THERE’S an expensive lesson to be had that while the kids are off school, you have to keep a close eye on them. For one Caithness sheep breeder, that lesson was not to take the kids with you while you’re on feeding rounds. 
Rumour has it that North Country Cheviot chap, Johnny Campbell, of Bardnaclaven, took his little wonders with him in the trusty Landie with a snacker on the back. But looking out his rear-view mirror he was shocked (that actually means spittin’/ragin’/fumin’) to see perfect wee piles of ewe rolls on the road behind him. 
Turns out the kids had managed to find the magic button for the snacker and left poor Johnny with nothing to offer the ewes once he reached them.

Knights in shiny tractors
WE all know heroes don’t always wear capes and knights don’t always arrive in shining armour, but one chap who came to the rescue of two of The SF employees during the worst of last week’s ‘Beast from the East’ became their very own ‘eejit in tin foil’. 
Having made their way to Aberdeenshire for last week’s Royal Northern Spring Show, on Wednesday, photographer Rob Haining and reporter Kayley Kennedy got stuck behind traffic reaching their hotel – aptly, on a hill near Chapel of Garioch – and with Spring Show-goers either already home or in the throes of a wee tipple at the Thainstone bar, the duo called upon NSA Scotland’s head honcho, John Fyall, for help. 
Not only did Mr Fyall have a late, but sober, night before at a Lochearnhead Shears meeting, he then drove Hamish Mitchell’s wife to the airport at 5am before making the long journey north. 
After tending to his stock at home and rescuing the The SF’s pair of snowflakes, he then pulled an all-nighter out on the tractor and snow plough before making an appearance on BBC Radio Scotland on the Thursday morning. 
Having got a lift to their (safely) abandoned car by Pitoddrie House Hotel’s general manager, the TSF duo started on their long journey down the road to the Central Belt, of course listening to their hero on the wireless. But the fun and adventure didn’t stop there as Balfron proved the hardest place to get to and having tried a couple of different road options, the car was once again stuck. 
Here enters their second rescuer, one very kind chap from ACM Nicolson Contractors, who was in fact on his way to rescue the boss, but took a detour to drop Kayley off at home and pushed Rob out for good measure.
We’re sure this was a scenario mirrored up and down the country, as farmers helped out in rural communities, but it was welcome just the same. Thanks boys.

Early for a hoolie
IF ever there was a man to have a good season in 2017 it was Wilson Peters, farm manager at Monzie, near Crieff, whose show heifer, Miss Tees, ended a fantastic season by securing him the overall championship at LiveScot, last November. 
Wilson put together a wee celebration party, inviting – so we hear – around 200 friends and family to the shindig to help him ring in his victories. 
But one of those friends nearly came a cropper when Shona Stevenson, of Ayrshire’s Sunnyside and Carbello farms, had a mind to turn up a week early and wondered why there were so many ‘teenie boppers’ dancing to such modern tunes. 
Not to worry, we hear the party a week later was a belter – so well done Wilson. Here’s hoping for more of the same!

Dressing up for dinner
BEAULY farmer, Archie Slimon, arrived in the big city of Glasgow for the NFU Scotland agm and dinner back in February having done all his own packing at Breakachy Farm the night before. 
On arrival, he checked in, showered and was about to put his suit on when he realised it was his wife, Cathy’s trousers on the hanger under his jacket, so he had to hot foot it to the shops to buy a new suit, of his own ‘type’, for the dinner. 
I’m sure he would have looked rather fetching in a pair of slacks ... but at least there were plenty of shops in Glasgow.

Pack-ing the questions in
IT was good to see Brian Sydney Pack back out and about at the recent Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers of Scotland annual conference in Aviemore.
An enforced lay-off after a fairly serious operation seems to have not curtailed Brian’s acerbic wit and intellect. 
I think he actually quite enjoyed being hoisted up various stairways in his wheelchair in the hotel by some strapping younger members of the Institute – and I’m sure his wife, Pam appreciated the assistance.
As you would expect, he still showed his mettle in asking awkward questions at the conference!

Fastest tractor in the West
THE normally law-abiding and upright citizen Stuart Shuttleton, Claas dealer Gordons’ manager at Berryhill, Moscow (no, not where the Beast from the East came from, the one in Ayrshire) was pulled over by traffic cops on the M6, last week.
He was manfully making his way south for a sales conference when the polis intervened – only to inform him that his registration number was actually registered to a Case IH tractor in Cumbria!
Now that seemed pretty strange and, though modern tractors can shift these days, we’re pretty sure that they’re not yet up to motorway speeds, even if they were allowed on them.
We’re sure that the £60 fine thus incurred became part of the negotiation for Stuart’s new Volvo, which has just arrived from the same company – the name of which shall remain nameless, but it might be indicative that this company also has an ag-machinery division.