“BABY it’s dreich outside.” Might not be the exact terminology and a definite misinterpretation of the song, but look outside the windows of the cottage where we are staying in Scotland, and it is not only dreich, it’s cold, foggy and miserable.

Not the weather to go crawling all over Scottish hills stalking deer. So instead we are off to a cattle mart. You have never seen disappointment at the cancelling of their day out on the hill, turn rapidly to anticipation of a day out at an auction. It is a dream day for three stock farmers.

I’ve had a chance to observe my surroundings as I have recently received a letter from our local speed guardians informing me that I have exceeded the prescribed 30mph limit in a designated area.

It has made me super aware of permitted mph on the roads and allowed John to describe me as a speed hog.

But tomorrow I shall be back on the road as one of the vets with an office at the mart is the son of close friends. I shall be visiting him at his home with a bag full of baby clothes as he and his wife, another vet, have just had their first baby.

A chance for them to experience a human delivery instead of bringing a calf, piglet or lamb into the world.

I was fascinated with a large board outside his office promoting a service to check on bull fertility. Good job they don’t have the same sort of notices plastered round hospitals. But then outside the office an impatient tap on the window let me know that the sales were about to start.

The auction ring had filled up rapidly from when I first glanced through the doors when we arrived. Just a few bored looking farmers clutching their bacon sandwiches and mug of tea. John had already been round all the pens inspecting the stock on offer and our friend Dave greeted with enthusiasm as he is a frequent visitor to this auction centre .

The first bull calves into the ring, shorthorns, all looked a bit wobbly but they had, as the auctioneer explained, come over on a boat from the Isle of Mull the previous evening. “They’ve all been vaccinated for pneumonia,” the auctioneer declared.” Oh poor things. I had my pneumonia jab this week and my arm is still aching. But at least the calves won’t require a visit from the local vet and our friend can enjoy his paternity leave with the new baby without an emergency call-out.