12 Nov Crazy Life!
Today is market day so I can finally catch up on some paper work, house work and write my blog! As mean as it sounds, I’m always rather pleased when farmer goes to market. I get so much done. I helped get the cattle in yesterday, so I’ve done my bit. It was amazingly warm and sunny for November so it was lovely driving across the fields on the quad bike. I have been after a new quad after seeing one with power steering but then our Rayburn died so it was either a new quad bike or a new Rayburn.
We were without a Rayburn for a month after it was condemned for leaking gas and I really missed having the constant warmth. When I found a freshly hatched duckling in the pouring rain I had nowhere to put it while I found the heater and set up its new living quarters. Normally I’d put cold creatures in the warming oven but instead I had to give it to farmer to hold until everything was ready. I remember last year I had a tiny little Seabright cockerel who I found in the duck pond half frozen to death. I put him in a roasting tin and slid him into the warming oven, left the door open and put a tea towel over the top with a note attached saying “chicken in oven do not shut door”. Farmer was rather shocked when he came home later that day to find a fully feathered chicken peering out at him when he went to investigate what I’d left him for lunch!
We decided not to get another Rayburn in the end and chose an Aga instead. The Aga is now up and running and the kitchen is lovely and warm again. We’ve had a run of things breaking down including our pick up just as we were bringing all the cattle home for winter. The young hooligans as I call them have been an absolute disaster this year so I will be very gleeful when some of them are sold today.
When we turned them out in the Spring we had a group of 14 youngsters escape. It was one of those “I told you so” moments. I suggested we double check the fences, farmer wanted to rush back and get another load. As we got back into the truck we heard a cracking sound and watched all 14 of them push through some bushes and jump out into a field of rape. By the time we caught up with them they had split into two groups, one was heading across a field of newly planted lettuces and the others were running towards the next village. We drove after the ones in the lettuce field and tried to turn them. They were spooked so just kept running, eventually onto a road where they split again. I went on foot after one group and soon regretted wearing neoprene wellies and no sports bra. This has been the one and only time that my fitbit has registered ‘Cardio activity’. Later that day a group of them were found in a churchyard in the next village, and over the next week we got them all back in. It took hours of walking and running through soaking wet rape fields and driving round and round in circles and it was one of those times when you wonder why you are a farmer.
I like cows a lot more when they are new-borns and I am over the moon with my little home bred heifer Bella who calved all on her own recently. We were both out planting and rolling the spring barley and came home in the dark to find she had had it.
I enjoyed doing my rolling even though I am very new to tractor driving. I used to have a regular job during the week so I’ve only started mucking in with everything in the last year. I think I’ve got my head round most of it but it does confuse me that there is a foot pedal and a hand lever that both do the same thing. Still, I managed not to get my ring rollers in a tangle and avoided wrapping them around the telegraph poles, nor did I end up in a ditch. I achieved mostly straight lines, some bits were a bit wobbly but not bad for a first attempt and I got it all done before the birds could feast on the seed. It was also a great time to catch up with a ‘A Discovery of Witches” on Audible. For those of you that aren’t familiar – no, it’s not about farming mother in laws!
My mother in law has exhibited particularly odd behaviour recently having been caught red handed digging up my plants! Luckily farmer saw her, not me, but apparently she thinks it’s acceptable as they are self-set.
This is definitely a crazy life.