Before anyone else stops me to ask, it wasn’t the piglets or the puppy - it was the potatoes. Carrying a large dish of potatoes up some stone steps, and whoops a trip forwards, potatoes gone, wrist broken and I was really cross about smashing my favourite dish.
A big thank you to all the fellow shoppers in Leyburn who have helped me with car doors, spilt change and general fumbling.
Racing on - such an exciting time of year and I am finding nests in ever stranger places. This pheasant nest is next to a garden step where the spaniels are let out every day. Although they can’t get to it, they enjoy a sniff inches from the nest every morning.
Although I miss my little spaniel, Crumpet, it is good to see the young birds in the garden tackling their maiden flights without having to face the gauntlet of snapping jaws.
Our very own chicks seem to have failed to materialise. I don’t know what our two gorgeous cockerels have been doing; they don't seem to realise that looking gorgeous is only half the job!
Our lovely but clearly useless cockerels
I am going to have to make do with the various chicks I have seen racing around along the roadsides for my chick fix this year.
One we prepared earlier
In stock news, Sherlock the boar has moved to new accommodation to be reunited with his first two wives; the arrival of new female pigs from Norfolk turned out to be just a rumour.
Sherlock checking if she is the promised new talent from Norfolk?
Apparently, if you google camping and highland cattle, the first choice is the Wensleydale Experience - and part of the farm experience this time was to round up young Blondie.
She was popped in a trailer and taken to join her old friend, the hairy, hornless Highland heifer (imaginatively called “H”). Along with the two older cows, she will wait for the much anticipated arrival of the travelling Highland bull, who always enjoys a few months of his Summer holidays in Wensleydale.
The next task was to round up the 21 piglets and help ear tag them; luckily we had youthful legs and Tim on the team making the two potentially chaotic tasks look straightforward.
New yellow ear tags
The Fairhursts at Berry’s cream tea was much appreciated to round the afternoon off.
Ishcha the female llama was due her biannual hair cut. I asked Neil, our animal barber, if he would need to go into training to clip a llama after his change in lifestyle means he now spends more time on a tractor and less time on the ground. He was round like a shot to prove his fitness and reminded me he still has 100 sheep of his own to chase after, so while Tim dealt with the front end, two years of hair was dealt with.
Ishcha gets her hair cut
The sheep, Harry and Elspeth, were also sheared. Sadly, one of Harry’s horns was knocked off in the process; not a great look but he will be cooler without this lot!
Harry and Elspeth ready for the heat
Husband’s time off out of the office during the Bank Holiday was spent clearing the path to the waterfalls and collecting much needed wood for all the yurt hot tubs and water heating boilers. Living on a farm, you never get a day off!
Clearing the path to the waterfalls
With the popularity of the hot tubs, we have now added one to the Temple Folly - Tim and his lovely girlfriend took on the task of volunteering to check everything was working with the new luxury.
Temple hot tub
Nothing more relaxing after a walk along the River.
Evening light on the River Ure, with a fish rise on the left
Fairhursts at Berry’s is hosting the Hay Festival again this year on Saturday 22nd June. The day looks promising with music and dancing plus craft displays in the courtyard.
With Summer calendars filling up, I find my life is ruled by dates. Dates for the births of piglets, calves, chickens and lambs; dates for bulls, boars and tups to arrive; dates for animals to go to the abattoir; dates for feed changes, orders and tours; and now I've been given a new date…the birth of a Grandchild!
So huge excitement for everyone. And with the sad passing away of a special Aunt recently, we were able to tell her before she died that the beginning of the next generation was on its way.