There I was, wearing a shapeless milking gown with (I discovered later) a splash of cow muck across my face, not exactly looking my most sophisticated or glamourous when Brian called me to get my thoughts on a decision regarding our ESB connection being converted to 3 Phase. The ESB guy said to me “there’s not many women doing what you do”. I looked at him, totally confused. “Doing what?” He flung his arm back to indicate the milking parlour. [...]
It has been a busy spring between calving, the building of a new milking parlour complete with rebuilt collecting yard and other ancillary expensive essentials, and now of course, we have coronavirus to think about. But this post is going to be about another C – a cow called Claudia.
It’s easy to spot a farmer out and about when in their working clothes. Items like boots or wellies, mud splattered clothes, sitting in a tractor or jeep, the working dog alongside, bulging pockets (not with money but with nuts, bolts, baler twine, keys, receipts and a battered cheque book) and perhaps even the whiff of slurry or silage all tend to give it away without having to look too closely. But what about when they are dressed up and [...]
I have always enjoyed reading farm and rural memoirs. My copies of James Herriot’s books are dog-eared and have been reread many times since I was a teenager. The success of recently published farm memoirs proved that the rural memoir is as popular as ever, perhaps even enjoying a renaissance as various sectors of society (indeed, 47% of people in Britain) show an interest in leaving their city lives and dream of living on a smallholding or perhaps [...]
As a farming family, it’s not easy to get away for family holidays. There are cows to be milked, grass to be managed, younger stock to be herded and looked after, bulls to be fattened, dogs to be exercised and cuddled. We normally go away in January when the cows are dry (they don’t give milk for 6-8 weeks before calving), and as all the stock is indoors, they just have to be fed and checked which takes the contractor [...]