All sheep and their greedy offspring are checked and treated

All sheep and their greedy offspring are checked and treated

Pastures flourish

We need not have feared about the lack of rain. It fell in great quantities towards the end of the week. That and the warm temperatures should cause the pastures to flourish.

Before the rain it was possible to complete compost spreading on field 1 and chain harrow it twice. The effect has been almost immediate, and though it has been grazed well, it maybe that we can take a hay or haulage crop off it later in the year. Certainly, many farmers near us have made their first cuts, particularly where they hold their cattle under cover all the year round and we have two, perhaps three fields that are close to being ready.

The suckler herd has had to make the long trek to field A where they found grass all but ready to cut. The two cows that had been a little lame made the move without trouble, but two others needed and received some tlc after the move. The young stock moved this weekend to the smallish field by the barn which has also been composted.

Sheep checks and treatment

The sheep had a far less peaceful week. On Wednesday they were all driven to the barn and then put through the race both to check condition and, in the case of the lambs have their clostrial vaccination, while the ewes were treated against fly strike – typically the rain came later. Some of the ewes have lost condition but this is only to be expected given the size of their greedy offspring. New grass should help them greatly. Neither the rams  or Lesley’s loved ones (pictured below) missed out!

Higher Tier Stewardship 2019 entry

We were delighted to get confirmation from Natural England that we qualify to enter the process of working with advisors to work up a scheme appropriate to the new Higher Tier Stewardship scheme for entry in 2019. This is good news indeed even if there is going to be a need not just to collect a great deal of information, but also some intense discussion of what the final agreement will look like.

Writings by Kenneth Kaunda

A dear friend has sent us a copy of “A humanist in Africa!” – writings by a man probably now long forgotten but unique among leaders of newly independent African states for accepting the outcome of an election and standing aside when he lost his position of President of Zambia. He visited our school once when we were posted out there, and hands up, we were a little amused as tree stumps were whitewashed and his cavalcade was headed by vehicles sprinkling water on the dirt road in front to reduce the red dust which in the dry season got everywhere. Inevitably he waved his white handkerchief around a lot and what he had to say was received by the school pupils and local dignitaries with great enthusiasm.

How history will treat him as a leader is uncertain, but compared to Banda, Mugabe and other leaders of his generation he was a good man. Even if he for a lengthy period allowed power to go to his head, he gave up power when elections showed his time was up.

An approach to life worth trying not to lose

There were three items during the week that the media had a lot of airtime for. The first, of course was ‘The Wedding’ which arguably, aside from some puerile commentary and far too many hours of production, the event among other things reminded one of the main drivers that hold us together as a nation.
The enquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire began, and thirdly, the commemoration of the Manchester bombing. A commemoration which seemed to me to be pitch tone perfect. The bombing was an horrendous event that wreaked destruction on families and individuals and it was right they should be remembered. But it was also an opportunity to show the spirit that once was seen to be emblematic of our culture, ‘whatever you do, however awful, you will not break our spirit’.I sent myself off to find out what I could about the notion of ‘the stiff upper lip’ and how it became associated with ‘Britishness’ and can share with you that it is first recorded in the late 16th century.These last two events remind us, if we needed reminding, that death and loss are an inescapable part of being a human being. A few years ago, the poem ‘If’ was voted the most important poem in our language. Whether it is the ‘best’ poem technically is neither here nor there, but it does I feel point to an approach to life worth trying not to lose. Hence my choice of the poems that follow.

Life Goes On, by Daniela X. Daraz

‘You have to take the good with the bad,

Smile when your sad,

Love what you’ve got and remember what you’ve had.

Always forgive but never forget,

Learn from your mistakes

But never regret.

People change, things go wrong.

Just remember,

Life goes on’.

See It Through, by Edgar Guest

‘When you’re up against a trouble,

Meet it squarely, face to face;

Lift your chin and set your shoulders,

Plant your feet and take a brace.

When it’s vain to try to dodge it,

Do the best that you can do;

You may fail, but you may conquer,

See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you

And your future may seem grim,

But don’t let your nerve desert you;

Keep yourself in fighting trim.

If the worst is bound to happen,

Spite of all that you can do,

Running from it will not save you,

See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,

When with troubles you’re beset,

But remember you are facing

Just what other men have met.

You may fail, but fall still fighting;’

Don’t give up, whate’er you do;

Eyes front, head high to the finish.

See it through!

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