Where did June go? It came and went so quickly, when not being deluged with rain and doing impressions of King Canute we have been making hay, or trying to make hay. The four clear days that we needed did not happen during June; we became increasingly fed up. Mike’s tea was permanently in the ‘Mr Grumpy’ mug….not enhanced by having a letter about a retirement home (tempting). Well, the rest of us guffawed heartily.
On a happier note we have had Giuseppe from Italy join us. I had a panic attack when I thought the young chap sitting on the pavement ‘stoned’ by the London Mega bus could have been him…obviously wasn’t!
We are now on annual testing for TB which is such a huge relief. Even though the test went smoothly the tension on results day is palpable. As always Bud loves TB testing (rounding up cattle)…the only bugger who does. The next horrible job is pulling of the wild oats, tedious is not the word! One year a younger (nameless) member of the team edged towards the stile then when no one was looking made a dash for freedom. I’m not sure I blame him. We usually spread out across the field, not only is this the most effective way but we are far enough apart not to hear the moaning. Think ‘long car journey’ and swap “are we there yet?” with “are we finished yet?”
We have gone from having too small a team to cope with everything (Mike & I) to a large team as the exams finish. It’s fantastic; the garden has never looked so good, we’ll be polishing the cows at this rate. Suddenly it’s ‘man management ‘that needs to be applied instead of the ‘firefighting’ technique of dashing from urgent job to job. There is NEVER a time on a farm when you can sit back and say “finished”, there is always work to be done.
The rain was so bad one day the metal cone filter on the pond was choked up and inverted with the pressure of water. Mike drove down with his home-made lance to hook it off (bit like a medieval knight but in a loadall instead of horse). I had to go out on the raft and attach string to the inverted hook so it could be pulled off, the lance bent and the force of water going down the hole was incredible. I was terrified he’d pull the cone off before I was off the pond and I would be sucked down the giant pipe. Being practical I reminded him I am the only person here who can programme the automatic calf feeder in the hope it would keep him focused. If we’d had a hydro turbine we could have powered the whole of Longhope. I may investigate; after all it’s a constant source of running water.
Everybody is doing really well with various events/competitions on the equine side. It’s great to see them all on Facebook. At the moment we have a waiting list and yet a free stable, I am having a problem getting horses paired up. We had a ‘mismatch’ which threw my field plan. Ah well….something will happen to sort it. As soon as Richard comes to fence we can make some more individual turnout paddocks.
Lots of calves born plus two lots of twins, two beautiful little foals at Armstrong Equine and lots of wildlife spotted everywhere including some deer in the barley field! They appear to be doing no damage so we leave them in peace.