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Posted: Monday 16 March, 2020

by Rosemary at 2:12pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 9th March

Beautiful morning – starting to feel like spring has sprung. Until lunchtime, after which winter came back.

Took the last of the tup lambs to the abattoir this morning. Never my favourite job. On the more positive side, I collected my new sheepskin tanned by Peter Ananin at Woodland Tannery. It’s beautiful.

Steven is getting on with the digger work – should be finished tomorrow. Looking good.

More office work – courses, tours, blog. We’ve been keeping a blog since 2003 – amazing.

Tuesday 10th March

Braw morning. Off to Edinburgh with Martin and Arnot to meet with ScotGov officials.

Steven finished the digger work this afternoon – what a great job. Looks fab. Fencers here later in the week.

SheepfoldNice dry gateway and track in Sheepfold.

Wednesday 11th March

A day of general pottering about.

triangleTriangle gateway.

trackNew track.

track gateNorth gate.

The gate here still has some work to be done so taht the two gates can be opened independently.

Thursday 12th March

Dan was up early to take trailer load of manure to Monifieth allotments; when he came back, I was off for two bales of hay for here, then a bale of hay and a bale of straw for East PItkerro, then two more bales of hay for here. That took until 11am.

The fencers arrived just as I was heading off for the first load of hay – just one bloke, but there should be two here on Monday. Nevertheless, he got plenty done. The frame up for Linda’s picket fence – except they sent round topped slats not pointy topped, so they need to be re-cut – and the two new gates in. Should be finished Tuesday next week.

fenceFrame for fence.

After lunch, quick run up to Forfar for some shopping, the bank and Harbro for various bits and pieces including items to restock my lambing box. Didn’t get wormer because they only had big packs – which would have been out of date well before I used them. However, when I checked on-line, the smallest pack size is 2.5l, which is what Harbro had and they're cheaper than anywhere I couldsee on-line, so will get it next week. Don't need it until lambing starts.

Friday 13th March

Another lovely day – spent in the office, but I did get my head down and crack on through a load of work that’s been hanging around for ages so feeling quite satisfied.

Wakened at 4am by much caterwauling – there’s a strange cat around, a fluffy tabby. We think it was responsible for the stink in the boot room. Anyway, this morning, it was having a snack in the cats’ cupboard. Diesel was NOT HAPPY. The other three didn’t seem to care. I’ll put some food out for it tonight.

Got my “To Do” list ready for the weekend – including riding both days!!!

Saturday 14th March

Mild this morning with some light rain. Cleared up the spilled hay in Sheepfold – what a mess the sheep make. Rode with Rebecca and her friend Lindsay. Lindsay is a designer / maker so she’s been recruited to run a course here on hand embroidery.

We’ve decided the lambing pens are going in the byre. Just need to clear a space as we don’t want to take everything out – not least the 5000 glass bottles for apple juice. It’s maybe not 5000, but it’s a lot.

After lunch, Dan went apple tree pruning and I spring cleaned the feed store. And saw a huge rat. You might have heard me scream. Anyway, rat traps are out and ready to be deployed.

Put the pre-calver lick in for the cows – the only one that I’ve seen at it is Ace. Not sure when he’s due to calve.

lickForlorn pre-calver lick.

Dan made blue barrel silage last summer – opened it this afternoon, while he was clearing the area where the fencers will be working tomorrow. Apart from the top layer, it’s beautiful – the cattle are getting a wee puckle each after their sugar beet. It won’t last long, but is a nice treat for them. It smells gorgeous.

Sunday 15th March

Heavy showers overnight and another visit from Tabby. Very windy until late morning then just windy, but dry and sunny so a nice day to be out. Tara and I took out Euro and Smokey – what a pair of fannies. Need to work on their confidence.

Managed to contact a tractor mechanic and he’s coming down tomorrow to see our sickly tractor. And the architect was here this afternoon to measure up the West Range for potential conversion to a house.

Dan took down the scabby fence in the vegetable garden, ready for the fencers tomorrow to put up the new picket fence; and he and Andy started processing wood from the trees taken down a couple of months ago – Steven pulled them off the ditch with the tractor last week. Wood store starting to look healthier.

treesSoon-to-be firewood.

I started to clear the byre to make lambing pens – Dan gave me a hand once he’d finished his fence demolition – and we’re pretty much there. I checked the ewes’ udders when I fed them tonight and they’re all developing nicely. No8 has an udder like a cow. There are four due 26th to 30th March, then two due 7th to 12th April, then Kit, the Shetland, due end of April, so it should be fairly straightforward. Logistically at least, but there’s no accounting for sheep.

After our tidy up, I think it's time we went to the skip.

trailerFull box trailer.

 

 

 

 

 

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