Blood, sweat and steers

The past few months have been bizarre. As we watched major lockdowns in China, we got firsthand info about what it was like. Yes, my sister-in-law is a teacher in China. The #teachfromabeach was used as she did online teaching while still at her holiday hotel when the clampdown happened.

The effect on manufacturing, stock markets and whatever else soon became apparent. For when the stock markets crashed, so too did the oil prices. And that is where we fit in. See, as the Crofter works off shore (yes, the stock broker joke has an element of truth). He works off shore as the croft is not able to fund itself. We can’t be completely self sufficient and sit about a campfire strumming a guitar; it’s hard work and as is traditional with crofts, it’s a supplement, not a full paying job. As the coronavirus started reaching out its long tentacles, we were looking at the prospect of him being laid off. That then changed to being told he would be going to work but for no idea how long. Next, they were giving them unpaid leave. Great, we thought. We held a committee meeting between the two of us as to what major projects we could take on and therefore what supplies we needed before lockdown occurred. The two of us then sat and held a working group on breaking down those projects over two months.

Those plans then got shelved when he received an email calling him back to work ASAP and with a likelihood of being away for a length of time.

Now, the likelihood of having snow and ice issues are a lot slimmer. But the cows do still need hay. Seed plantings have begun and will need to continue for the polytunnel. The veg garden can be ignored. Often we can’t plant anything out until end of May anyway. The only other thing that needs ‘done’ and I have the least control over, is calving. Ear tagging and castrations are two things I can do, but lack confidence in. Yes, simple tasks but both that, if they go wrong, are really not pleasant. So hence I baulk from it. All I need is someone to show me and a couple of practices.

But hey, they are on my list of things that I would like to do once this is over. Yes, while others sit dreaming of holidays or sixty ways to use bog roll, I scheme on ear tagging, castrations, and bolousing. I don’t #teachfromabeach, I #battlewiththecattle.

At least the battle with the cattle is one less steer as IMac went to his final abode. The send off smooth, the road less traveled. He was born on the croft and he will come back to the croft. Albeit, in steaks, mince, and other forms. Although we had issues with the abottoirsin the current climate, may he smoothly get to the butchers and there be no issue until I collect him.

This was one of the many tasks we frantically got through this week. The project list from the committee meeting was revised and prioritied. My muscles are making their presence know. I’m ready to sit.

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