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Archive for June, 2013

Are You Sure?

Friday 28 June 2013

A while ago I had to go to the doctors for a blood test and although the reason I was having it turned out to be negative, the doctor was ‘concerned’ that my thyroid level was borderline and suggested I went back for another blood test three months later.  The three months was up at the end of May, but I felt fine so wasn’t overly concerned.  However, I thought I should get round to it eventually and last week made it to the doctors to have blood taken.  On Monday afternoon the surgery rang me to arrange a time for the doctor to ring me to discuss my results.

As you can imagine, this threw me into a bit of a panic!  Surely the doctor wouldn’t ring me if my results were fine?  Ring me she did however on Tuesday morning to discuss the fact that my thyroid levels were now overly high!  Apparently the levels should be between 12 and 22, and mine were 37.  This means that I’m suffering from hyperthyroidism and although she explained the obvious symptoms she said she’d leave a leaflet in the reception for me so I know what I’m suffering from.  So, here’s the mystery – I don’t have any of the symptoms.  I have now been referred to an endocrinologist for further tests, but have telephoned the surgery to ask if they could arrange another blood test so I’m sure they’re right.  I’m supposed to be restless, nervous, emotional, irritable, sleeping poorly and always on the go.  As I explained to the doctor, I can sit still for hours.  My two main hobbies are cardmaking and cross-stitch, both of which require patience in abundance.  I only ever get irritable if I’m hungry and a biscuit usually sorts that one.  I sleep like a log from the moment I get into bed until it’s time to get up (six o’clock this week as Dan’s gone to Glastonbury).  There’s a very long list of other symptoms but the one that I wish I did have, but haven’t, is losing weight despite an increased appetite!  In other words I can eat what I want and still lose weight – except I don’t.  Typical, isn’t it?  I’m also supposed to have a (possible) swelling in my throat and my eyes may become more pronounced.

I suppose it’s possible these symptoms could still develop so I’ll keep you informed.  In the meantime I feel completely normal – well, as normal as I can be.

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I thought you might like to see this picture of a dragonfly I took on Monday.  At least I think it’s a dragonfly.  If it isn’t, do let me know what it is.  It’s pretty, isn’t it?

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Monday 24 June 2013

Today Terri and I decided to take advantage of the fact that we’re now National Trust members and go to Lytes Cary Manor near Somerton in Somerset.  It was cold when we set out but by the time we arrived at 11.00 am it had warmed up enough to sit in the courtyard with a cup of coffee and a toasted teacake.  We were watched by the local birds who are obviously used to the crumbs associated with teacakes, but when I threw a small piece to an expectant sparrow it caused a flurry of incoming birds that all started to fight over it so I didn’t do that again!

We’ve never been here before although dad and Kate have.  When we asked him what it was called he told us Scary Manor!  Once we’d got over our scooby-doo moment we realised he’d misheard and missed out the beginning of the name.

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The first thing we noticed was the view from the front door along a path lined with topiary hedges.  The house was described as ‘intimate’ which basically meant the rooms were small and only a few of them were open to the public.  It was a bit disappointing to be honest, but it turns out the rest of the house is let out for holidaymakers.

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Having said that, it was an impressive looking house, especially in the sunshine.

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The gardens were lovely and divided into ‘rooms’ of different coloured flowers.  These beautiful foxgloves were in the white garden, but we noticed they’d crept into the red one too.  There were lots of different varieties – I had foxglove envy for a little while there.

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If I was to put this many flowers in my garden I’m sure it would just look cluttered and untidy, but somehow this works at Lytes Cary.  Through the hedge at the end of this garden was the fragrant section with lots of herbs, lavender and honeysuckle.

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Since I love to take photos of flowers (you knew that, right?) I was in my element, as you can imagine.

It may be worth another visit there later in the year just to see what the garden’s doing.

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The Results

Friday 21 June 2013

We had one inconclusive yesterday which means that once again we are under a movement restriction.  It’s a bit unfortunate as our heifers are still calving so it looks like any bull calves born will be staying until the end of August.  On the plus side they won’t need a TB test before they leave.

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TB Testing Again

Thursday 20 June 2013

This week has seen us TB testing again, approximately seven months after we did the last one due to the fact that a farmer in the vicinity had a reactor.  His cow was taken away and shot, but DEFRA contacted us to say we had to arrange another test before July.  We usually test in the winter when all the animals are in buildings around the farm but during the summer they’re spread to the four corners and we have to round them up, test them then take them back again.  Now all we have left to do is wait for the results, which we should receive later today.  I’ll keep you posted.

On a more positive note, almost all our heifers have now calved.  We have five heifers and I think there are seven bulls, but we’re happy with that.  We had one stillborn but the majority of them have calved without any help from us and recovered quickly.  They seem very maternal and possessive so that’s also a positive.  It’s better for the calf if we don’t have to feed it with a bucket and it can stay with its mother for a while.

 

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Silage Making Sorted

Wednesday 12 June 2013

All last week we were silage-making and finished about lunchtime on Monday.  Surprisingly everything went smoothly: the machines behaved themselves and when they did break (because they always do) they only had minor problems that could be fixed quickly.  The ground was firm, the grass was easy to pick up and even though we were slightly short of drivers we were able to manage with the help of several friends.

Whilst out in the fields I had plenty of wildlife company to keep me amused.  The animals here will run away from humans but completely ignore a machine so often came quite close.  Despite the dusty conditions in the forager I kept the door open most of the time to get a little bit of air (it was so hot, but I’m not complaining because it’s better than the constant rain of last year) so was able to take photos quickly when I was waiting for a replacement trailer.

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This is Gordon with the mower.  Because the forager is a lot more powerful than our old one, I’m often ‘chasing’ him with it, occasionally having to wait until he’s had a chance to get ahead.

My first visitor was a large fox with a good shaggy coat.  Foxes like to sniff up and down the rows just in case there’s a mouse underneath that the seagulls, crows and buzzards have missed.

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As usual there were plenty of buzzards stalking around the fields.  They often fly up and land on the flimsiest of branches.  At one stage there were five buzzards sat in this patch of hedge, but I was going in the opposite direction so wasn’t able to catch a photo.Image The buzzards are continually being harassed by crows but only rarely do they fight back.

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This hare was keeping a wary eye on the forager but was sat with his back to it in the next field.  It wasn’t until I drove in his direction that he bothered to run away.  Even then he spent the whole time I was in that field running backwards and forwards.  At one stage he burrowed into a swathe of grass, scaring me half to death by leaping out directly in front of me.Image

There were plenty of young deer in the fields which meant Gordon spent lots of time walking through the uncut grass to find them before he started mowing.  They lie so still that he can walk up to them, pick them up and place them in the corner of the field.  Once he’d finished mowing in this field a pair came out to play – they spent a lot of time nuzzling so I got the impression they were siblings.Image

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Saturday 8 June 2013

It seems like such a long time ago I was here.  Actually, it was such a long time ago, but you know how it is.  Life happened and the computer was pushed to the back seat a little.

My break away at Durdle Door was fantastic in spite of the fact that it rained so hard on Saturday that we decided not to leave the caravan at all.  My friend had to leave it occasionally as she has a dog that needs to be walked once in a while.  My new(ish) camera came too of course and continued to impress.

This was taken from the top of the cliff above Durdle Door and gives you an idea of where we were.

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And this is a photo of the bottom right-hand edge of the arch taken from the same place.

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We went to Lulworth Castle, but unfortunately left it too late in the day to go in.  It’s an impressive building but is apparently just a shell after a fire many years ago.

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We also went to Lulworth Cove where there was a man painting scallop shells down beside the beach.  Pretty, aren’t they?

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More recently my sister and I finally joined the National Trust after visiting several properties last year and having to pay full price.  Terri offered to pay for me to join as a Christmas present and we’ve only just got around to doing it.  This photo was taken at Dunster Castle in the garden where they had a beautiful display of tulips.  Steph came too – she’s not really that short, the tulips were in a raised bed and she was on the footpath below it.

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After we’d been around the Castle we walked along the river where I spotted this finch.  I’m not quite sure whether it’s a bullfinch or a chaffinch since I know they’re similar, but I thought he was rather beautiful.  If you look closely you can see he has a beak-full of flies.

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Do you remember way back in August 2010 when we were celebrating the arrival of our first ‘home-grown’ heifer calf called Nancy?  If you click on August 2010 on the right-hand side under Archives you’ll be able to see her.  Our heifers have started to calve and that little baby Nancy now has one of her own – unfortunately a bull calf, but alive and healthy.

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