Saturday, 29 September 2007
Thursday, 27 September 2007
We cut 30 acres of grass for big bales (3rd cut). The contractor is coming today to bale and wrap.
Two people rang up wanting some bull calves and will be coming to see them this week, so the first animals will be moving off the farm for several weeks.
A sheep farmer rang to arrange wintering for his sheep, and will be coming to see us today to discuss rates and dates.
All these movements have to be carefully coordinated - as part of the conditions that apply to farm to farm movements is a 20 Day Standstill - i.e. if an animal comes onto the farm, nothing can move off for 20 days.
So hopefully all the pieces will fit together over the next days and weeks.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Sunday, 23 September 2007
In a few days we're going away for a Short Break, probably the last (second) of the season. We're not going far (so we can set off after milking) but to somewhere we've never stayed before. It's so near that we went and did a recce today (so we can find it on the dark if need be), and near enough for Henry to come back to a meeting while we're away. I've been saving two books to read (new ones from Ian Rankin and Stephen Booth), and in an ideal world I will sit in the warm autumnal sun with a cooling drink in one hand, a book in the other. Did anyone see that pig fly past?
Friday, 21 September 2007
Last night we kept the cows in for the first time since April (see post of 13/04/2007). They're still going out during the day as the grass is still growing, and we will try to keep them out as long as possible. But if the ground underfoot gets too wet, or the weather gets much worse we will bring them in. It's not just for the cows comfort of course (they are bred to live outside), but we want to avoid a drop in yields.
Friday, 14 September 2007
Thursday, 13 September 2007
We usually take the show cattle down at night, get them settled and James stays overnight with them. We get up about 5am and try to get away by 7 - 7.30. Final washing and brushing and maybe time for a bacon bun before the judging starts. A hectic few hours as we move through the classes, and a break for lunch. I try to make a bit of an effort for Kendal, and we sit by the cattle on bales and upturned buckets eating Egg and Bacon Pie, Chewy Fruit Slice and other regular favourites. If we're unlucky and are not involved in the Interbreed classes we may get a chance to visit one or two nearby trade stands (while one of us stays with cattle). Then it's time to get ready for the Grand Parade (and the inevitable wait for a long horse competition to finish) before loading up and joining the queue to get out onto the main road. If we're lucky we'll only be an hour late starting milking.
But today was different. We started on the picnic food last night. We all slept in our own beds. We got up a the normal time. Had a reasonably leisurely breakfast and left home about 10 am. We parked in the livestock car park (full of estate cars with dog cages in the back). We walked past the vast cattle tent - no cattle, just a few dogs and owners. The main cattle ring had become a picnic area. Dog classes were taking place in the smaller rings. We wandered up and down the rows of trade stands, looking at machinery, cars, crafts, hats (well, that was me). We went to the Presidents Reception for drinks. We bought a sit down meal in the Members Tent. We looked at more stands and displays. Then we got in the car and came home.
FMD = ban on cattle movements = a strange day out.
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
No doubt you will already have heard the Bad News - a new instance of Foot and Mouth Disease in Surrey. We were feeling very upbeat this week - getting ready for Westmorland Show (tomorrow) and the Dairy Event (next week). Henry and James were clipping the cows and I was baking cakes and pies (to feed any friends or family who may pass by the cattle lines). All stopped now along with all movement of cattle.
Even the sun has stopped shining.
Saturday, 8 September 2007
So last night we were suitably washed and dressed and being chauffeured in James' new car, when a discussion arose as to which way to go. I said, I would go straight down the A6 and through Milnthorpe. James thought he would go into town and up past the old hospital. It was at this point we realised I had booked the wrong restaurant. I hadn't looked at the voucher since Christmas, but getting it out of my bag I saw it clearly said "Wheatsheaf, Brigsteer". As it was too late to do anything about it, we continued to Beetham and paid for a very good meal. And we still have James and Michelle's treat to look forward to.
A Senior Moment, or as Robert (who was in the car) said - "Silly Grandma".
Friday, 7 September 2007
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
But it remains elusive to me. I thought it was maybe because I didn't spend as much time out in the fields near its natural habitat.
But this morning it was nearer to home, probably taunting me. As I drove through the yard at 06.30 on my way to work, Henry flagged me down to say a Kingfisher had flown through the yard as the cows were coming in.
Somethings are meant never to happen.