I THOUGHT someone was acting the goat recently when told that a farmer had made a fortune out of hiring out her goats out for Zoom meetings during lockdown.

Dot McCarthy, from Rossendale, in Lancashire, said the number of people paying for 'show goat' Lola and others to be part of their Zoom meetings had brought in £50,000 – helping to defray costs for her Cronkshaw Fold Farm and keep staff in work. It had also paid for improvements.

The farm, which featured on BBC One's The Great Staycation, usually supplements its income by hosting weddings and educational visits, but coronavirus restrictions closed that side down.

But Dot, who took over the business from her mother five years ago, came up with the idea of hiring out her goats to brighten video calls 'as a surprise' visitor.

People pay £5 to hire a goat, who then joins a scheduled meeting via the video-conferencing service's invitation system with a little help from farm staff.

What's next: The 350,000gns Texel at £100 per pop?

Thai brides

Is it just me? ... but I can't help thinking that the UK, by thinking of joining the trans-Pacific partnership, is a bit like trying to annoy your ex partner by turning up at a 'do' with a young Asian bride! It'll end in tears and with only one loser.

Red Eddie

I'M NOT sure whether the chairman, Eddie Gillanders ('chairman' being an operative word, given what happened) meant it, or whether it was a slip of a lubricated tongue when he called our own Claire Taylor a 'communist' in The Herald newspaper.

We think that he meant 'columnist' but you never know with Eddie, who was almost in charge of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists' Burns Supper carried out last weekend via Zoom.

And very good it all was too, with a thoughtful on camera poem written and performed by NFU Scotland head of comms (or should that be commies?) Bob Carruth; plus a hastily put together but nonetheless entertaining poem from Neale McQuiston, from the disease ravaged South-west.

Those of a certain age and disposition will totally understand his rhyming story about the trials and tribulations of owning and operating an International B47 baler – and most of those will also be missing at least one finger due to the capriciousness of this horrible beast's knotter!