Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Sheep Shearer Shortage.

'Concerns have been raised by farmers about the impact of a block on overseas sheep shearers coming to the UK.
Last year employers had to seek work permits and there are fears they could be affected by new immigration laws.
About 500 sheep shearers come to the UK from abroad each summer to help clip the fleeces of some 14.5m animals.
Will Dickson, a sheep farmer in the Borders, told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that the industry depended on foreign shearers.  Mr Dickson said: "Personally I shear about 140,000 sheep in the Borders as a shearing contractor.  "Probably 70,000 of them will be shorn by New Zealanders. "If I can't get hold of New Zealand shearers I don't know how we'd manage it."
Mr Dickson said it was impossible to find enough people in the UK who wanted to do the job.  "We do have a lot of good Scottish and British shearers but there just aren't enough," he said.  "There just aren't enough people who want to take it up.  Hard work seems to be frowned upon, no-one wants to work so hard any more."  He said it was intense, physical labour and the season only lasted 10 weeks unless you were prepared to travel overseas.  "You can make money if you get good at it but it takes a long time before you can shear enough in a day to make it worthwhile," he added.
He said it was vital to continue to allow foreign shearers to come into the UK - but also stressed the importance of funding to help encourage more young people to take up the profession.'  (Source:  BBC News, South of Scotland website).

That news item got me to thinking.  I might not be young but, what the hell, I could use some extra cash.  Sheep shagging, I mean, sheep shearing.  Guess I would need some practice to  become a sheep shearer supreme during this sheep shearer shortage.  Now, I have a hunch that it might be somewhat frowned upon if I went out into some field and started clipping merrily away on some startled sheep.  On, the other hand, if I was wearing big rubber boots and approached said sheep from behind, they would most likely be used too that.  What the flock!  So, what can I do instead?  Let me mull that one over.  

Now the dude above would be perfect practice.  Yep, it's one of them old fat hippie freaks with silly long hair and fur growing on his front that looks remarkably like some kinda' flattened rodent.  I think these hippie types are also called 'New Age Travellers', or in this case, 'Old Age Traveller'.  This hippie would be a perfect candidate for a bit of clipping.  Fur sure.

Here's another possibility.  You may have seen one of these hairy-backed creatures posing around the pool on your holiday.  They stand there, all proud and all hairy, as their gargantuan bellies flop down around their super tight 'Speedos'.  You take one look at them and don't know whether you should phone the local zoo or contact the curator of the 'Neanderthal Museum' in  Mettmann, Germany.  
So shearing one of them dudes, would not only be good practice, but also my way of performing a public service to those who have be scared shitless by the sight of the hairy-backed beast.

No, I wouldn't really do that.  Besides, shearing a hedgehog could prove to be a bit tricky.  I mean the little darling is covered in prickly fur and I would be a prick to even contemplate practising on such a lovable little stuffed critter.  
So there you go.  I grabbed the shears and my son and the dog have made a hasty retreat.  They've no need to worry.  I was just writing this for the shear pleasure of trying to ram home my ideas.  Then again,   there's no pulling the wool over your eyes.  Sorry, I'm feeling a bit sheepish now, because, this whole thing about practising on hippies, hairy-backed beasts and stuffed hedgehogs is probably a baaaahd idea. 


  1. Loved the way you are 'sending yourself up' and sorry for the poor hedgehog! Hugs.. x

  2. I am going to tick the (very) funny box but only because you don't have one for 'ever so slightly scarey'!

  3. ps: that last comment was timed at '10.49'. exactly one hour slow! do you have different clocks up north?

  4. Gary, you're absolutely funny in this one. I can't tolerate looking at sheep shearers doing their business, really. For some reason, I felt like if I was the sheep, I might get some cuts or something. Haha.

    As for the pictures of you, with the fur, I fur sure get that as I sometimes use paintbrush to enhance my look just like that. Fun thing to do eh? :p

    Thank you for making us chortle!

    Peace to you,

  5. Hi Carole,
    I love to have a bit of a laugh about myself. And no, I'm not really that hairy lol.
    The hedgehog has recovered and is now outside playing games with the 'wee folks' :-)
    Take care, Gary x

  6. Hi bazza,
    You know, I've been thinking about changing the titles to the boxes. I reckon 'ever so slightly scarey' would have been good but have changed one of the boxes, for now anyway, to 'weird'.
    Cheers bazza:-)

  7. Hello again bazza,
    Clocks oop north lad? We have sundials but they don't work very well.
    Seriously, I have noticed this discrepancy in the time noted. My computer shows one time and the published time is one hour earlier. I blame all of this on the Americans lol.

  8. Hi Shanaz,
    You bring up an excellent point. I think the sheep are getting 'fleeced' and should be compensated for the removal of their coats. I mean, flippin' heck, it can get mighty cold over in here Brrrritain!
    I think I have seen a photograph of you in a somewhat 'vampire' look. Or was that just you after a night of wild partying lol.
    I'm very pleased this silly posting made your chortle.
    Fleece to you, Gary :-)

  9. This is so funny. The poor little fellow. On another note, there are plenty of sheep out here who could use your service.

    Thanks for starting my day off on the right track, Gary. Have a good one.

  10. AAAAAHHH! Thanks, bastard, for permanently blinding me! At least give some warning before the post before showing pictures of freaky-haired old hippie type dudes wearing bizarro freakin' wigs. Seriously, I didn't know whether to laugh, have a stroke or do both. Plus, I shat my pants. I wish I could have had some 'wool pulled over my eyes' for this one.

    Anyway, now that I've calmed down... somewhat... You should send those pics to Playgirl Magazine. Some gal might enjoy them to the point of rubbing the fur off her kitty... or something. lol.

    Anyway (again), I know what ya mean about those hairy-backed, belly-floppin' creatures in tight ass speedos. Instead of phoning the zoo or Neanderthal Museum, I think the ogre-ish monsters should be put down, for the good of the public's eyesight and ability to keep their food down.

    Funny post, Gary. Shocking, but funny. P.S. I want that wig.

  11. Sir Tom Eagerly27 July 2010 at 19:58

    I am glad to see you chaps (Gary, Bazza, Kelly etc) are really in touch with your feminine sides!
    I think it's very healthy to dress up in woman's clothing and go shopping even if that Indian fellow in my local convenience store gives one a funny sideways look if you know what I mean.
    Have I said too much? Have I gone too far?

  12. Ewe! Great post Gary made me laugh. You didn't leave me many puns to write though.
    I love the purple hair, although I think I prefer you as a redhead.
    I totally agree with bazza, your boxes might be changed to - ever so slightly scarey, disturbing and HELP!
    Keep writing dear.
    Love as always Julie. X

  13. Hi Joylene,
    Thank you for thinking this is so funny.
    I'm wondering when you state that there are plenty of sheep who could use my service; I assume you are making a reference to shearing. Now where are my rubber boots? Nice sheepie lol
    Ewe have a good one, also.
    Fleece and respect, your way, Gary :-)

  14. Hey Kelly,
    It's Mr. Bastard, okay...
    So you don't know whether to laugh, have a 'stroke' or do both. So looking at my pictures makes you perhaps want to laugh while giving yourself a bit of a 'stroke'. Very interesting lol.
    Sadly, 'Playgirl' magazine has not approached me. However, 'Farmyard Weekly' has asked if I might do a centrefold. Mind where you put the staples guys.
    The idea of a 'hairy-backed' 'cull' is an intriguing possibility and would be of great public service. Excellent idea!
    I got that 'wig' from the dude who used to stand at sporting events with a sign that read, 'John 3:16'.
    It is a treasured wig and I am sorry to inform you that you can't have it. Make sure you go clean your pants:-)
    Fleece brother.

  15. Ah, Sir Tom Eagerly,
    It has been noted your fascination with bazza, Kelly and my humble self.
    Have you been playing with the pebbles on Brighton Beach, whilst you, good sir, pose in a very fetching shocking pink tutu?
    Does the chap at your local 'convenience' store conveniently slip you a fresh banana?
    Have you gone too far? Me thinkest not. In fact, the next expedition to Uranus has a ticket with the name 'Sir Tom Eagerly' written on it.
    Pip, pip, old chap...

  16. Dear Julie T.,
    'Ewe' know I left out 'ewe' in the blog. Ewe know that I deliberately leave out puns for two reasons. So ewe and others can come up with them. And because I know that I may need the back-up puns for my responses. Well, that sounded good.
    I think ewe are right. I did look quite stunning, or stunned, in the red wig.
    I have made a slight adjustment to the tick boxes. Changed one of them to read 'weird'. It's a start.
    My love to ewe. Now that could be misinterpreted.
    In fleece and kindness, Gary x

  17. Oh boy those were some sexy pics......yeah how can you tell I havn't gotten any in a long friggin time. I always wondered how fast one of those hairy speedo wearing bastards would go up if you put a match to them.

  18. hi mr gary! that was soooooooo baaaaaaaad. meanin' good! ha ha.
    you could go out on halloween as a black sheep. :)
    ...smiles from lenny

  19. Sir Tom Eagerly28 July 2010 at 08:16

    Noted! Do you think I should put myself about a bit in the blogging world?

  20. Dear Gary,
    You definitely have too much time on your hands, although I must say that you look very fetching in those pics, almost as good as the hedgehog!
    Very funny, though, my short-haired, hippy, deranged, scary friend.
    Yours with Very Best Wishes,

  21. Hello 'The Wolf',
    Yeah, the hedgehog looks pretty awesome lol
    They would move very fast if you set em alight. Trouble is there would be a great greasy explosion that would splatter all over the deck chairs and turn the swimming pool into one gigantic jacuzzi...

  22. Hi Lenny,
    What do you call a brown sheep? A chocolate baaah!
    Thanks for the Halloween costume idea:-)
    Thanks Lenny and smiles back atcha:-)

  23. Hello again, Sir Tom Eagerly,
    Oh, I think you get about a bit, anyway. However, there is no doubt that more bloggers anxiously await your deeply profound words of wisdom.
    So, Sir Tom, when are you going to set up your own blog? Surely you have now moved beyond the crayon stage.
    Jolly good, old chap.

  24. Dear David,
    I don't really have too much time on my hands. As you know, I am actually a multi-tasking (yes, guys can multi-task) single dad.
    I do manage to find a bit of spare time to come up with these ridiculous postings. My own weird therapy and quite, believe it or not, a positive distraction.
    Must agree that the hedgehog looks better in the photos than that deranged freak aka Gary.
    Thanks David. Talk to you soon.
    With very best wishes and a tacky cardigan, your way, Gary :-)

  25. I have been scarred for ever!!!(!!!)
    Very funny but ever so bizarre
    Great Blog

  26. Hello Philip,
    Thank you for leaving a comment and subjecting your eyeballs to that vision of loveliness. Well, the stuffed hedgehog, anyway.
    I reckon, you might actually be 'scared' for life after looking at that 'hairy backed' beast lol
    Sending you fleeceful wishes, Gary.

  27. I certainly hope this was a fleeeeting fancy. You had me splitting my sides. I adore your sense of humour. Take care.

  28. Perhaps, you could say this world is divided into two classes: THE FLEECERS and the FLEECEES! Funny post. The pictures are a sheer short of revolting, though. My best.

  29. Hi Heather,
    Thanks and I hope your sides are okay.
    I think I should pullover because I sweater a bit too much after being such a jumper.
    Fleece and a stuffed hedgehog, your way, Gary :-)

  30. Hi Count Sneaky,
    I think I've been fleeced a few times. Or as that song goes, 'fleece is the word...'
    I guess I will have to admit the photographs are 'shear' revolting. Still, the stuffed hedgehog cannot help the way it looks :-)
    Fleece and respect, your way, Gary.

  31. Why is that photograph relevant to this sheep shearing discussion, Gary? LOL!

  32. Aha, Shanaz,
    I must assume you mean our little 'friend', the stuffed toy hedgehog.
    Well, I thought the hedgehog would be darn good practice in my ongoing and superbly exciting endeavour of becoming a sheep shearer superstar.
    Took one look at lil' ol' hedgehog and realised it would be a rather prickly situation.
    Kind wishes and a prickly hedgehog, your way, Gary:-)

  33. WOW Gary! This post was Shear Genius! Thanks for making me smile and laugh...Silliness is truly next to godliness. Also, I had no idea that you Brits struggled with the "foreign" worker thing too....Maybe if people spent more time taking scintillating photos of themselves in fur, they would furget to focus on stuff that just makes the fur fly!...sadly, this is what happens when everyone uses up all the puns. Enjoy the day.

  34. Hello 'THE SNEE',
    And your name is nothing to 'sneeze' at:-)
    This may surprise you but I am more Canadian than British. For instance, I have been know to say, 'how's it goin' eh?' Wow, that rhymed. I'm over here because I had this urge to eat weird food like 'toad-in-the-hole' and, oh my, 'spotted dick'. Moving swiftly on...
    In this case, it isn't really an issue with foreigners for it appears that British people cannot be bothered to go out and shear a sheep. I suppose those little wooly beasts are quite used to New Zealand accents.
    Well ewe still managed to ram home some excellent points. It certainly doesn't get my goat and that's fur sure. What the flock am I talking about? I wonder if sheep interested in finances read the 'Wool Street Journal'? I think I need some sheep, whoops, I mean sleep...
    Kind wishes and tacky wool sweater, your way, Gary :-)

  35. Hilarious! I so love the way you're sending yourself up for your adoring fans!!

    Good stuff, Gary :)

    PS. You'd you well in New Zealand with our 40 million odd sheep. Just saying :)

  36. Gidday Wendy :)
    I do have a lot of fun trying to make myself look even sillier than I really am. However, usually I'm quite sheepish :) Me thinks all my adoring fans could meet up in a phone booth and have plenty of room to spare. Hmmm, I wonder if there are any phone booths left.
    I think it would be a dream come true to check out your 40 million 'odd' sheep in New Zealand :) Just wondering if all New Zealand sheep are odd :) Oh,I'm so baaaaad!
    Thanks Wendy :)
    In kindness and good wishes, your way, Gary:)

  37. Man, Gary! Did you really have to send me here from FB?!!?? It's a bit too late to be haunted by such photos, whether it's for the good purpose of sheep shearing, or the disgraceful idea of sheep shagging. May the good Lord keep me from nightmares this night. :)

    1. Hey Nancy!

      Yes, I really had to send you here from 'Farcebook'! :) I could get used to this blatant self-promoting. Oh yeah! Um must go now and put on my rubber boots. I'm so baaaahd... Sweet dreams, Nancy!

      Gary :)

  38. LOL! You are such a maestro at photoshop. (;

    1. Bonjour n' stuff, Elise,

      Photoshop? Yes, both photos were doctored. The doctor still hasn't recovered! :)

      Gary :)


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.