What a lot of rain we have had. The field by the drive had enough standing water to attract ducks! With some warmer days, and nights, the Catkins and Snowdrops have burst into life, as has the Cyclamen in the garden which provides us with some much-needed colour. The Witchhazel is also putting on a wonderful show…. Enjoyed through the window!
Otherwise, this week, apart from deciding we just had to buy new tyres for the tractor since we had yet another puncture – the fifth in less than a year on the same wheel – and moving sheep around to avoid the threat of flooding, the week on the farm has been calm.
Next week will see more activity. The lambs must be weighed again to see how effective the action we have taken has been. The following week Stacey will be here to scan the ewes whose condition may have fallen off a little. One of the reasons for scanning is particularly to identify any ewes who are carrying multiple foetuses since they will need some hard feed.
The gale of the previous week brought down one of the Horse Chestnut Trees along the driveway. Sadly, all the trees are suffering from ‘bleeding canker’, so yet again we have had to get advice in terms of health and safety on whether or not it is safe to just take down trees as their condition worsens or act more dramatically. The advice remains clear – no immediate action is needed.
The current media hype surrounding the shortage of vegetables from Spain – caused by the recent bad weather – brought to mind words that Michaelangelo attributed to his father ‘now you know why we concentrate on summer crops’. In so many ways he is right, and indeed, if the weather patterns are to change dramatically farmers everywhere will need to consider whether their current practice needs reviewing and we as consumers may have to adjust habits also!
The great American anthropologist Joseph Campbell devoted much of his study to the myths of individual societies and the relationship between them. It’s not just nations that build myths we all as individuals do it naturally and often unconsciously…
It’s hard for nations and individuals to acknowledge this process so I have been delighted to watch the first of a BBC programme concentrating on three major British myths. Although the programme told us nothing particular new about the War of the Rose, it did serve to remind us how history was usually solely written by the winners! Josephine Tey of course was one of the first, in a detective novel she wrote, to challenge the history as written by the Tudors. What was new to me was that the Battle of Towton saw 28,000 dead – greater even than of the first day of the Somme and proportionately far worse.
Finally, as the Six Nations gets under way this weekend, I am reminded that, although football may be named the ‘beautiful’ game, rugby – played by either sex – is the testosterone fuelled one! (Or is heroic a better expression?)