Friday, 20 August 2010

Breakaway

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I'm sitting in a cool (very efficient air-conditioning) office watching the rain beating against the window. Four days ago I was sitting outside the caravan, sipping a cooling drink and thinking it was just a bit too hot. We've been trying to get away all summer - but have either been too busy with farm work (weather and silaging wait for no man) or entertaining guests. But at last there was a chink in clouds and on Sunday we headed north, caravan in tow. Not too far north - we didn't want to spend the time travelling. Just over an hour later we were set up at Englethwaite Hall with no plans, schedules, lists or deadlines.

So we had 3 days and nights doing nothing more taxing than a bit of shopping and a bit of sightseeing - where we got the chance play with out new toy.

The next few weeks on the calendar seem to be filled in for most days - North West Herd Competition, James away judging South Wales herd, Friends of the Lake District Farm Walk at Strickley, Dairy Event , Westmorland Show. It's a good job we enjoy what we do!
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Saturday, 14 August 2010

August 1st

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Just in case you were feeling sorry for me while the rest of the family were away enjoying themselves on August 1st - I have now edited the post to show the real reason for James' day out!
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Monday, 9 August 2010

Just the two of us

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Today the Strickley B & B is empty and the campsite closed last week.

So tonight we can leave the bathroom curtains open and wander round naked (upstairs at least) - or is that too much information?
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Friday, 6 August 2010

Harvest Time

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Back in May (see post from 4th May) we sowed two fields (Teapot and Barn Fields) with oats. This was immediately followed by a long dry spell and for a while we despaired that we would get any crop. As we were thinking we would maybe have to grub it out the weather changed for the better and/or worse (depending on your point of view) and the oats grew and grew.
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Yesterday the contractor came and with tractors and machines that dwarfed ours whizzed round the fields and within 2 hours the silage pit in the barn was full. James was buck raking and Henry was wielding the camera. I missed the action, so for you and I (and 2 little boys who were away in Shropshire) here's two of the videos and a couple of photos.



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Thursday, 5 August 2010

Cartmel Show

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Yesterday was Cartmel Show - by all accounts a great success (especially with the weather). We took a slightly smaller contingent of Strickley stock than sometimes. James went on his own with just 4 animals. Henry was busy thistle topping and I was at work. I don't usually miss shows, but I've had too many days off lately hostessing at home, and couldn't really afford another. But we weren't missed and James and the cows came back with 2 firsts and a champion. Well done to Strickley Pansy - a 9 year old example of the longevity of the Dairy Shorthorn breed.

And if you want to watch how the Victorian famers showed their cattle (allegedly) - watch "Ben Fogle's Escape in Time" on BBC Two. It's not the most in depth analysis of Victorian farm practices, but this weeks challenges culminate in a Show. The "expert" - dressed up in appropriate period costume - is Graham Madeley - a well known Shorthorn breeder (Rodway Herd) from Shropshire. If you miss it - catch it on i-player!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Home Alone

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Henry has gone to see a Robotic Milker, James and family have gone for a day out and the last of the partygoers has just left.
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So there's only me to hold the fort!
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Edit - just in case you think James was having a whole day off - the primary reason for the trip out was to take 2 animals to the slaughter house (then they took in a playground and dinner).
I didn't mention this at first in case it put anyone off their Sunday Roast.