“If I had only a few days left on earth, I would spend one of them inspecting Herdwick tups.”

Rebanks, p. 168

heft, hefted, heaf

Rebanks describes lambs as having been ‘hefted’, taught a sense of belonging to a place by their mothers, allowing them to know their own fell for the rest of their lives.

The Shepherd’s Life: A tale of the Lake District – James Rebank

I have seen the tourism market shift over the last ten years with greater value attached to the culture of places, seen people growing sick of plastic phoniness and genuinely wanting to experience places and people that do different things, believe different things and eat different things. I see how bored we have grown of ourselves in the modern Western world and how people can fight back and shape their futures using their history as an advantage, not an obligation.   229

I have seen the tourism market shift over the last ten years with greater value attached to the culture of places, seen people growing sick of plastic phoniness and genuinely wanting to experience places and people that do different things, believe different things and eat different things. I see how bored we have grown of ourselves in the modern Western world and how people can fight back and shape their futures using their history as an advantage, not an obligation.   229

I have seen the tourism market shift over the last ten years with greater value attached to the culture of places, seen people growing sick of plastic phoniness and genuinely wanting to experience places and people that do different things, believe different things and eat different things. I see how bored we have grown of ourselves in the modern Western world and how people can fight back and shape their futures using their history as an advantage, not an obligation.   229

“Nothing makes sense without reference to what went before, and what comes afterwards.”  Rebanks, p. 18

James Rebanks, The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District (London: Allen Lane, 2015)

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“But because sheep are cultural objects, almost like art, I’m looking for style and character as well, and finer breed points, like how white their ears are.”

Rebanks, p. 170

“My old man can hardly spell common words, but has an encyclopaedic knowledge of landscape. I think it makes a mockery of conventional ideas about who is and who isn’t ‘intelligent’.”

Rebanks, p. 143

“Winter is my swollen pig-like fingers throbbing under the hot tap, thawing out, as I howl unheard blasphemies at the stinging pain. It is my bloodshot eyes in the mirror as I finger out hayseeds. It is snowflakes or hailstones hitting my face as I drive the quad bike into the wind, snow or rain becoming perfect warp speed lines like those scenes in Star Wars when they flick the throttle and the stars transcend.   Winter is my father’s neck in front of me, streaming with rain as we catch an old ewe that is unwell. Ewes grabbing desperately at hay in a storm before the wind robs them of their rations.   Lambs lying dead, defeated before they have even started.   Winter is hayracks and trees blown over, torn and smashed.

Winter is a bitch.

But winter is also pure brilliant cloudless days when all is well in the world – when the fields dry out, the sheep are at peace, full of hay, lying in the sunshine, and we can work and also enjoy the beauty of the valley and its wildlife. Winter is beautiful too.”

Rebanks, pp. 188-89

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