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Archive for December, 2013

On Sunday we went out for lunch as a family.  The girls and Carl came home and dad treated us all to a carvery at The Friendly Spirit in Cannington.  The atmosphere and food were both excellent.  Kate bought us headwear to get us into the Christmas mood and we really enjoyed the afternoon.  She’d already been warned that the odds of getting Steve or Gordon to wear something on their heads were fairly slender so she didn’t bother to buy them any, which was just as well since they both thought it was silly!  Bah, humbug.

l have since found another use for my antlers so from everyone at the farm, have a very Merry Christmas and l’ll catch up with you afterwards.

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This is Jacqueline and honestly, she didn’t mind!

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Misty Moisty Morning

Tuesday 17 December 2013

This morning I went for a little stroll with my camera and Lola.  Have you met Lola?  I don’t believe you have.  She’s Daniel’s springer spaniel and comes to work with him every day during the week.  If he should be working at weekends, which he doesn’t often, Lola tends to say in bed with Dan’s partner Nicole where it’s warm and she doesn’t have to run about.  All went well until she heard something move in the mist, then she was off like a rocket and refused to come back for me.  I didn’t even know where she was, but Dan came out and found her, which was just as well as she was off to the vets at 10 am for a booster.  She’s only a year old and a springer so she’s a little bit barmy.  I think she went off to play with the sheep that are currently keeping our grass down for the winter.  They aren’t ours and as ‘luck’ would have it (bad luck more like) the farmer they belong to turned up at the same time, but fortunately she wasn’t actually worrying the sheep, just playing so he didn’t mind too much.  I shan’t be wandering off with her again though if she won’t come back when she’s called.

It was a glorious morning.

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The starlings were all ready for the day!

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The shopping expedition went well and presents were bought so it looks like I’m almost there.  If I get a chance tomorrow I may even put up the tree and then Christmas will really have arrived!

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Parish Council

Monday 16 December 2013

I managed to wrap some of my presents today, which is just as well as Gordon has suggested we go ‘Christmas shopping’ tomorrow.  I use the term loosely since most of the shopping has been taken care of by me over the past few weeks.  What he’s hoping for, I suspect, is an idea of what I’d like as a present, but to be absolutely honest there isn’t much I actually need or want especially since the arrival of my tablet, which I love and use often.

I’m using it at the moment to stop myself getting bored at the Parish Council Meeting!  Gordon is chairman and takes it all very seriously,  but I’ve only come to keep him company.  The fact that the annual parish council trip to the pub for a Christmas drink is entirely coincidental. The Church Hall is cold and stuffy, smells damp and is making my nose run, but I suppose sacrifices need to be made. 

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Are You Ready?

Sunday 15 December 2013

So, with nine days to go until Christmas, are you all ready for the ‘big’ day?  As usual, I’m lagging behind and the sudden and unexpected arrival of a stinking cold hasn’t helped my floundering efforts in any way.  When I started buying presents first I made up my mind that I’d wrap them as they arrived into the house and although I started well, again I’ve fallen behind.  Christmas, despite being an annual event, will sneak up on me in the same way as it does every year.  On the plus side, I notified as many people as possible about my decision not to send cards, some by text, others via Facebook and have had a positive response back.  I figure that those people I am not close enough to text will probably not even miss my card and should anything be said at a future date, I will explain my decision to them then.

Life down on the farm is charming, rustic, muddy as all hell and wet!  Several times this month I’ve had to stop people in their tracks when they longingly tell me ‘they’d love to live on a farm’, and that it’s their childhood dream.  Really folks, at this time of year it isn’t that appealing, although it’s definitely milder than it has been in December for a while.

Yesterday morning we delivered two calves from a pair of young, bewildered heifers.  One was a bull and came out headfirst (as they should, obviously) although he was wedged fairly tightly.  The other was backwards and wedged even tighter, leading Gordon to do his gloomy “well, this one is dead for sure” thing like he always does.  It was a surprise when it hit the ground and bawled!  A little girl who will be named after her mother Grace.  Both heifers stared at these new things with a mixture of fear and amazement which meant yesterday evening I had to bottle-feed them both.  The poor little chap was stone-cold as he sat on one side of the pen and his mother gazed at him from the other – even the inside of his mouth was cold when I opened it to stick the teat in.  By this morning he was looking a lot happier, warmer and as round as a barrel although still sitting on the opposite side.  She’d obviously paid him some attention during the hours of darkness.  The heifer looked equally happy but was curled up with her mother and we’ve decided to leave them alone for a day or two to get used to each other before bringing them into the parlour for the first time.  We’ve had a couple of heifers calve in the past few weeks including one we renamed Jacqueline in 2011, who fortunately had a heifer of her own so we now have two.  They’re coming into the parlour calmly and act as if they’ve always done it, which we put down to the fact that they have a lot of human contact throughout their life.  The bank manager came to see us the other day and asked whether we’d considered robotic milking so we told her that it would mean a complete loss of interaction as far as we’re concerned – well, that and the fact that the average price of these robotic milking machines is about £125,000!

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Proud Mother

Remember l told you Stephanie bought me an advent calendar for my birthday?  l spotted one on her cupboard when we went to Cheltenham for her graduation and I asked if she could get me one, although l was prepared to pay for it.  She said she’d try but they were out of stock so she gave me her’s as a present.  She’d got one for Alex too and assured me there were more coming in to the store at the end of the week, but l found out yesterday that they were so popular there were none left.  When l asked her whether she’d got one and she sheepishly replied that she hadn’t l offered to give it back to her, as did Alex, but she insisted that we keep them.  l felt really guilty.

This afternoon Alex rang me to tell me she’d had an idea which she’d already sorted out.  She’d bought 24 little presents, wrapped each one, numbered them, put them in a carrier bag and presented it to Steph so she didn’t miss out.  She told Steph it was from both of us.  Steph posted this photo on Facebook with the heading ‘officially the coolest advent calendar ever’.

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I’m so proud of them both.  Steph was willing to give up 24 days’ worth of yummy goodies so Alex and l could have them, and Alex made sure her sister didn’t miss out. We’re all going to enjoy the next 24 days with our advent calendars.

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