lambing pen. It tries the patience and in the gloom I get it sorted eventually and leave them to bond.
An hour later, having shinned up the pole like a ferret up a drainpipe, the chap has it all pinging with life. So, generator off, everything turned on, ducklings taken from warm box on top of the Aga and put back under their heatlamp, everything shuffled about.
Then time to feed the pigs, the sheep, the ducks and geese, the dogs and cats, to walk across the fields to check on the outdoor lambs. Then to trim sheep toes, mark and sort the new mothers with lambs ready to go outside, put in the stock box and bounce with them over the fields and release them to their first sniff of grass.
Somewhere along the way was a bowl of something hot that was meant to create a nuclear glow round my body but just made me burp as I sat in the tractor cab doinging over ridge and furrow. But now I'm sitting here, eyes glazed, getting ready to go and check the ewes, again, and again and again. What joy.