Wednesday, 31 July 2013

July 31st

Our new super-duper; all singing, all dancing fridge freezer arrived today . . . so, as I rearranged the boot room to clear a workable space (not occupied by wellies; leggings; overalls; dogs dishes; coats; logs; a chest freezer and the cat) in which it should be placed with all due obeisance . . . Oops . . . it seems that the old carpet had lifted with such vigorous activity. . . what a shame . . . Better to get the whole thing up . . . We're going to need some flooring done !
Positively quivering at the anticipation of a dedicated beer shelf, he-who-believes-he-should-be-obeyed  greeted the delivery men with the level of enthusiasm normally reserved for the appearance of  burlesque dancers !
With much flourish the box was removed and the glorious item loaded onto the trolley.
The delivery men huffed and puffed; he-who-believes-he-should-be-obeyed developed an upper lip sweat . . . the damn thing wouldn't fit through the door !
We took off the door . . . Still wouldn't fit . . .
There was no other option . . .  it was going to have to go though the front of the house; past the sitting and dining rooms; we'd have to remove the hall door; then pass the cellar door; pass the pantry; through the kitchen and into it's rightful place.
The delivery men have replaced the doors and are are threatening to boycott the Farm . . .  but the cold beer is now going down very nicely indeed  !

Sunday, 28 July 2013

July 28th

Woke this morning to rain streaming down in that ominous straight trajectory that always seems to indicate the start of monsoon season (on the Nat Geo channel anyway)  Here in Northumberland, however, it means only one thing; Harvest time !
The pick-up has bogged down already; leggings and wellies have reappeared (and are now leaking through ... he-who-believes-he-should-be-obeyed is soaked to the nethers !  ) and gloomy predictions abound . . . Based on a calculation of the amount of corn lying, washed off and on the ground / sq inch = total acreage ... We're going to be written off and bankrupted !
In addition, it's apparently inevitable that the fourteen in-calf heifers that arrived last night are all going to slip if they go hooning around in this wet  (they've all got their heads down, munching contentedly) . . .
Let's just check the forecast again . . . !

Saturday, 27 July 2013

July 27th

Under Starter's order . . . Two down and one to go, PC Camps that is.  So far, so good. The two youngest have returned, scruffy but happy from their respective hols and now have great plans; "Mummy, you're going to have to be much fitter if I have to Hunt on lead rein. . . "  and,  "I know my pony can jump big fences. He's so bouncy, he'll only have to bounce a bit higher !"
I do have to say that, so far, all has gone swimmingly . . . with the children . . .
He-who-believes-he-should-be-obeyed, fared slightly less well:
"What have you left for me to eat ?"
"I'm only gone for one night"
"The cupboard is bare"
"Well, the freezer isn't"
"But I can't find anything" . . . The new, upright; side by side fridge freezer arrives next week !

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

July 23rd

Well, the past two weeks have been fast and furious; anyone who claims that the countryside is too quiet should try spending a couple of months in it !  I suppose though, in fairness to those city dwelling parents amongst us, the end of the school year is exactly the same for us all; excepting that, we have to juggle/ wrestle/ pay homage to (insert as appropriate) the weather too. . . Hay and silage time now. We have four alternative forecasts saved on the computer . .  . All checked at regular intervals throughout the day; all giving different predictions and all seemingly changing by the hour !  We get there eventually though, either sunburned or soggy !
We had a nice little bull calf born too, don't know what the weather was like . . . he chose the middle of the night in a fifty acre field . . . a little early but fit and healthy all the same. He's in for a shock, the sun beamed out for his first couple of days . . . once he realises that he's not in the Maldives . . . !
End of term seems to have passed relatively sucessfully too. School reports good . . .. none of them set fire to the school or got arrested; they all know more than they did a year ago and have neither maimed nor been maimed by others !
My middle daughter is moving from First to Middle School in september. This has resulted in many tears; fortunately, though, only from me. I cannot remember having such a fuss made in my youth . . . we just left one building in July and then arrived at another in September.  Not now: we've had a Leaver's Service in school (I cried solidly for two hours, much to the utter embarrassment and lip curling derision of my child)  a School Leaver's Disco (Her invitation resembled nothing less than a Hunt Ball ticket) and a t-shirt, especially printed with a small photo of every child and, subsequently, signed by each one. Most of them are transferring to the same school . . .
We have also arrived at that time of year again . . . Pony Club Camp !  I have one child already in situ, sleeping in the horsebox, in a hammock and unwashed now for three days ( her pony is immaculate !) with two more children yet to go . . . It's true: Youth is wasted on the young !

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

July 10th

Woke this morning to find that glorious sunshine has disappeared  on sabbatical.  The hay, so ready to bale yesterday, is now shivering under drizzling cloud and whimpering quietly.  Still, it will be baled eventually . .  . Just as what, remains to be seen !
On a rather more positive note; it's been decided that the lambs will be sold.  Commissions; haulage; premiums and percentages have all been calculated:
Fractions for 5 year olds . . . Michael Gove is way off  the mark here . . . Just send kids off to a farm for a year !

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

July 9th

"Sell sell sell,"
 "Maybe, let's check the Mart reports."
I woke this morning, at some ungodly hour to the sound of my two youngest contemplating, at full volume,  the current market value of lambs !  Having been given a lamb each as 'wages' for helping (I use the description loosely) during lambing; much discussion has ensued as to what  would be the best time to sell; much intense study of various Mart reports and of Deadweight prices.
Such plans they have for their profit . . .  A week in Disneyland . . As I drop them in the Schoolyard, I remind them of something I read recently, "Farmers are the only people who buy retail; sell wholesale and pay the haulage both ways."
 "Mmmm, maybe we won't  fly first class then."