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Archive for January, 2014

Well, that was January!  In and out in a flash!  I don’t know what I’ve been doing that’s kept me so busy – something obviously, but for the life of me I couldn’t tell you what.  I know I haven’t left the house very much and my camera has stayed in the drawer.

It’s been wet!  Have you noticed?  In Somerset it’s been particularly wet to the extent that the Government finally made the decision to resume dredging of our two main rivers, the Parrett and the Tone.  Whilst they’re telling us all they have no money to do this, at the same time they’re sending millions elsewhere to cope with other countries’ misfortunes so no-one here is impressed.  We’re lucky in that we live next to a drainage canal with high banks and have a well-established system of rhynes set up by previous generations of landowners, but our ground is still saturated.  The majority of it isn’t underwater so we’re luckier than farmers further into the Somerset Levels who’ve been rowing to and from their farmhouses to check the situation with their drowning grass and flooded buildings.

On the farm we’ve had a handful of calves born, starting well with a heifer then a run of bull calves, but they’ve all been strong and healthy so we shouldn’t complain.  We do of course since farmers do that particularly well, but we really shouldn’t.  The last of them was picked up from his mother this morning and from now until he leaves will be fed from a bucket.

A week and a bit ago Gordon and I drove to Cheltenham to celebrate Alex’s 25th birthday by taking everyone out for a meal.  We mooched around Cheltenham for the afternoon, had coffee in a proper coffee-shop, did some window shopping and Gordon bought some new shoes, then he amazed me in the evening by telling me he’d had a lovely day out!  He usually has to be dragged out grumbling loudly about all the things he could/should be doing instead but there were very few words of complaint.  He even went as far to comment that if he retired we’d have more time to do this.  I said very little – I’m so used to hearing it now that I’ll believe it when it happens.  Of course, it didn’t help that we’ve just had a dairy inspection which consisted of about twenty minutes looking around the farm and a further two hours looking through paperwork to make sure all our records – cow health, medicine book, chemical spraying records, etc were in order!  This will be the finish of him I suspect – the continuous paperwork we have to keep.  His father wouldn’t have bothered regardless of the consequences, but we’re now obliged to keep such careful records of everything and are penalised if we don’t.  The majority of farmers aren’t good with paperwork at the best of times.  Gordon’s dad didn’t even keep accounts, preferring to chuck every invoice and slip of paper into a box and taking it to an accountant at the end of the year for sorting.  Of course, he always had a lot of outstanding debts but was allowed this ‘courtesy’ as a landowner.  Fat chance of that happening now with everything done on computerised systems.

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I know I haven’t posted since Christmas and I’ve no idea why, but I promise to return soon when I get myself more organised.  In the meantime, hope you had a great Christmas and New Year and I’ll catch up as soon as I’m able.

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