Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Something and Nothing

I cant understand why so many people dont use indicators while they are driving, do they forget, do they think its too much bother or dont they think about it at all.

Generally I am fairly law abiding when I am in the car, I try to only speed on the motorway and then only when the rest of the traffic is going that fast, I dont use my mobile in the car though I will pass it to a passenger to answer for me.

I'm sure I have lots of bad habits in driving but I do indicate. I think that not only is it good sense to let other drivers know what your intentions are but it's also good manners, in fact it is so automatic to me that I do it when there in no-one to indicate to. I drove back from Manchester late last night in splendid isolation on the roads and indicated at every turn and roundabout, very well trained.

The small town nearest to us has recently changed all the car parks to Pay and Display, there was a huge outcry and many meters of column in the local rag were devoted to all the arguments for and against.

As far as I am concerned it's fantastic, for the princely sum of 30 pence for one hour or 50 pence for two, I can always get a parking space. Frankly there is not much scope for spending longer than that in town, there is a WH Smith, Boots, Superdrug, sundry independent chemists, newsagents and lots of estate agents, banks and charity shops. Oh yes and the Library. Even including the Library I dont think I could spend longer than 2 hours there.

I realise that people who work in town have to park somewhere but it was almost impossible to find a space to park if you were just making a short trip. It still makes me smile being able to choose a parking space after years of not finding one.

I was coming home from Manchester last night after going to see the Scissor Sisters, I was thrilled by their performance which surpassed my expectations. I was not a big fan of Ta Da their last Album as I felt it was too middle of the road, nothing to offend anyone there and not very scissory but Night Work is worth the wait, and they do put on a good show.

A couple of nights ago I was locking up and evicting the cats from the porch when I heard a strange noise outside, I looked and then nipped back in to get my camera and take a picture of this little chap.
I'm sure there are lots of small wild things like hedgehogs round here but we very rarely see them, I'm not sure this one will be back as he scuttled off sharpish after I let off the flash in his eyes, he was tucking into the left over cat biscuits for the farm cats.
Last night there was a toad sitting in the cat plate but it was raining and I didnt take a picture.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Not a Gardener

I am not a gardener, not at all, and anyone that has actually seen my garden would agree that it is a wilderness. We keep the grass mowed and I do get occasional flurries of enthusiasm and tackle the weeds in some part of the garden, but mostly nature runs riot.
The children all know where the cream for nettle stings lives and how to apply it.
This rose bush thrives in spite of me, every couple of years I hack it back to a shadow of its former self and expect it to give up.

But no it keeps on growing and flowering, it smells gorgeous, particularly with the honeysuckle that has invaded and that I twine along the fence. I am less keen on the virginia creeper that takes over and strangles everything else so I might have to stir myself to pull/dig it all out.

Another welcome seasonal flower is this poppy, they are stunning and seem to glow in the evening light. They are made more precious by their short season of just a couple of weeks, still there is always next year.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Lambs are us

Just in case anyone was wondering how the lambs were doing, as you can see they are huge and very noisy when separated from the milk bar!
We think that this is Lettuce with her mum and twin brother Cucumber.

And this is the shearing platform, the flat bit where they are shorn is on the other side. The strange white blob high up on the right hand side is a (willing) volunteer sheep to encourage the others up the race. She seemed completely unbothered by it and the girls fed her handfulls of grass.
The shorn sheep came out by Tom's feet and went up into the mobile handling system where we could give them a dose of fly repellant and treat any sore feet before releasing them back into the wild.
There were a couple of sheep who shot out of the shearing rig and immediately hurdled the fence and headed for the hills.......... They will have to take their chances with the flies till we next have them penned up.

I Think We'll Call Them Shorn

These are our ladies in waiting, the big day has arrived, the shearer is here, we have the woolsacks, or "sheets" as they are known.
The slaughterman came with Moll the dog and son of Moll,( but he was confined to the lead as not being well trained enough for a big job like this,) and all the ewes plus lambs were penned up, about 150 of them. We brought the 4 tups from home, where they are waiting for autumn, and a few "sickies" who have been in the hospital field.
Harvey the shearing man arrived with a fantastic trailer that unfolded into a shearing platform with a race along the top to funnel the sheep to him, and a shute for the shorn ewe to escape down afterwards. Only a couple escaped the wrong way and had to be caught so we could apply the fly repellant they need in the summer.

And this is what they looked like afterwards, the children were astonished at what long necks they have. I just kept giggling as they all looked so surprised.

This is Harvey who has muscles like you wouldn't believe, actually if you saw him wrestling those sheep you would believe it!! That sheep didnt stand a chance.
We laid the fleece out and picked off any dirty wool then folded and rolled it up, then stuffed them into giant pillowcases which we will take to the collection center next week. This is Richard sewing up the woolsheet with the twine and wooden stake provided.

The children all worked like slaves, this is Izzy holding a fleece she has rolled, the pile behind her is the daggy bits we have pulled off.

It was a very long day, after milking in the morning they got all set up over in the field and shearing by 11am, I had to take the girls to ballet lessons in the morning then rushed back home, made sandwiches and got there at 1pm, they stopped for a quick lunch at 2pm them finished and got back home at 7.45, only to milk the cows again, who were not happy at being nearly 4 hours late.
Finally at 9.30 our student went home and Richard came in for supper, we were in bed by 11 and I think Richard was already asleep!
We had a great day but we're glad its only once a year and next year if it falls on a weekday I will be keeping the children home as essential workforce.