Hi, Its a wet Wednesday morning here in Bonny South West Scotland. The daffodils are in full bloom on the drive but the wild ones in the garden are almost over now. The swallows returned this week - always a happy sight, and the cuckoo was singing in Eastside yesterday. I also saw a pair of bluetits busy in the nest box so I think we can safely say that Spring is Here! I love the springtime best of all.
On the farm things are moving. Richard has managed to empty all the sheds of the cows deposits and spread it on the fields to help next winter's feed to grow. Yesterday he also added some commercial fertiliser. We only have 19 acres of good grass to cut and so we have to try and maximise its growth. I add up all the nutrients we put on the land and subtract those we take out at harvest time and we add in just enough each year to make up the difference.
The Ladies are all well, 18 of them are in calf and the first two calves will be born in June and the rest in the autumn. Its two of the heifers who are due in June, Lady Heather and Lady Zoe.
I am just off to Castle Douglas now to take some copies of my new book to the book shop.......See you again soon
Its a better day today - no rain so far! Richard's fed the Ladies and the calves and now he's off to do some more fertilising. Everywhere is looking greener by the minute, so I hope the grass will start growing faster soon. We only have about eight bales of silage left so things will get desperate if it doesn't grow soon!
I'm catching up with the farm paper work. I've done the accounts and now I have to fill in the farm records. We've just sold some 'finished' animals and so their deatils have to be entered into the record - if the GAECs (see my book for definition) at Dumfries come and catch us without the records being up to date, then watch out!! The levels of inspectors in the EU is absolutely ridiculous. One lot to inspect us and then three more layers - each one inspecting the layer below all to make sure that we are not getting away with anything. Who are the only ones producing anything here? Not the four layers of inspectors, that's for sure.
Well that's enough ranting for now. More soon.
Quick blog today as its Friday - my best day. Latin group this morning (see LwtLoLA) - sounds dull but its just fun, fun, fun all the way. Then this afternoon its teaching my three Dorothys Spanish. That's great fun too. I call them my Dorothys because they are all highly educated ladies, 83 years old and they remind me of Dorothy Sayers who wrote the Lord Peter Wimsey books, for some wierd reason. They are keeping Alzheimers away by learning Spanish. They are so funny as two of them always try to score points by correcting each other, I think underneath they really hate eachother! But we do laugh a lot.
ALSO, they are taking my books at the Catstrand Exhibition centre in New Galloway so I have to take the books up there on my way to Latin, so an early start. Oh, I nearly forgot, I took my books down to the post van in the village yesterday afternoon to send them off to the Dumfries and Galloway Standard who are going to do an article about me, and Patsy who drives the van (we get two hours a week Mondays and Thursdays) is going to stick the article up in the van. She drives round all the local villages every week, so how excellent is that!! She took the books (not the ones in the parcel - two I 'happened' to have in the car) to read so that she could tell her customers about them.
See you, Lxx
May 1st (already!)
I took the long route to CD yesterday to deliver my books. The Lady said they were thrilled to get them and that a lady in the kitchen had whooped with joy as she had read 'The Ladies' and was delighted at the prospect of a second helping!
The lanes are really lovely at the moment. The trees are all showing fresh, green leaves and the roadside verges have that lovely spring green grass dotted with dandelions. I noticed that the sycamore trees are in flower and speedwell is also out. Here at Low Arvie the swallows are swooping and this morning we have had three brown hares in the farm yard.
Latin was great fun, three of the group bought 'Life with' and last night, I rang Kay about the crossword (Times cryptic - I was stuck) and she said she was half way through the book already - and she loved it. I feel a lot better now that people are enjoying it as much as they did 'The Ladies'.
Richard is off to learn how to build dry stone walls today and tomorrow, so I have two days to myself. Can't go out as R will have the car, but never mind it will still be bliss. Tonight we have to go to what you would call a 'hoedown'. Some neighbours up the road have built a huge shed, six times bigger than ours (see LwtLoLA) and to christen it they are holding a party. Not really my thing but one has to show willing. Tell you all about it tomorrow.
I quite enjoyed the party in the barn. I talked to a very nice lady from near where I used to live and we actually knew some of the same people - small world. The new barn is massive - its going to have nine stables in at one end and a huge under cover arena for horse riding. I don't really understand horse riding things - to be honest I'm a bit frightened of horses - much prefer cows! Anyway it was a nice evening, except for the music. Why do people have to play such loud music so you can't hear yourself think? Its the same down in the pub when they put money in the juke box!
Richard's just feeding the Ladies before he goes off to his course. He enjoyed it yesterday but came back with one of his headaches. I think that will mean a day in bed tomorrow. I've decided these headaches are his body's way of telling him to rest. He's had a very busy ten days on the tractor, muck spreading and fertilising and then these two days dry stone walling which is heavy work. We're not getting any younger, so its time for a rest.
I baked yesterday and today - well I haven't decided yet. I'll see how the mood takes me.
Take care and more soon, Lxx
Another beautiful Spring day here in south Scotland. We are having a lovely spell of weather at the moment and all the farm jobs are getting done in good time this year for a change. Just the rolling left to do now and then wait for the grass to grow.
All the Ladies are well and happy. Richard is feeling very tired and a bit headachy after all his hard work. The dry stone wall course was good but hard, so when he's finished feeding this morning, he's going to bed for a good rest.
I've got to clean the house ready for Gaye and Tony to come on Thursday. They are coming for the weekend, arriving Thursday evening ready to watch the Election results. That should be more exciting than usual this time as Nick Clegg has done an excellent job at increasing the Liberal Democrat's share of popularity. Its a crazy system though when he will still have the smallest number of MPs even though he will get more votes than Gordon Brown. I really hope GB doesn't be Prime Minister any more.
The oil slick problem seems to be getting worse - I hope they can do something about it soon, although it doesn't seem very likely. What are we doing to our planet!!
Catherine and Morgan have taken their two boxer pups for a holiday in Cornwall this week, so not much news from them till they return.
Well, today I am off to see a man at the hospital about Botox. Not as you might be thinking to have my wrinkles sorted out, but to have my blind eye fixed. Its been blind since I was four years old and met an arrow going the wrong way (a bit like King Harold at the Battle of Hastings!). Anyway over the years my eye has wandered round the corner and now I look like the cook in the song - one eye on the pot and the other up the chimney! They can inject the eye muscle with Botox to relax it and the eye straightens up, apparently. It sounds a bit gruesome so I'm just going to investigate the process and then decide what to do. Opinions are divided, some say I should and some say I shouldn't, but we'll see.
Otherwise all well on the farm. No news at the moment. Richard is better and is about to start rolling the fields. This is to flatten out the cows' footmarks so that the mower can cut the grass better.
No news on the pregnancies, all appears to be going as it should. Not long now for Heather and Zoe and they are beginning to look lopsided.
May 5th 8.20am
Well, I had my Botox injection. There was nothing to it really. They just froze my eyeball and then I had to look as far to the left as I could while he found the muscle just inside my eyelid and then he squirted in 0.2ml of Botox and that was that! No results yet, apparently it takes two weeks for the Botox to work and relax the muscle fully. It all depends on the strangth of the muscle at the other side of the eyeball. If that can contract as the Botoxed one relaxes it will pull my eyeball straight. If it doesn't work, I can also have surgery to shorten one muscle and lengthen the other. Don't fancy that much, so keep your fingers crossed for the Botox!!
Richard got all the silage fields rolled nice and flat yesterday. Today he's going to carry on with the rough grazing and then all that will be left for the fields is to spray a few patches of nettles that have started to grow.
We had the worst winter for 30 years, which was very hard on us farmers, as even the flowing water in the burn froze for days on end and R had to carry water from the house for all the cattle (15galls a day each for the cows with calves). It was really awful, but we have been very compensated by the dry spring weather which has let us get all the field jobs done. We just need good weather at the end of June for the silage and all will be hunky dorey!
Election Day! Thank goodness it means an end to all that politicking on the TV - hopefully. Gaye and Tony are coming tonight to watch the results so that should be good.
No results eyewise yet - I'm beginning to think it hasn't worked but then the dictor did say two weeks before you can tell and it has only been two days, so I should be patient - not my strong forte, I'm afraid!
The rolling went well - not much left to do now and its not raining so R might get it finished today - the fields all looking nice and smooth but not much grass growth yet. Further south towards the Solway, the grass is definitely beginning to blow in the wind, so hopefully ours should be soon.
No news cow-wise. One bit of excitement is that two grey lag geese seem to be checking out our pond for a nesting site. I have seen them twice now. Also the curlews are in residence now.