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Posted: Monday 2 November, 2020

by Rosemary at 3:14pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 26th October

Did two checks on Blizzard through the night; I told her today would be a good day to calve because it’s warm and sunny (with a couple of heavy showers). Not sure she’s listening. The field shelter is ready though if we need it.

Boots on this morning; did the ponies and pottered about outside for a bit. Swept up the feed store and started moving things into the byre. Dan phoned me to say that the sheep wanted out of the pig pen – they must have shut themselves in, because it certaiy wasn't me. They’ve done a good job of eating it down though.

The ditch hasn’t been flowing, even though the Barry Burn is, so Dan went off in chest waders with the chainsaw and the rake to clear it out. We think the dry summer gave the weeds and brambles plenty opportunity to grow. Hopefully. It’ll flow a bit better now.

The brickie was here to repair the wall in the cow shed; he’s reusing the blocks but putting in much better ties.

wallRepaired wall in cowshed.

Drove down to East Pitkerro to see the steers and give them a wee bit sugar beet. Trying to sort out the logistics of swapping Afton for a bought in steer, and moving both 2020 steers to East Pitkerro.

Festival follow-up and office stuff for most of the day but it was lovely to be pottering. Foot’s a wee bit sore but I’m not taking painkillers and it’s bearable.

Tuesday 27th October

Well, I had a long list of things to do and I managed to get most of them done. They were quite varied – bake a cake, vacuum, write Chair’s note for the AGM on Friday, move stuff into the byre, move the saddles out of the byre, do the ponies. I cleaned Smokey’s saddle and bridle and stuck his girth and saddle cloths in the washing machine – all ready to start riding again.

saddleClean saddle.

Dan embarked on a major tidy up of his workstation – you know what it’s like when you’re really busy, non-urgent stuff gets parked. So he’s now feeling much better. He even had time to go into the bees and put on some fondant. He WAS going to move the tractor but it wouldn’t start.

Oh, and Blizzard had her calf about 2.30pm. She was really pawky – wanting back rubs and scratches but not much was happening; I ate lunch and when I went out the calf was there.

newbornBlizzard and her newborn calf.

A big heifer – not sure if she’s black or brown. Then the weather turned horrid – very heavy rain and a bit of a breeze. I walked the calf to the field shelter but was worried about her slipping on the matting so left her outside under the shelter of the trees, with her mum. I had a Zoom call tonight and was worrying about them but when I scooted round to check, they were in the field shelter, baby tucked up sound asleep behind her mum. Gave Blizz a few carrots as a reward for being a smart cow. I’ll sleep well tonight. I think the calf is going to be Rosedean Aurora and she’s dun, like her mother.

Wednesday 28th October

Had to take the car to the garage – funny noise from the front driver side wheel area. Sounds expensive. But then, these things always do.

Calf doing well; getting out and about but the field shelter is being well used. The two other calves are very keen to meet their wee sister.

auroraRosedean Aurora with dam, Beadies Blizzard.

Moved almost everything “foodie” from the old shed to the byre. Forecast for Saturday is poor, so I think Dan and I will spend the day setting it up with shelves and tidying out the old loosebox.

Thursday 29th October

Not bad morning but heavy rain this afternoon. Baked scones. Our local RBST group is having a virtual Harvest Supper on Saturday and asked for photos. That got me sucked into looking thought the photos on my iMac. I don’t keep photos on my phone but I do take quite a lot and download them to the iMac – mostly rubbish and quite often duplicates. It’s been a proposed winter project for the last umpty years to sort them out (that means delete most of them) and combine them with Dan’s. We’ve got some good ones tracking our progress (or otherwise) here.

Picked up the car. The bill wasn’t as bad as expected.

Friday 30th October

Decent day. Dan went off to collect 50 small bales of hay. Once he was home, I unloaded them, while he cut the back grass and round the beds in the vegetable garden. Walking up and down the ramp of the trailer must have twisted my foot a bit and by evening, it was pretty achy.

grassLast cut of the year.

Aurora is doing well. Given the weather forecast, I think I’ll just bring them in on Sunday. It will be nice to to have to soak as much hay or pick poo for the ponies too

Smallholding Scotland AGM this evening.

Saturday 31st October

Very windy but, thankfully, nowhere near as rainy as forecast. In fact for much of the day, the paths were dry, there was a bit of sunshine - and it was very mild. Started our Yule puddings today; I’ll make one medium and four individual puddings rather than one large one. I don’t think we’ll be entertaining, somehow.

puddingYule pudding ready for steaming tomorrow.

Dan spent a few hours in his waders clearing the ditch, then we lit the fire and watched Scotland beat Wales in the rugby Six Nations.

We attended the Virtual RBST Harvest Supper in the evening – and very good it was too.

Sunday 1st November

Still windy but there doesn’t seem to have been much rain overnight. First job on the 1st of the month is to do the flea and worm treatments for dogs and cats. Some are more willing to participate than others. Thomas and Diesel – your cards are marked!  Put the puddings on to steam.

We sectioned off a bit of grass under the trees beside the barn and put the two tup lambs in there to graze it off.


I bedded the cow shed and put in hay, water, a salt lick and the licky bucket – then left the gate open.

cowshedCowshed all ready.

All bar Blizz and the calf came in, but they were encouraged in too. I might let them out during the day while the weather is good but it make sit more difficult to manage the ponies, and bringing them in and out.

aceRosie and Ace move in.

Dan cleaned up the milking machine – it doesn’t do well if left to stand for a while. I’ll give it a good clean tomorrow

SCBA AGM this evening. All went well, so onwards and upwards.

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