Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Autumn at Strickley

We've had our camera down by the pond for the past week. James brought it back up today and the when I looked at the SD card there were 105 10 second videos. Looking through them, I found 4 with anything more than moving grass. I think we need to reconsider the position.

Looking at the published video, I must apologise for the quality - it looks much better on my PC!

Friday, 26 October 2012


The tiny little workshop is no more - some delicate and precise taps with a hammer and a few less delicate, (but just as precise) nudges with the digger, have given us this -

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Strickley's latest project

Never ones to hang about taking it easy by just running a dairy farm, we have another project on the go. At the beginning of the year we built a small handwashing and toilet block for our school visits. If we are lucky with the weather most of the activities can take place outside. But sometimes we want to extend the season, and some activities are better suited to taking place indoors. We have been using a cleaned out pen (though the front is rather open to the elements), but that's no good when it's occupied. So we applied for planning permission to turn a workshop/store into a small classroom (if you search you'll find the plans on the SLDC website). Now that planning has been granted we're ready to go. The builder is coming to start the stripping and demolition tomorrow, so we have been busy removing years of "stuff" and finding homes for it. It's just across the yard so there's no excuse for me not to take loads of photos. Here's a few "before" ones, and you can probably expect to be inundated.



In another life . . .

. . . I was driven through forests, down rough tracks, over bleak hills in a small grey car. We usually finished intact, but just occassionally some parts had to be replaced. We're clearing out our old workshop/store prior to it's transformation to a small but perfectly formed classroom (more of that in coming posts), and trying to be ruthless. It's the third time in the past 20/30 years that we've moved some of this stuff, and some also came from Over Bleaze when we moved here 16 years ago. One less than useful item hung on our garage wall, and subsequently on this workshop wall. Maybe it's time to let it die a natural death with the heap of scrap.

I've got a few picures of it it action (though they're pre-digital and need finding and scanning), so here's a couple. Note - it's always the navigator's side that gets damaged (but never the naviagtor).


Monday, 22 October 2012

Here Today. .

. .  and gone tomorrow (or here Saturday and gone by tomorrow).

A few Movements Off happening at Strickley  -

On Saturday we sold 4 cows and heifers to another Organic farm in Staffordshire.
This morning we sold a young breeding bull to a farm in North Cumbria
And tomorrow eleven cows and heifers, aged between 2 and 12 years are making their final journey

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A few photos

These were taken by our friends who were staying with us. Luckily it was a rare sunny day and they were able to wander round the pond and wood, though attracting quite a bit of interest from our youngstock.


Friday, 19 October 2012

Rushing around this morning. . .

New tyre fitted on Discovery.
Defender washed off and taken to garage for fixing.
Paperwork almost complete for cows to be sold tomorrow.
Supper almost made - just to put in oven and/or assemble.
Fires cleaned out and lit.
Dust moved and round and disguised with a quick spray of polish.
Lamps lit to hide dusty corners.
Checked guest bedroom (one of).

Almost dinnertime - no preparation (ham and cheese).

And then, it's relax with longtime friends before an early supper and we whizz down to the Brewery Arts Centre for Fay Hield and The Hurricane Party. Maybe followed by a few nightcaps.


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Farming News

After my non-farming posts I though I ought to tell you what's been happening on the farming front. In a few words "not a lot". That's not to say we've not been as busy as usual, but that it's mostly been routine day-to-day stuff.  The weather is a major issue of course, and more stock has come inside earlier this year. It's not so much the amount of grass, and the feed value, but the state of the fields. Strickley has never really suffered in dry spells, so conversely a lot of fields are very wet. There's been a lot of movement of stock from one field to another to maximise the available grass without paddling up the ground. And we've abandoned hope of getting some more big bales from The Lots, and there's now some fat lambs wintered up there.

 This week the weather has been better (today marks 4 days with no rain!), so yesterday we got a bit of slurry spread. There was definitely an agricultural whiff in the air! Making the most of a dry day yesterday Henry and James painted the shippon window frames and fixed a few slates on the roof. Michelle has had a few school visits which went well despite the uncertain weather.

 Today is Routine Visit Day by the vet - a regular visit so we can be proactive in keeping the herd in the best health possible.

The cows have settled well in the new cubicles. We sold the old cubicles for scrap and never really though about what happened to the metal after we unloaded. But this week someone told us it gets crushed and baled and taken to Glasson Dock, where it is loaded onto a ship and sent to Spain - where it is used for such things as sardine tins. I'm not sure how true any of that is, but it puts a new slant on "swords into ploughshares".

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Naked Painter

Worried about getting paint on your clothes while you paint the bathroom?
Easy - don't wear any!

Sorry no photos available!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Weather Report

- or maybe I've nothing more important to do (not true)
- or I just want to keep my hand in (as it's nearly two years since someone paid me to produce reports)

However, this latest effort shows not only which is the wettest year (so far) since 2006, but also which month has statistically fewer wet days (i.e. some rain fell at some point). So if you're planning a summer Fete, it might be a good idea to go for June instead of August. You can read the data in tabular form, or go to the next page for multicolour graphs

As ever, this is a work in progress and I probably can't refrain from fiddling with it.

Click HERE to see the report - note it's a two page pdf in glorious Technicolour.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Monday, 1 October 2012

Out, in, out, in

Last Monday and Tuesday the cows stayed inside, but as the weather had cleared by Wednesday, and there's still grass (in wet fields) to graze, they went out again. But by yesterday they were back inside. And this time it's for good  - till next Spring. It's going to be a long winter.


Click here to open a pdf showing yearly rainfall up to the end of September 2012.