Sunday, 27 July 2008

See it in action

Last week I posted some photographs of our new rake swirling the scaled out grass into nice neat rows. But to really see it in action click on this video.

Thanks to camerawoman Jean

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Penrith Show

After a misty murky journey over Shap the day opened out into hot sunshine. Last year Penrith was one of many show that had to cancel because of the bad weather. But everyone returned this year, with 9 Shorthorn exhibitors and well presented cattle in all classes. The North of England Calf Show is also held at Penrith Show, so most people brought one or two calves. Some of these were entered just in the Calf Show classes, but some were also in the first "main" class of Maiden Heifers. We were very pleased that Strickley Athena 3 was placed 1st out of 19.

Other successes were -

Heifer in Milk - 1st Strickley Goldie 175 and 4th Strickley Goldie 173

Cow in Milk - 3rd Strickley Dairymaid 2

Group of 3 - 2nd

Reserve Champion Dairy Shorthorn - Strickley Goldie 175

Calf Show
Young calf - Strickley Annabella 140
Intermediate calf - Strickley Athena 3
Champion Calf - Strickley Athena 3

Friday, 25 July 2008

Even when we're not there. .

Strickley cows do well even in other herds -

At the Royal Welsh Show Strickley Lily 6 won the Dairy Shorthorn Championship (now in the hands of Owen Harris)

Thirty Eight Years Ago Today

25th July 1970
Stricklandgate Methodist Church
a few images - from long ago and farway

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Another Day Another Stack of Bales

We had thought of making hay of one of the fields we rent in (Garth's "Top Field) but in the end took the easier (and quicker) option of big bales. It's about 6 acres (2.5 hectares) we had 60 bales off it. These photos show the new rake in action.

If we had made traditional small bales we would probably still be outside carting them, instead of enjoying a leisurely barbecue and a cool drink.
And - if you thought that Rob would never update his Blog again - check the link on the left!

Friday, 18 July 2008

First Results of the Season

Despite the Royal Lancashire Show being such as wash-out that it was almost all cancelled (only livestock classes were held on the first day, with no spectators and the other two days completely cancelled) we had a very good day.

MAIDEN HEIFER under 10months - 2nd- Strickley Annabella 140
MAIDEN HEIFER, 10-15 months - 1st - Strickley Athena 3
COW in calf - 2nd - Strickley Dainty Princess 3
HEIFER in milk - 1st - Strickley Goldie 175
COW in milk - 1st - Strickley Dairymaid 2

The Joseph Hutchinson Perpetual Trophy for the Best Dairy Shorthorn - Strickley Dairymaid 2
The Eaton Challenge Cup for the Reserve Champion Shorthorn - Strickley Goldie 175

Watch for for photographs as soon as it's possible

Only Half a Show

James rang us late last night, from a tent at the Lancashire Show (where he is bedding down with the cows) to say they had just been told that the show would be closed to the public today (Friday) because of heavy rain. They don't have much luck with the Lancashire Show, last year the whole lot was cancelled at a few days notice and in previous years have suffered with poor access. But watch this space for news.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

It's Show Time

We’re gearing ourselves up for another busy few days (not that any of them are idle).
This morning James got a lift down to the Shorthorn Society (Stoneleigh) for a Council meeting. He will get back (we hope) late afternoon/early evening on Thursday. He’ll then do a quick turn round and load 5 cows and heifers into the trailer and take them down to the Royal Lancashire Show. Meanwhile Henry will have been busy getting the cows and all the show gear ready. James and the cows will be spending a peaceful night in the cattle tent at the show ready for final preparation and judging on Friday. It’s our first time at the Royal Lancs for a long time (maybe 20 years). We nearly made it last year, but the show was cancelled at the last minute because of the waterlogged site.
When James comes back on Friday night he has one more busy day getting ready for the next outing – the Wellbank family are going on holiday. I’m not sure it will be the most restful few days as they’re going in our caravan.
So for next few days I will be removing all the junk we’ve accumulated in there (to make way for toys and games) and trying to make it look a bit cleaner and brighter, then demonstrating the modern conveniences that weren’t there the last time James was in a caravan.
Then it’s Show Time again – Penrith on 26th July.
And in between all of this we may mow some grass and grab a few big bales.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

New toy gets ready to work

Yesterday we cut a couple of steepish banks for big bales. The cows were supposed to have grazed them, but as there was plenty of grass lower down the field they never bothered to climb the hill. And now the grass "has got away from them", so as soon as we saw that there was a chance of two fine days together, James was whizzing through the grass with the mower.
It's also given us a chance to test the new "Helipede Rotary Windrower" (aka the rowing-up machine). The photographs show how it unfolds from the travelling to working position. (These were taken in the Teapot Field as I'm rather like the cows when it come to walking up hills).

Friday, 11 July 2008

Self Portrait

Not just a puzzle, but a computer generated self portrait - but who is it?

Click to Mix and Solve

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Closing Event

We've just wound up a busy week with a few games of tennis and 10-pin bowling, plus a few bouts of boxing in the barn. We ended up with both households having loads of food left, so we had a bit of a family party to use up as much of it as possible, then worked it off with a bit of sport. Who do you think was the Victor Ludorum? Just to prove age and experience count for nothing young Robert put us all in the shade - especially with the bowling (though he even knocked out his Great Uncle Arthur in the boxing ring).

Of course none of this was really real - but nearly real (courtesy of James' Wii)

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Coming to the end of a busy week

Almost there -

Organic meeting - went down very well with 15 farmers and vets
Business meeting - much discussion on grass seed mixtures
Pre-school trip - very much enjoyed by ten 4 year olds and two helpers. They all went away with individual photos sitting in a tractor
Computer Dept party - very good night. "Off road" tour of Strickley, then much food and drink outside in the cooling sun.
Pre-school party - postponed (very heavy rain forecast)
Teachers barbecue - still on - maybe in the barn

Have I missed anything out?

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Hectic Time Ahead

Well we're back from foreign parts (and the West Coast of Cumbria has some very foreign parts), and there's no time to wind down or ease back gradually into the hurly burly of farmlife. Here's a quick rundown of the timetable over the next few days -

Thursday 3rd July
09:00 - wagon of straw arriving (to be unloaded and stacked in the barn)
09:30 - meat to be collected from local farm shop
10:00 - check the weather forecast - expect the worst
10:00 - barn to be cleaned out and tables, chairs etc set out
11:00 - group of Organic Dairy Farmers arrive for Farm Walk and discussion with our vet
12:00 - check weather forecast - confirm the worst
12:05 - light barbecue in barn
12:30 - serve lunch to as yet unknown number of farmers
13:00 - meeting continues in barn

19:00 - prepare for monthly business/consultation meeting - have all facts and figures at my fingertips
19:15 - sit down to discuss how well/badly we are doing
21:30 - collapse in heap with a revitalising drink

Friday 4th July

Wake up feeling old - it's our youngest son's 30th birthday (Happy Birthday Rob)
09:00 - Old Hutton Pre-school arrive for a morning on a farm
On the hour - check forecast
All day - move barbecue, chairs and tables back onto patio. Prepare for Lakeland's Computer Room Annual Summer Party
19:30 - lounge around in the sun on the patio while idly sipping a cool refreshing drink and cooking and eating a wonderful array of food

Saturday 5th July

More forecast checking

Daytime - James and Michelle's Preschool barbecue
Evening - James and Michelle's school teachers barbecue

Sunday 6th July
Plan meals for the week ahead
Catch up on paperwork

Monday 7th July

Time to relax - back to work!