The Black Sheep – March 2006

27 March

Big (indoors) cats

TR: All this talk of big cats has certainly caught our attention over here on the Farmlife/Features side of the office. Apparently Mr Features has a big cat all of his very own – it’s called Jessie and the last time he risked serious back injury by manhandling it onto the scales, it weighed in at a stonking 21 lbs. Now that’s what I call a big cat! (Jessie has, so Mr Features also points out, identical markings to a Holstein Friesian cow.)

27 March

Big cats

Exciting news, my friends – big cats are back on the radar!!

For those of The Flock that don’t know – The Black Sheep is a big fan of big cat sightings.

pride of lions

Bodmin yesterday …

Such a fan in fact that until recently most of our Saturday nights were spent lying in a muddy ditch with a pair of night-vision goggles waiting for a glimpse of the elusive quarry.

However the Police didn’t hold much truck with that excuse hence the Court Order banning us from engaging in “Suspicious Nocturnal Wildlife Viewing”.

Anyway – keeping up-to-date with the latest is the next best thing and we’re excited to hear the outputs of this weekend’s British Big Cat Conference. The conference aims to draw together all the recent investigators, witnesses and unseen footage.

Already we’ve heard that the start of 2006 has witnessed some unprecedented big cat sighting activity, with 98 sightings being reported in Leicestershire alone since 1st January. And in February a cracking paw print was discovered on a farm in Warwickshire.

Rest assured if anything major emerges from the Conference we’ll cover it on Fwi.

Seen a cat? Let us know …

16 March

Spanish fish

Once again the Black Sheep demonstrates its penetration abroad, this time with a snap sent in by a member of El Flock over in sunny Spain.

spanish new holland

“Hey amigo! How do you get to Billingsgate?”

It’s one for all you tractor spotters out there. Apparently this New Holland TS110 was papped in a village called Luca in Southern Spain, half way between Malaga and Granada.

As well as possibly inspiring a Susanne Vega song, it’s a place which is famous for its trout farming and a strange tree crop called Choppa (used for scaffolding poles apparently).

Now I don’t know how the Spanish transport their fish around, but considering he’s having his break not five yards from the trailer, and a potential nose full of l’eau de trout, I suspect he’s known to his mates as Choppa Harris rather than Señor Fishy.

Who said we don’t do fish, eh?

Anyhow – many thanks to our intrepid explorer Kathy Cockar for braving the badlands of rural Malaga and sending The Black Sheep her holiday snap.

Keep ‘em coming, Flockers. Mail the Black Sheep here …

9 March

More Awards

As foretold – the official footage of the RBI Achievement Awards has been released.

Here’s a snap of us on stage accepting the prize for Editorial Team of the Year. Not all of us are there – work commitments etc… but we made enough noise to be proud of.

You can just about make out Al Murray on the far left.

editorial team of the year


mt at the awards

The unlucky photographer
bore the brunt of 
“Awards snub fury”


And just when I thought that my efforts to keep a low profile this year had succeeded, I was emailed this image by a member of the Flock (who helped organise the event).


Damn those paparazzi dogs! Even the Black Sheep isn’t safe from the celebrity-hounding mob these days.


3 March

How straight is your furrow?

straight furrow 

Worthy of
a Roman

We all love a ploughing competition and none more so than our enthusiastic cousins across the Irish Sea. In fact last year’s Ploughing drew more than 60,000 furrow fans from around Ireland and beyond. According to Mr Machinery Reporter people were queuing for weeks to get out after it finished.

Anyhow, the latest member of The Flock – Paris Hilton look-alike – Miss Carole Lawlor – has sent us some snaps from Abbeydorney in Tralee, Co Kerry, where the annual Plough Match Cup is in the name of her Grandfather, James Lawlor.

As you can see – it’s not raining and the sun is out so we have some validity queries over whether these images are actually from Ireland.

fordson major

Nice shiny wheels

horse-drawn plough

Massey introduce
their new “Eco-friendly” range

plough trophy

Ploughing’s gain was spelling’s loss

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