I'm back to my blog - and I have cheered up! Thank you for all your kind comments - they really helped and, whatever the rights and wrongs of it all I'm sure things will turn out for the best in the end - whatever the best may be! Anyway, things have been too busy to keep feeling sorry for ourselves and I have now got lots to write about so sorry for the lengthy blog to come.
Firstly, haymaking. We cut the hay last week and the heavens opened during the night. Carl and I both lay in bed listening to it and not saying a word! Cutting is always a nightmare as our tractors are old and we have lots of steep slopes but this year was fantastic. The Shepherd lent us his massive tractor - a McCormick and it is the best thing - there is air conditioning, a little passenger seat, a holder for your bag of mints (mints supplied) and it is all automatic hitching things on.
Sam and Carl both took turns driving round, after Sam had given Carl a driving lesson, with huge smiles on their faces. The mower, our own and an ancient Claas, gave up on the last bit and spectacularly fell apart but most was done so that was fine - it is the reason, though, why we have one long square of grass in the bottom of the field!
Then it was back to the Fordson for woofling.
Carl had to go down to Coxes to get new tines for it as we broke a few last year on the flints - there are hundreds of types of the things - in the end he had to take one down to get it matched. We turned it twice and then got it all rowed up and the baler ready. On to the International for baling and this year Carl got the bale sledge working. That is a spectacular thing! It gets all the bales into groups of eight - at first it wouldn't open the little gate at the back to let them out so I had to run behind pulling the string. I was beginning to get a bit fed up with this when it miraculously started working - perfect, . . . . . until the baler twine ran out! The new reel wasn't tied on properly so Carl then had to work out how to rethred it which he managed eventually, though we do have a couple of bales with many strands of twine round them!
Unfortunately, we didn't finish baling as it was too dark. There were some spots of rain in the night but not too bad so we let the rest of the hay dry and then woofled it again and rowed it up. Baling was eventually completed at 3pm - and still hundreds of bales to get under cover - with the Mule carrying eight at a time it was going to be an all night job. But then, look what appeared!
The Shepherd with bale grab and huge trailer! Took a couple of hours and it was all in!
So, we now have a barn full of lovely fresh hay.
Sam has been to work experience at a farm in Bagber this week and he has really loved it. He has been milking, cleaning the parlour, working with lots of big tractors and coming home every night telling us where we are going wrong! Including the fact that we cut the hay at the wrong time! He is now at The Eden Project on a college trip with Kingston Maurward for the weekend. This has meant all the baling was down to me and Carl. Sam took the most enormous bag with him - which he packed himself - so no doubt he has his ipod but no soap! Mum is also away as she has gone to The Holy Land with one of my brothers. She was looking forward to it but a bit nervous - particularly about spending a night in a Bedouin tent. Her main worry seemed to be that she might snore - I told her I expected the camels would be snoring anyway so she could always blame it on them!
The babies are all doing well and Barry Norton's hernia seems to continue to improve. He is now used to his truss and it doesn't seem to bother him at all.
One hiccup this week with the Jalopy. My fault as I left the lights on and the battery went flat. I also got a bit annoyed with the movement book as we'd filled in all the births when the babies were born but I couldn't put in the micro chip numbers as I didn't have them. They arrived this week but fitting the numbers in the space was annoying when I just wanted a bigger box so I could just put the sticker that comes with the chips in the box.
Back to alpaca pictures tomorrow, I think - maybe Bert or Lina will have produced! Lina is 335 days tomorrow and Bert is 339. Life's fun!!
A better penning solution! - After a long "family illness" and a subsequent reduction of our herd, I am back to report a more recent enhancement to Easter-Wood. One of the problems we ...
4 months ago