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Yesterday a heavy metal shearing stand fell, with some force, onto my head and shoulder. Taken completely by surprise I couldn’t answer the urgent questions as to whether I was okay. I had no idea.

I’d been waiting for Simon, my shearer, to come and dock the ewes prior to lambing. Yesterday morning he called to say he would be over mid-day. We finished getting the lambing shed ready during the morning. The shed originally housed cattle; since building the cow palace it’s become a useful covered area to store the tractor, stock trailer and other pieces of farm machinery. The problem we face each year is finding a home for the various bits of machinery whilst the sheep are in situ. Once we have squeezed turners and toppers, tractors and trailers into impossibly small vacant places we put up pens, plumb in water-troughs, install hay racks, straw down, and, hey-presto, we have a lambing shed conveniently near the house, yards and nursery fields.

All had gone smoothly. The ewes had been gently and expertly docked. Robert, Simon and I were chewing-the-cud over various topics whilst clearing up. We’d noticed an udder that was particularly full and another ewe that appeared to have an overly fat tail. Chatting and moving through the sheep, not wholly focused on what was happening behind me, there was a sudden shout from Simon… a rather strange noise followed – metal connecting with my head and shoulder. I had no idea what happened. I have recollection of eyes and mouths worriedly speaking to me. I remember easing myself to a bale and thinking what the hell are they going on about? I felt none of the anger or immediate pain one usually does when you’ve banged your head, elbow or toe. Just mystified and, well, dazed. I remember saying I had to go in and get a jab for a ewe and sort of wandered off.

So here I am. I might be mightily changed, for all I know. I’m waiting for star-spangled clarity, inspirational thoughts and the sudden ability to be a truly remarkable solver of the world’s problems. Unfortunately none of these things have manifested themselves as yet. The head seems to be in one piece, albeit with a rather large soggy bloody protuberance on the back and there’s also a bruised swelling on my shoulder and neck. But having calved two cows today I guess I’m still just the ordinary old Paula – though do let me know if you see a change!

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