TO misquote Jane Austen, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a farmer in possession of a quid or two, must be in want of more livestock”.

So I was not surprised to find the car park at our local auction mart absolutely crammed.

What surprised me, though, was the number of vehicles and trailers. This was not a normal livestock sale with commercial cattle, sheep or pigs. This was a rare breed sale.

Surely only the domain of Hooray Henrys, ladies wearing expensive country apparel, or city folk with a fancy for a chicken or two in their back garden.

Not so. Lots of our friends were there, so by definition the event was socially and agriculturally acceptable.

I had every intention of buying a clutch or two of guinea fowl eggs, but unfortunately, or perhaps due to misinformation from my husband on what time their sale took place, I did not get to buy any.

The guinea fowl have been threatened with the freezer if they don’t start laying, or rather if I don’t start finding where they are laying, but yesterday a reprieve beckoned. A fresh laid guinea fowl egg in the straw of one of the hen huts. The roasting tin no longer beckons.

What I would have loved to invest (dissipate according to John) a few pounds on was a beautiful Highland cow and calf.

All morning we had observed them being prepared for the ring. Her horns gleamed. Their coats shone. She tossed her long double coat of hair around like a model on a shampoo advert.

The bidding at first was slow, but picked up and they eventually both went for a respectable price; although John commented that if he owned them, they would not be up for sale, as she was a stunning cow.

So we returned home with an empty trailer. I had, however, managed to get a knock down price on an old aluminium drinker, John having run over my last one with a tractor.

Just when I was wondering which lucky sitting hen would be swapping an old saucepan for this deluxe drinks delivery, we found that two of our goose eggs have hatched. Joy.

The foster mum of these two goslings is now installed in a freshly strawed pen. Not as glamourous as Mrs Highland cow and calf. But just as pleasing to me.

As dear Jane once commented in Pride and Prejudice; “I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.”