Nugget / Festival / BlizzardRSS feed

Posted: Monday 26 October, 2020

by Rosemary at 4:27pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 19th October

Wet, really pretty wet.

Well, the loading and transfer of the steers couldn’t have gone any more smoothly. I sat in the car – Dan and Tara did the work.

Spent most of the day on Shetland cattle stuff or Festival stuff. Less than a week to go to the Festival – Dan’s put in so much work. We’ll both be glad when it’s over.

My 2121 Diary. Hope it has fewer scorings out than the 2020 one.

diaryA new diary.

Tuesday 20th October

Heavy rain overnight but clearing during the day and there was a brief glimpse of sun. Got the weights back from the abattoir – 384.5 and 380.5kg DW, which is pretty good.

Snuck out into the byre to finish cleaning the freezers and to move some of the contents around. We now have a chicken freezer – with 16 whole birds, a bag of portions, two bags of necks and two bags of feet (necks and feet for dogs). The upright has mainly fruit, peas, cooked tomatoes and soup. The big chest freezer has 25-plus tubs of cooked apple (for breakfasts) and the remains of the meat, including some mystery bags! I was hugely excited to find a pack of mince – cottage pie this week sometime. We’ve a few pork joints and some packs of diced pork; one beef topside and about six packs of lamb / mutton.

Wednesday 21st October

Changeable today, overcast mainly but we had some sunshine, followed by rain in the evening. A few places further North have had quite severe flooding. Made the Creole Christmas cake – smells fab. I’m going to give it a glazed nut topping, I think.

cakeCreole Christmas Cake.

I’ve got a brickie coming tomorrow to see about repairing the cow shed wall.

Thursday 22nd October

Heavy rain overnight and the fields are pretty flooded again. Tara and Rebecca were both working so I had to get boots on and do the ponies; my foot’s not as healed as I hoped. I couldn’t get my walking boots on; these are my usual work boots and are pretty sturdy and supportive. By the same token, they aren’t very bendy and I just couldn’t get the right one on. So wore my Ariat boots, which are lighter. I wasn’t even prepared to try wellies. The pain’s not unbearable but I suspect that if it’s painful, I shouldn’t be doing it. Oh well, Dan’ll just have to have a list on Sunday.

Friday 23rd October

Last day before the Scottish Smallholder Festival – normally, I’d be baking for our Dalmore Croft stand; Dan and I would be back and forward to Forfar, setting up the hall, moving a cow, setting up stands – until very late. And this year, I’ve just been sitting on my bum. Which, given my foot, is just as well. But Dan’s been flat out. Well, we’ll see how it goes.

Dan did a great job on the Shetland cattle film – I’m sure we’ll be able to use it again.

Saturday 24th October

Well, the Festival online seemed to go well. There were no serious technical hitches; we had one trade stand missed but other than that, all seemed to go well. We’ll get some analysis next week of numbers signed up and attending seminars. I really enjoyed it – I watched most of the livestock showcase films and more than half the talks, which I never get the chance to do at a “real” Festival.

I'm now enthused about rabbits for meat and growing flowers.

I got my boots on this morning and did the ponies. Foot’s not too bad. Moved Blizzard into her own paddock in preparation for calving. She’s vast. As usual and I know I’m faffing, but I don’t want anything to go wrong.

Sunday 25th October

Wakened at 2am (or 3am on the kitchen clock, which has to be changed manually). Checked Blizzard; she’s not due until 31st but both Annie and Rosie calved six days before their dates. She’s got a wee bit of a discharge but other than that seems fine. Will check her again in an hour and if nothing’s happening, I’ll go back to bed.


Nothing was happening, so I prepared and cooked some apples, ate some cake, drafted a couple of newsletters, checked again and went back to bed at 5am, got up at 7am, brought the ponies in and fed them. And on with the day.

Dan cleaned out the hens for me – our cockerel, Nugget is MIA. He hasn’t been looked 100% and we think he’s probably just keeled over somewhere. He was about five years old, so not bad.

Very blustery out, but at least it’s swept away the clouds and the sun’s out. Started soaking fruit for another Christmas cake to replace the one breached last night. Made a huge shopping list and Dan went shopping. I went for a nap since I’m planning to start overnight checks on Blizzard tonight.


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