After a relatively quiet few days, the diary is very full for the coming week. There have of course been some excitements, but these largely centred on matters relating to the business park, the work being done for the ground heating scheme and the behaviour of some of our tenants. On the farm the key task was to determine which ewes to keep for breeding and with that completed, to decide how many flocks we would split them into for tupping – for reference we are, for the first time putting two Rams into each flock with the hope of fewer ’empties’ at scanning time. Our top ewes will go with our two registered Lleyn Rams.
Aside from that, and routine feeding, Tim has been driving in new fencing posts. Ever since the banning of creosote the actual life expectancy of a fence post is rarely more than five years. Electric fencing would probably be a much cheaper option but is more fiddly on an everyday basis and is far less effective with sheep than with cattle.
With the arrival of the bedding straw we are now ready to bring all the cattle in the moment we can make the barn extension secure. All the material has been ordered and though not all has yet been delivered, the sockets for the metal uprights that will be needed are now with us. Hopefully Paul and Chris, with a digger, can get them in and when the posts arrive hinges be welded on.
In between-whiles sheep will be going off site on Monday afternoon and Wednesday morning while on Tuesday and Friday we discover whether our cattle identified as Inconclusive reactors must be slaughtered or allowed to re-join the main herd.
Later in the week we have a visitor who is not only a practicing veterinary surgeon but also a homeopath interested to talk with us about our experiences in the years since she last visited us.
The cold mornings have been quite mystical though less of a pleasure for Tim when checking the stock! Today for the first time we have both the wood stove and the coal fire lit. The Super Moon was splendid, although we all slept badly that night!
Swithun who looks after the Bees in the Wood, brought us Honey and Mead to enjoy – well done bees!! Kath and Jasper were both in this week and will be coming in twice more before Christmas for which we are very grateful. The flower gardens have been put to bed and most of the trees here have now lost their leaves.
We already have the prospect of seven woofers coming next year and with their help we can continue the vegetable plots even if in a lesser mode than in previous years.
Friday evening provided Anne and I with our first social outing for many months – we went out for supper at the Old Bull in Inkberrow (of Archers fame) with two of our woofers from much earlier in the year who had made a point of going out of their way to spend time with us – and a very good evening we all had!
Not a great week on Radio 3 for my taste – Jazz mid-morning isn’t really my cup of tea and the composer of the week was of that ilk plus opera is not something I enjoy listening to every day. Consequently, the CD player was much in action and, triggered by hearing part of a Vaughan Williams symphony I turned to a box set I have of his symphonies recorded in the late nineteen eighties in Leningrad by a Russian state orchestra. Rough perhaps but undoubtedly vibrant and exciting to listen to.