Monday, 30 July 2012

You know you're getting old . . . .

. . . . when your grandson starts his first job!

Elliot starts a holiday job today - with a Painter and Decorator. Good luck - to him and his employer!

A busy weekend

Back to normal today after a rather hectic weekend. Saturday was Penrith Show and our first outing of the season. James, Michelle, Robert and Chris took a trailer load of Strickley Shorthorns up the motorway while Henry and I stayed at home. Somehow there seems to be too much to do for us all to get away for a full day. The weather was mostly OK at Penrith (though they did have to have their dinner in the Landrover to keep out of the rain) and we had a mostly successful day, with Strickley Dairymaid 5th winning the in milk heifer class and Reserve Champion. She was also part of the winning pair in the Interbreed Pairs. Penrith is well supported by Shorthorn breeders and there were 35 Shorthorns on the field - more than any other breed.

More judging was taking place over the weekend. It was the second weekend for judging the North West Shorthorn Region's Herd Competition. A judge from another region goes round all the entered herds, judging not only nominated individual cows, but youngstock, progeny and the whole herd. Some classes also include production. This weekend the judge, Marshall Crank from Chester, with his daughter, stayed at Strickley. Friday night surprised us by being fine and reasonably warm, so we grabbed the opportunity and had a barbecue, sitting out in James' garden. The judges left at the crack of dawn to visit other herds, coming back to Strickley at the end of the day. After breakfast on Sunday it was the turn of Strickley to be be judged, and hopefully the stock stood out. After dinner they left for another group of herds. I have to admit Henry and I did close our eyes for a minute or two while watching the Olympics in the afternoon.

So today it's back to a full day of work - muck spreading and more work in installing new cubicles.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Not as good as it looks

Lately our weather station is showing rather measly amounts of rain - and even none some days. But, believe me, that's not the whole truth. Today there was a really heavy shower - but nothing recorded. So, we need to check the gauge for debris (the most likely cause). But it's on top of a 7m pole on top of a hill. And as soon as the rain stops and the field dries up, and I can find a man with a ladder who has nothing more important to do, we'll try to fix it. It may be some time.

P.S. - the other readings seem to be OK.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Clouds over Cumbria

Did you see the the weekly weather forecast on Sunday? While most of the country looked clear and bright there was a constant grey patch over Cumbria. They were right. Since then it's been grey and damp - the only variation being sometimes it's raining and sometimes it's drizzling and if we're really lucky just misty or low cloud. We keep hearing how hot and sunny it is to the south of us - and even to the north.

Forty two years ago it was just as wet. And if remember correctly, rather cool. There were no summer dresses or wide brimmed hats. And certainly no fascinators. Just sensible suits (were they still called "costumes"?) and even more sensible shoes and hats. But this group at least brought some sunshine to the day. (I'm sorry about the hat in the corner - blame the photographer, whoever they were).

Left to right.
Henry's dad Willie
Henry's grandmother Frances
Henry's mother Kate
Bridegroom and bride
Kathleen's mum Marjorie
Kathleen's dad Stan
Kathleen's grandmother Jessie
Kathleen's grandmother Beattie
Kathleen's grandfather Ike
Kathleen's grandfather Wilf

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Happy Holiday . . .

 . . . to Victoria, Elliot and Fletcher. Currently on the beach (and in the sea!)

Friday, 13 July 2012

All is safely gathered in

About 3 o' clock Wednesday we wondered if we should start mowing. Decision taken we cracked on. And by 12 o' clock today there's another 100 acres or so in the pits.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Here comes the sun . . .

At last the damp miserable curtain has lifted and the sun has come out. After some heavy showers yesterday morning the clouds rolled away and the sky turned blue. A couple of  hours later it was still fine and the forecast for the next 24 - 48 hours was looking good. So there was only one thing to do - get mowing! The silage sheet has been rolled back and the pit is ready. After breakfast Henry will be rowing up and the contractor will be coming later to pick up the grass.

It's just over six weeks since first cut and the grass is looking good. So I should be happy and maybe giving a link to "Here comes the sun" or similar. But instead I give you this. Click and enjoy. My plans for today didn't include watching trailers of grass whizz through the yard, but sitting in front row seats watching the mighty Bellowhead. Ah well, farming's not meant to be easy.

And in case you missed the link - here it is again.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Decision Time

What would you do?

We've looked at the forecast on the television.
We've looked at it on the BBC website.
We've looked at a selection of other websites.
We've checked the seaweed and even looked at the Strickley forecast.

But we still don't know if/when we'll get any rain.

We were lucky and got out first cut silage when it seemed we were actually experiencing summer. Some people were not so lucky and are now watching the weather and waiting for a break. Our second cut is about ready but we really need 2 or 3 days when it's guaranteed not to rain.

So, to hedge our bets we've just started mowing the Teapot field for big bales. We'll wait a bit longer before cutting anymore.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Out with the old

And, no, I don't mean James. He's not quite as old.

In with the new? Watch this space

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Who's Who

Just in case you're new to this Blog, I thought a quick rundown of the Dramatis Personae may be in order.

As you will have gathered we are Robinsons from Strickley. According to the post office, Strickley is in Old Hutton. But we are part of the Parish of New Hutton. The Robinons came to Strickley in 1875 - for a full account of history of the move go to our website - But briefly, Henry was the first Robinson to farm here, followed by his son Arthur Robert, then his son William Arthur. William died in 1996 and his son William Henry became the fourth generation at Strickley.

So who's who now?

I'm Kathleen and married to Henry (or William Henry to give him his proper name). We started our married life at Over Bleaze (see website again) and moved to Strickley when Henry's dad died. Our eldest son features heavily in this Blog - James is the fifth generation Strickley farmer. He lives in a converted barn at Strickley with his wife Michelle and two sons (Robert and Christopher) - maybe the sixth generation?

Occasionally you may see mentions of our other children - Victoria and Robert - and other grandchildren, Elliott, Fletcher, Isabella and Quinn - who all live away but are still Strickley Robinsons at heart.

And mention must be made of Arthur - Henry's twin brother. Now retired and living at Over Bleaze, but part of the Strickley team, especially when it comes to walling.