'Farming life is solitary, but we get French TV crews and Michelin chefs visiting on occasion'
Bernard King has just completed the shearing of his 800-plus flock of sheep on the Maamturk Mountains in Galway and, as usual, it was no easy task.
It took four days for eight men to round up the flock and give them their short, back and sides. However, they did manage to trim 500 in one sitting.
Bernard's role in the operation was strictly supervisory as the 54-year-old says he doesn't have a "good back for that work".
He leaves the close shaving to his trusted shearer and local man Pat Heanue and his team.
But with the current wool price at 20c/kg, he is hardly going to become a millionaire for his endeavours but it is a job which has to be done.
"Cosmetic companies are interested in the wool for its oils which they can manufacture into all sorts of valuable perfumes and products but it's a loss-making exercise for me. It costs me around €2 a head to shear a sheep and all I get is 20ckg for the wool," he says.
The King farm, which contains no commonage, comprises 1,300 acres high above Leenane and has been in the family for five generations.
Bernard is married to Alison, a secondary school teacher in nearby Clifden, and he has no intention of quitting the business anytime soon.