After one or two days of extreme temperatures the weather has settled down to traditional warm, sunny/cloudy days. We had two nights when the thermometer stayed well above 20 c and which were vaguely uncomfortable. We had to resurrect the portable fan and set it up on the bedroom window-sill which provided a nice cool breeze. That was nice but then we had to put up with the monotonous drone all night, rather than the customary complete silence. So, glorious as it was, thankfully we are back to ‘normal’ weather again . Now, ( I think I might be turning into Victor Meldrew here…..! ) we are about to be told we’re officially in a drought and have to consider water rationing. Hey Ho…….. another ‘Great British Summer’.
We are more-or-less stuck in the cost of living/cost of Covid crisis. As we all reduce our spending to live within our means economies around the World will contract and inflation will inevitably rise. Throw into that mix a malicious Russian dictator whose main intention is to cause chaos around the world and everything really does start to wobble about. European leaders seem to be dithering like headless chickens and President Biden is tripping and stumbling around like a typical octogenarian. Whoever thought this was a good time for a government leadership election was wrong. As for Trades Unions going on strike and holding the country to ransom it beggars belief. I suppose you could say that a water shortage is the least of our problems.
Out on the farm things are relatively peaceful. The chickens have hatched out seventeen chicks so far with another broody hen sitting on a clutch of eggs. Last year we only hatched out two chicks all Summer and unfortunately neither of them made it to maturity and the hens stopped laying in the middle of Summer as well. I’m not sure what has changed this year but we are inundated with eggs and chicks at the moment. Some times nature moves in strange ways and doesn’t always explain itself. Hindsight is often the only way to understand things and isn’t always instant.
The Alpacas have all been separated from their Winter Coats and are now coming to terms with new appearances. There is a certain amount of ‘Artistic License’ involved here which I think is quite fun. Trace’ isn’t quite so sure. The Alpacas aren’t really bothered. They can see each other but never see themselves. The guests like to discuss the merits of the individual trims and everyone has their favourite. Taking the guests for an ‘Alpaca walking session’ every day is proving ever more popular. Cocoa and Chico are both very amenable and well behaved. Cosmo, the oldest of the three, can be a bit difficult to capture but once he is on a leading rein and walking down the lane he is very well behaved. The weirdest thing is that Snowy, our senior goat, has been watching what’s going on and seems to have decided that he quite likes the idea of going for a walk on a leading rein as well. He is oddly much better behaved than the Alpacas and stands like a rock while I put a head-collar him. He does get a bit avaricious as we walk past the window-boxes, which are in full bloom and therefore virtually irresistible to the average goat. The only problem now is that some of our younger guests think it would be fun to include Jethro and Denzel, our two young goats, in the early morning walking routine. Jethro got halfway across the yard and had a complete meltdown. He threw himself on the floor screaming at the top of his voice and thrashing his legs like a spoilt brat in front of the guests. I had to put him back in the field where he wandered off as if nothing had happened. I haven’t tried taking Denzil out yet.
Misty the sheepdog is beginning to struggle with her daily shepherding tasks. As we have no horses at present the grass has grown like mad all Summer. This isn’t really a problem. There are a lot of wild flowers there that are flourishing so there are lots more bees and other pollinators buzzing around. The problem is simply that the lambs wander off into the long grass and disappear. They literally vanish from sight and if they lie down and grab forty winks Misty has no chance of finding them. She is twelve years old now which is well past retirement age and getting quite deaf and possibly a bit blind. If she can’t see the sheep or hear my instructions she is obviously going to struggle to round them up.
The builders have finished rebuilding and re-roofing the barn at the bottom of the lane following the damage caused by storm Eunice in February. That’s all looking very nice now. I had to get some help with rendering out the old tack-room and feed-store so that’s also looking very smart with a nice new pan-tiled roof. I replaced the roof on the farm shop and utility room last year so suddenly everything’s looking very organised around the farmyard. Just the stables to do now.
We still have some Summer availability so if you don’t want to run the risk of French passport controllers or cancelled flights or Mediterranean heatwaves and bushfires or Cornish traffic jams then check out our availability at North Bradbury Farm for a hassle free ‘Family Friendly Farm Holiday.’
Must go, Cheers for now , Farmer Chris.