We managed to manoeuvre cattle to gateway and hold them there but just as we tentatively drove them onto the village road to trot the 50 ft. back to the farm drive (past the church and a beautiful cottage garden…please God don’t let them go in there!) the church bells started to peel. Until now I have never noticed that the decibel level of church bells would compete with a Motorhead concert! All cattle high tailed it back into (neighbour’s) field. We waited….and waited and waited ‘bong, bong, bong’ until the church bells stopped. After 5 minutes we encouraged the reluctant beasties on the village road then, campanologists revived from their break started again ‘BONG, BONG, bloody BONG’. All cattle high tailed it back to (neighbour’s) field for a second time.
Eventually after what seemed like an eternity we got the cattle out onto road, and took them carefully past the cars belonging to the good souls of the village. One chap with a shiny white car decided he could squeeze past, so we had to frantically wave a load of bloody great beef animals away from his vehicle. Bud the sheep dog & I were ‘bringing up the rear’ and as we went passed ‘Mr Grumpy’ he said “Your cattle better not have damaged my car” to which I replied “OH SHUT UP!” (Fairly restrained considering the situation).
This was not my finest hour and probably did nothing for diplomatic relations. His car was fine; cattle were fine, only minimal damage to our holiday cottage lawn and my nervous disposition. The guests thought this was the funniest thing they’d seen in ages/highlight of holiday. Note to all …please just allow us to get past with cattle and be patient.
What humbled me was just how understanding and helpful others were. Passing walkers assisted (they confusingly had a black Labrador also called Bud who couldn’t understand why I was demanding ‘down and hold’) and several others who were brilliant including neighbours and our livery ladies. Victoria was strolling down the drive when two dozen beef animals came charging towards her like a scene from the Wild West. She sensibly opened the nearest gate, mainly for self-preservation which happened to be the correct one!
Next problem: Armstrong Equine’s generator wouldn’t start and the vet was on his way to take some very important scans. If you know how much vets are per hour you will realise why the panic. Luckily I diagnosed (with help) it was the ‘low oil level cut out’….generator not horse, I am not an amateur vet. We had purchased the generator locally last year and if ever there was an example of why you should buy local that was it. They talked me through diagnosis, promised somebody out within the hour and a loan generator if not fixable. That’s what I call service.
The girls in the yard had lovely ‘Longhope Livery’ hoodies printed. I was given one as a present which I am so pleased with. Thanks Abi! Poppy once made the observation that Mike’s wardrobe was somewhat limited in style (lots of checked farmer shirts and green trousers). She said he was like a cartoon character, always wearing the same. Ah well….no dilemma of “what shall I wear today?”
Almost all the cattle are now out, which is great. Minimal bedding up of yards. One of the nicest sights of the farming year is turnout. They frolic about with sheer joy, let’s face it not a lot of ‘frolicking’ goes on around here these days. The bluebells are out in the wood and because of the cold snap they are lasting really well.
We have just purchased some pedigree south Devon cows with calves at foot. It’s so exiting, cannot wait for them to arrive. They are a beautiful, quiet, easy calving cow which should suit us really well. This picture is of South Devon cattle, not mine but pinched from internet. My phone ran out of charge from over use of sat nav on way to view. On the way back from the viewing we stopped at a little stand at the side of the road and purchased some lovely homemade jam and lemon curd. The lady came out to say hello and told us that her stand had been robbed in the morning and £50 worth of jam taken. Words fail me.