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Archive for October, 2010

A Proper Ramble

Monday 18 October 2010

My sister texted this morning to ask whether I fancied going for a walk with my cobwebby camera.  I jumped at the chance of course so we went to Shapwick Heath Nature Reserve to try out my largest (and most complicated) camera which often gets relegated to the back of the cupboard in favour of something lighter.

Autumn was all around!

There’s a bird hide there that overlooks the lake which we sat in for a while waiting to see something exciting.  It was very cold and we saw a swan!

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Sorry

Friday 15 October 2010

I know I’ve been gone a long time.  People keep checking up on me to make sure I’m still around, but since I got back from my holiday in Portugal I seem to have lost all motivation.  I’m not sure why – whether it’s coming back to full-blown and chilly autumn or just a post-summer slump, but I haven’t really achieved anything.  I got home (way back at the end of September) to a mound of paperwork which took me a ridiculous amount of time to sort out, but that’s done now.

Since I’ve written a blog post we’ve had eleven calves born and lost two cows.  The calves are panning out roughly fifty-fifty with the males gaining a slight advantage at this stage, but it’s early days yet and there are plenty more of the herd to calve.  One of our best cows died of a heart attack the night after calving whilst I was away and the other, according to the vet, ate something poisonous.  We aren’t sure what, but the ditches have just been dredged and the sludge piled on the banks, so it’s possible there were roots of something unpleasant in amongst the mud.  We’re hoping she’s the only one who ate it and watching the rest carefully for first signs, but so far they seem OK.

Gordon and I went to the Dairy Event last week at the Bath and West Showground near Shepton Mallet and had a good time wandering around looking at what the industry is up to.  We have decided to have our herd declared pedigree and had a long discussion with someone on the British Friesian stand about this.  He’s coming to look over the paperwork next week.  Several girls in our herd were pedigree years ago (or their ancestors were) and this means we’re able to keep our desired ‘pedigree name’ as it’s still registered to the farm.  Like most things nowadays it isn’t a cheap thing to set up; I think they charge £11 per cow to register them as pedigree, but in the future it will increase the value of our livestock should we need to sell them.

We’re still in limbo regarding the turbines.  Planning hasn’t been applied for and time drags on.  The protestors seem to have become a social group with dances and sponsored walks. I’m not sure how much support they have or how effectual they’ll actually be, but I’ve reached the stage where I’ve almost lost interest.  We’ve discussed our future plans and if the turbines don’t go in then we’ve decided to sell up.  Whether or not we will when it comes to the crunch remains to be seen, but that’s the plan.

Stephanie is now firmly settled in Cheltenham and attending university four days a week, enjoying her freedom immensely.  Alex has been job-seeking once again and was offered a job yesterday, so that’s good news.  My ’empty-nest’ may be part of the problem and it does seem weird adapting to a childless house.  I know both the girls are in the best place for them at the moment though.

When I have more time I’ll post some photos of my lovely holiday in Portugal.  The poor camera has acquired cobwebs lately and really needs to used again soon.

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