Friday, 31 May 2013

Ready, steady, MOW

The mower has just left the yard and this years' silaging has begun. The contractor is coming tomorrow afternoon to start picking up. I'm off to Booths after dinner to stock up on food to feed the hungry workers.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

If you need a builder

We're always being told that personal recommendation is the best way to choose a builder (or other tradesman). We absolutely agree with that and if anyone wants to know who turned this (last October)

into this (taken today after the final final touches)

get in touch with us and we'll give the details of the local tradesmen we used. Our greatest thanks go to Will Nelson (A Nelson & Son Ltd of Old Hutton), who worked through the coldest months and produced just what we asked. His family have been in Old Hutton as long as the Robinsons and we've plenty of examples of their work round the farm.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

We have wind!

Wind sensor fixed - all it needed was a man with a ladder and a screw driver (i.e. take the cable out, put it back and if it still doesn't work then tap it with the screw driver - technical stuff!)

Is it windy?

Well, the answer is I'm not sure. For the past few days our weather station has recorded no wind. I know it has been very calm, but maybe not that calm. I think I need a man with a quad bike and ladder to check it out.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Isn't he handsome?

Do you remember Strickley Maximus, who went off on his holidays to Cogent Collection Centre in January?

And he's not just a pretty face - sometime soon he'll be appearing in the RCG brochure, but here's a sneak preview!

And as one bull comes home, another will be taking his place. Strickley Wiggo's tests are scheduled and yesterday we sent off some hair samples for DNA testing.

Sunday at Strickley

Last Sunday about 80 pupils and families from Old Hutton school came to Strickley. This was organised by the HSA (used to be called PTA back in the day). James and Michelle had organised a Spring Activity Walk. And for a modest fee you could follow a marked route through the fields and wood, answering questions on an activity sheet, beck dipping, making a journey stick (though I think only the girls did that), and scoring points on a I-Spy sheet. One enterprising father had a pedometer and calculated the route to be 2.3 miles. The worst bit came at the beginning - straight up Wellbank. Anyone who knows Strickley knows that's a bit of a slog. There were helpers in the wood so no one missed anything, reviving biscuits by the Valve House and the smell of bacon buns to tempt you back to James' garden. After a week of intermittent rain, and a heavy downpour on Saturday, we were very lucky and though wet underfoot, the sun shone.

So, if you come to Strickley, see how many of these you can tick off - and someone did see the kingfisher!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Happy Birthday


Monday, 13 May 2013

Mass Exodus

If it stood still today and had four legs it was all change. We've had a mass turnout (about 80 animals) and all that's left inside are 15 baby calves, 6 slightly older calves and 2 young breeding bulls.

Lots of mucking out to do now!

Friday, 10 May 2013

It might be a bit cold and damp,

   but, tonight's the night that the cows stay outside. The grass has really got going now, so Henry and James have been busy fencing the night pasture.

I'm not sure what work has been done on the farm this week, as Henry and I have been away! We've had four nights in our new-to-us-last-year caravan up near Carlisle (Englethwaite Hall Caravan Club Site). It's not so far to travel, we can usually get in without much notice and it's quiet and relaxing. We can't pick and choose when to go based on the weather, so any glimmer of sun is a bonus. Last year we went away twice - both times it rained every day. But this time we not only had two fine days - but two hot days!

And here's a quick snap taken while we prepared to cook supper on Tuesday.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Meanwhile back at the ranch. . .

. . . while Henry and James have been busy with various stages of cultivation, I have not been idle. Well, not too idle. The Internet's a wonderful thing - you can find out things much quicker than in the olden days. Then I would have been dependant on seeing posters, or adverts in the newspapers. But now, with a click of a mouse (or tap of a finger) I can get up to the minute (almost) notice of events. One of Henry's all time favourite bands is Squeeze. We even saw them back in the 80's at The Leisure Centre. We never thought we would get the chance again, and certainly not in Kendal. To be truthful, it's not all of Squeeze - just Glenn Tilbrook. But having seen and heard him on television recently he sounds just the same. So come November we'll be in front row seats at The Brewery. That was one gig I could book without any consultation. And while I was booking I noticed Midge Ure was appearing in October. So after a brief consultation, I've booked more front row seats. Then today I saw Show of Hands in December. We saw them last year and it was a brilliant night. So more mouse clicks; more front row seats. It's something to look forward to when the summer (!) is over.

And now, back to reality - all the seeds are sown (wheat and forage peas, undersown with grass). Levelled, stone picked, rolled. The weather forecast said rain for today, so they've been working all hours of daylight. Henry only stopped rolling last night as it was too dark to see what he had done. And so far it hasn't rained!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Year to date weather statistics

Latest weather statistics from Strickley. A dry start to April, but still more rain days than not.