Do you love it when a plan comes together? Then I suggest avoid planning anything that involves the weather, livestock and toddlers. Because all can be as unpredictable as the wheels on a supermarket trolley.
So yes, at the end of July the Crofter headed back to ‘work’ with a few things that needed to still be done on the croft. The last of the sheep needed shearing (don’t be thinking I do 200 in a day, more one in every 200 hours). One tractor down to the neighbours to turn hay, closely followed by getting the old baler set up and ready. Intersperse with a few sheep having foot problems due to the rubbish weather, a sheep needing culled, a lovely chat with the knacker man (not a job for those with sensitive noses), a broken water pipe to the water trough so no water for cows or the polytunnel, a phone call from my ‘work’ saying my registration was about to run out, a bull needing shifting, a shed delivery by an lorry driver who couldn’t follow directions, and as of this evening, a cow with an udder problem.
Thankfully I had unsuspecting visitors staying on most occasions which meant the term, ‘can you hold a baby?’ really meant, ‘can you look after two highly energetic boys while I nip off for an hour?’. Little wonder I have very few offering to hold a baby anymore.
Now, don’t be thinking all went to plan. Plan? What plan? Hard to plan when a lot of what your job entails seems to be trouble shooting. The baler managed a near lap before breaking down. All sheep have been sheared although I have the most magnificent suntan stripe on my lower back (don’t shear with your back to the sun was that lesson). The bull eventually went through the right gate and I only jumped the fence once (and would not have done it without the help of a neighbour; shift the bull that is, not leaping fences). The water pipe was fixed by another neighbour and another (yes, I have fantastic neighbours) one helped retrieve the herd (I had taken emergency action to release them into the far field that has a burn to ensure they had water thinking it wouldn’t be easy fixing the broken pipe. My neighbour managed in about 10 mins!).
So after livestock, polystock. And man alive, that poly tunnel is a jungle. So that will be next week’s task…in my spare time.