Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Saturday, 20 October 2007
And in between there was the Farm Assured Dairy Inspection - two and half hours of questions and checks of animals, buildings and most of all paperwork.
As you know we always welcome anyone who comes to see our stock (especially if they want to buy!) and we say "drop in if you're passing". Well, this week we've shown two interested farmers round - the first en route from the Isle of Man to Harper Adams College, and the second from Somerset. I hope they think the trip was worthwhile.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
I enjoyed looking back, but it was like looking through the wrong end of a telescope at a different life. I must have been there (got the photographs and certificates), but it was a different me. As a well known poet of that generation said
Friday, 12 October 2007
It's not entirely true to say I've not seen anyone since the day I threw my hat in the river as I crossed the footbridge for the last time, as I've kept in touch with a couple of girls (and yes, we are still girls at heart). And if any of them are reading this, they'll now know what to expect for supper tomorrow night (when we continue the "celebratory drinks" at Strickley), as I've just about finished making supper. It has to be simple and foolproof, and ready to reheat tomorrow night. There'll be no time for fancy touches tomorrow morning if I'm to be in work at 6.00 am.
* * UPDATE 2 * *
Another pudding in hand - can't risk my reputation! This time, no precise measuring and maybe a G & T on the side may help!
* * * UPDATE 3 * * *
Yes! If at first you don't succeed - give the first attempt away, and have another go. Looks OK. Proof of the pudding tomorrow night.
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
Here we go again - as I reported last week our grand old lady Geri has had her tenth calf. She's one of those (as posted yesterday) who has had more bulls than heifers, but as this one is out of a very good bull and a nice light roan, we decided to register the calf.
Tenth lactation, perfect cow -( classified excellent), sire's name etc.
My suggestion (after the closing date that no one knew about) was Strickley Pacemaker. You have to be as old as me to understand why.
Monday, 8 October 2007
It may or may mot happen like that in human families, but it certainly seems to with cows. As you know Cows have family trees just like us. Pedigree cows take their name from their dam (mother) - ie if a cow called (for instance) Buttercup had a heifer calf it would be called Buttercup 2. And if Buttercup had another heifer calf it would be called Buttercup 3 - unless Buttercup 2 had already calved a heifer, in which case it would be the next number up. Quite simple really. The more heifers there are in a particular family, the quicker the numbers after the names increase. As only the heifer calves are registered in this way it's quite obvious that some families have more bulls than heifers.
This weekend demonstrated this. Two Starlet cows calved heifers - and these will be registered as Strickley Starlet 98 and Strickley Starlet 99. The first Starlet was only registered in the 1970's and the numbers are rising fast. On the other hand the first Strickley Janet was registered in the 1920's and we've just registered Janet 50.
So Janet's are more prone to having bulls, but Starlets have lots of heifers.
Now we have two sons and one daughter; four grandsons and one granddaughter - so I suppose I'm more of a Janet than a Starlet.
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
In August 1745 Prince Charles Edward Stuart was landed by the French Frigate “Doutelle” at the head of Loch Shiel, Argyllshire, Scotland, where he raised his standard to reinstate by force of arms the Stuart dynasty on the Throne of England. He was quickly joined by most of the discontented leaders and fighting men of the Highland Clans. Amongst these were the Fletchers who held Lands in Glen Orchy and a castle, now in ruins, at Achaladder. Later in the year this army marched southward into England, and although receiving help in transport and money from many of the Old County Families there was no popular sympathy or support for the Stuart cause. Fearing interception by trained English armies gathering in the South the invasion was halted at Derby, 130 miles short of London. It had failed, and in December 1745 the long Midwinter retreat to Scotland began, culminating the following year in the final Highland disaster at Culloden Moor. The circumstances, under which the soldier Richard Fletcher became separated from, and left behind by the retreating army, are not known but he found shelter and a refuge against capture as a Rebel, in the then wild moorland, rough moorland, hilly and roadless stretch of country lying between the Counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire known as the ancient “Forest of Bowland”. Nearly 20 years later he married and eventually settled as a Farmer at the isolated village of Slaidburn, Yorkshire, situated on the outskirts of the forest, where in 1799 he was buried. It is assumed, there are no documents, that this Richard Fletcher, Head of the Family Tree here shown, was one of the Fletcher contingent who joined the Prince at the Head of Lock Shiel.
The churchyard at Slaidburn is in very good condition with gravestones from the Eighteenth century up to the present day. We turned left as we went through the gate, and walked widdershins round the church. (No point in encouraging bad luck). We were almost back at the gate when we found the gravestone. It doesn't actually prove the story, but we believe it marks the resting place of our family rebel.
We're just back from our travels - all the way to Meathop and back. We knew if we wanted to get away again before more stock are in, it had to be soon. And it had to fit in with my days off, and the farm man's days on. So Sunday we nipped into town and stocked up with food (and drink) from Booths and M & S (not just food etc etc). Then threw a few clothes, books and DVD's into the caravan and headed off to the Lakeland Peninsula. We found a large sunny pitch and set up camp. After a short rest Henry nipped home to milk. (The "real holiday" was supposed to start after milking).
While he was away I started on the books I had been saving (Stephen Booth and Ian Rankin). As it got cooler and darker I noticed the lights were a bit dim, and more importantly the "warm air central heating" wasn't working. By Henry came back it was obvious several other things weren't quite right - eg the water pump, toilet flush, cooker ignition. Time to get the instruction books out. Though we were hooked up to electricity, some things still run from the battery, and we realised that ours was almost dead - too far gone to charge from the caravan charging unit.
So next morning we took the coastal road to Barrow (heading for the Dock Museum) and called in at an Agricultural Dealers for a new battery (and a few other miscellaneous agricultural bits while we were there). Then onto Barrow, but not the museum which was closed on Mondays. So it was back to he caravan an an hour or two sitting in the sun.
On Tuesday morning we had to nip back home to pick up some cheques to put in the bank, then we headed out into the unknown. Earlier this year we sold a cow to a small holder living beyond Bentham and Henry had promised to take me there one day. We could have been in another world as we twisted and turned over the bleak moors towards Slaidburn. This was our real destination as we knew that Henry's Great great great great Grandfather was buried there.