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Archive for August, 2017

Sorry!

My apologies!   Following on from Alison’s comment I thought I ought to write a post to let you know I’m alive and well just really busy although I have decided to try and tone down how much time I spend on the computer.

This year is flying by and we’ve limped through silage-making, completely missed hay-making and are struggling to reach second-cut silage due to practically every machine we need throwing a wobbly. The mower has now been replaced and the foragers (yes, both the really old one and the other less-really-old one) are in pieces waiting to be … what is is Gordon calls it? Refabricated?  Does that sound right?  In other words, they don’t make the parts for them any more so he’s having to remake things from scratch.  Of course, the weather has also been pretty awful in the past few months so it hasn’t been suitable for haymaking anyway.  We’ve made a bit of haylage, but have fields of grass gone to seed whilst waiting to be attended to.

Calving has been manic – count the dates: nine months since the notorious Felix incident and in the past month we’ve had about fifty calves including some really beautiful red ones although sadly the majority of those are bull calves.  Contrary to what the popular media would have you believe we do not shoot our bull calves – I don’t know any farmer who does, but they do go off to market after spending the first three/four weeks of their lives with their mothers.  We find after about three weeks the mothers have lost interest and kick the calves away when they go in for a feed, not to mention the fact that by then teats are sore from the constant feeding and when they come into the parlour we apply lots of udder grease which soothes them.  If the mothers really don’t want to know we’ve been picking the calves up and feeding them with teat buckets which has the added advantage that we know how much milk they’re getting.  At one stage we were feeding nine as eight of them were born during a stormy night and by the time we rounded them up in the morning, I think the cows had forgotten which were theirs.  In week one of our major calving we had five sets of twins, four sets of which were male/female, so not much use to us at all.  The remaining set were both male.  We decided this year we would sell all our calves, not just the bull calves but the heifers too as we have enough animals in the herd currently.

Gordon and I have actually had holidays this year.  Firstly we went to Paris for a few days which was fantastic.  Gordon had wanted to go for a while and, as you know, I never say no to the chance of going anywhere.  We had breakfast on the Eiffel Tower, climbed the Arc d’Triomphe, walked along the river to the Notre Dame, took a boat along the Seine, ate lovely food and generally enjoyed the sights and each other’s company as we usually go as part of a group.  We saw Tom Cruise filming Mission Impossible 6 alongside the Seine which was fun.  We were on a boat at the time so I don’t think he saw us although Gordon tells everyone he did!

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I spent a few days in Poole with the same friends that I’ve been away with before.  I hadn’t stayed in Poole or even visited recently so couldn’t remember what it was like, but enjoyed it even though it was a little commercial.  The best part was visiting Brownsea Island where they still have red squirrels and a variety of other difficult-to-spot wildlife.  I photographed terns, spoonbills, a whole selection of seabirds and of course, red squirrels.

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We spent a few nights in a shepherd’s hut in Cornwall in July courtesy of my friend and fellow blogger Val Grainger who made us feel very welcome, fed us ample amounts of good food and made sure we had a good time.

Next month  we have a short break booked in Jersey, another place we’ve never been.  Gordon’s 60th birthday approaches but before that we will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary so have decided to go somewhere we wouldn’t normally have the chance to visit.

 

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