Thursday, 30 August 2012

Prizes Galore

Today has been Grayrigg Show (or to give it the full title "Selside, Grayrigg & Mountain District of Westmorland Agricultural Society Annual Show"). It's the nearest show to us, and is still very much a village show. As well as the dairy , beef and sheep classes, there are hounds and terriers, produce and handicrafts, vegetables, sticks, Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling, fell races and children's races. It's very well supported and this year there were more cattle than previously. Despite heavy rain overnight, the sun shone today and most people managed to get on and off the field.

This was the 150th Show, and Strickley Robinsons have been showing since the nineteenth century.

There are no individual breed classes, but there were Dairy Shorthorns, Ayrshires and Holsteins. We took three Strickley Shorthorns and came home with a boxful of cups and rosettes. Now I think I have got these results right, if not it's down to me.

Heifer in milk
1st - Strickley Dairymaid 5th
Dry cow
1st - Strickley Starlet 94th
Cow in milk
1st - Strickley Starbud 3rd
Group of Three
Pair of Female Cattle
Supreme Female Champion
Supreme Cattle Champion
Reserve Champion
I think that's everything - anyway there are 5 cups to find a home for. I've no photos at the moment, but hope to get one soon. In the meantime, here are some winning photographs. James entered the Photograph section and did very well in a hotly contested competition.
Best coloured snapshot of a view in the Societies District - 2nd

Best snapshot of an animal or animals (birds included) - 3rd
Best snapshot of a child or children - !st and 3rd
Best any other snapshot - 1st and 2nd


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Bike alert

Coming to a road near here (well past our lane end actually)
Five years ago it came by here, and we were there in force (6 of us) to cheer on the cyclists. Naturally I took loads of photos - and here's one of someone you may recognise.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Not really a holiday

As you may have realised from yesterday's photographs we haven't really been on holiday. There's just so much to do that there's no time for a day off. We have to get the new cubicles ready as soon as possible, so we can lay the cows in when the weather turns even worse. The concreting is done, and Henry and James are now replacing the water troughs. Not an easy job - apparently the old ones are very well cemented in. They've put up a few cubicles, but can't do the bulk of them until the mattresses are laid. Every comfort for our cows! A team of bedmakers arrive on Wednesday. When done, it will look something like this I think, though I will take some photos of ours.

The new caravan is sitting in the paddock ready to roll, but with nowhere to go, so we have spent the odd night in it, to test it out. This time we stretched it to two nights - Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. Henry still had to get up early to milk, and had plenty to do during the day, but I got a bit of a sleep in (well, till 7.30) and made a determined effort to behave as if away from it all. Easy meals (thank you M & S) and books to read.

Today is apparently a Bank Holiday. The banks may be shut, but work continues apace here. This afternoon it's classification time for the cows.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Still on holiday

View from kitchen window.

A holiday snapshot

Guess where!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Olympic Legacy

All you need is a stack of straw bales, an empty cake bag, bow and arrow and a steady aim.

Get ready

Not quite
Good shot!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Did you know. . .

. . . that Comet are stopping selling games consoles etc?

No, neither did I. But I do now. XBOX Kinnect now set up in the sitting room!

Not mine - but Elliot's whos's up here on holiday. You need a large room!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

That was quick!

156 tonnes from 17.5 acres (so I'm told)

Just gone through the yard . . .

. . . one very large specialist machine and three tractors and trailers.

Yes, it's time to harvest this year's "wholecrop". Last year it was Triticale, this year it's Wheat and Peas. It's undersown with grass, so there will be another crop, or pasture, to come.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

If it looks like it's raining, it probably is.

This morning Henry took a very long ladder up the field on the bike. He climbed up and could just reach the rain gauge on the weather station. It is set to collect rain, and when there is 0.01 inches, tip it out and send a signal back to the console in the kitchen. It was a bit bunged up and green. So after a thorough clean we're back in business (we think).

Meanwhile James has been topping thistles on the Lots and we're ready to start work again installing the new cubicles. The cement mixer is ready to go, and a little hired dump truck is on it's way. These are completely different cubicles and there's a lot of concreting to do.

We've also emptied both the slurry tower and pit and washed off the tanker. The gentle rain has done a good job of washing it in and we're watching the grass grow again.

Meanwhile in the house I have been busy - planning time away from the farm. It's always difficult to get away. If it's fine there's something we ought to be doing (which is why we didn't feel too guilty when we had 6 (!) days off in May - it rained every day). There's a lot of cows and heifers calving at the moment (plus the work on the cubicles) so an imminent holiday is unlikely. We tend to go off in the caravan to the same site near Carlisle but are thinking of going "farther afield" next time. We hadn't decided where to go till fate stepped in. I heard of a concert (or is it a gig? what's the difference?)  at Buxton Royal Opera House. We've been there before and it's a magnificent place. So I've booked two tickets - front row - for Spiers and Boden in September.

Our list of concerts to look forward to is growing apace.

September - Spiers and Boden at Buxton Opera House
October - Fay Hield and The Hurricane Party at Kendal Brewery Arts Centre
November - Show of Hands at the Brewery
November - Bellowhead at The Lowry, Salford
December - June Tabor and The Oysterband at Ulverston Coronation Hall

Apologies for listing them all - it makes it real and something to look forward to on a bad, or not so good day. And if you follow the links, you'll spot the theme. I not exclusively folkie, but these have just fallen into place. Now if Chris Rea or Bruce Springsteen were to come to The Brewery . . . . .