Sunday, 6 December 2009
I sometimes watch those ‘move to the country programmes’ on the TV, I really should not watch them as they annoy the hell out of me. There are so often these people who apparently have no idea what to wear in the country, looking at what are gorgeous houses, and complaining about almost every aspect, and most of them are seeing them in lovely weather too. Wait until it has rained for ten days and there is mud everywhere and no street lights! Don’t let them move to the country!! They won't like it and we probably don’t want them. They will likely be the classic town people who move to the country to retire which is a dreadful mistake anyway, and they will complain about noisy hens early in the morning, cow muck on the roads, tractors, sheep bleating and so on. One chap in the village in Herefordshire, where I moved to for a short period before coming back here, complained like mad to the farmer who owned the land next door to his cottage, because when he moved in there were horses in the field and then they put cows in there, and he did not want cows, he thought that there would always be horses!! Mind you , he was also the one that said if my birds flew over his garden they would be invading his personal airspace - pratt! In one of the programmes the couple, who I suspect are at least my age or older and I very much doubt if they are used to the sort of physical work that I am, looked at a place with several acres and wanted to keep sheep, alpaca’s, a pig, chicken and a cow!! They fairly obviously had no idea how much work that would be on a cold wet dark winters evening, or how much milk a cow can produce!
My father wanted us to have a cow once, so we had a beautiful Jersey Cow, actually over time we had three. Fidgets was the first one, I don’t really remember her as I was not here at that time, Dazzling Leaf who looked more like a beef cow than a dairy cow and gave one pint of milk a day – so to the farmer who sold her to us, I know what you did, and I haven’t forgotten! But our last cow – Alice, was wonderful, however she gave nearly four gallons of milk a day, we were swimming in the bloody stuff. I had to buy three calves to rear on it and we still had a ton! The cream was to die for though, and spoilt me for shop bought cream for ever more. I used to leave the milk to stand over night in a jam pan, on the cold slate shelves in the larder and then draw the cream off the top in the morning with a huge flat spoon, it was like a thick velvet cream blanket on the top, even then the first pint of milk was 90% cream in the bottle, amazing stuff. But a lot of hard work, a single milking machine to clean twice a day, milk to deal with, and that did not count looking after and milking the cow, getting her in twice a day, putting her in calf for the next lot of milk and so on.
I have always thought it was a huge mistake to get to retiring age, and then promptly sell up and move away from all your friends and everyone and everything you know. I have seen it fail so many times. I know some people do it to be nearer their family, but are they really sure their family wants them nearer, that’s what I would want to know!
Talking of dark wet cold winter nights, it is one, or rather it was wet, extremely wet today, and it is the rest right now! And is there mud everywhere – oh yes, good quality red Gloucestershire mud, that sticks to your boots. The sort that if you walk round a ploughed field each boot weighs about 11 pounds more than usual by the end of it. However the first day of the five day course went well I think. They are all a really nice bunch, sensible and asking questions which is great, makes it much easier for us. Only one enclosure was concreted today, the lads worked very hard, but the rain beat them on that one, however the standoff barrier by the kite block is now meshed so that people can’t stand on it. And Tom made a smart gate at the end so we can get to the baths without a major crawl! We did not manage to fly many of the birds as the weather really did not help, but tomorrow looks good at least to start with, so we will get as many done as we can and get them all out for cleaning the compartments.
At some point in the day I spoke to a company called Unicom,n about a phone line still here, and I have to congratulate them, a real human being on the end of the phone – straight away – there is a change, not to say a flipping miracle!! BT please note, after we spend about 20 minutes with your bloody answer phone system and still never get to talk to a real person. And they were helpful too! Please Companies, can we have real humans and not long winded answer phones. I know I use an answer phone here on occasion, but only to tell you we can’t get to the phone at that time, not to give you nine million options, all of which are the wrong one!



I have to say that keeping a weblog can at times become compulsive and at other times a chore. Sometimes I am berrated for not keeping it up and sometimes I get wonderful comments from people who follow the news of the Centre.

It is fun to share the daily goings on here, some good and some bad, some funny and some sad, but all a part of our daily lives.
And as I said before its a pretty cool to be here and it is a great place to visit, you should try coming and watching the birds and meeting the staff and of course the dogs.

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An interesting video on Lead

An interesting video on Lead

I find it staggering that people who want to hunt don't see the value in changing their ammunition from lead to a safer product. We have stopped using lead in petrol, in paint, in our water pipes, but they still want to use lead - ah well, apparently eating it not only kills birds but leads to reduced intelligence in humans......................

NO ONE is asking you to stop legal and genuine hunting, they are just asking you to change your ammunition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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