Mehefin 2005 June

A Pair of Wellies and Wheelbarrows

With most of my staff being retired and enjoying their pensions of 365 bowls of Pero per year I decided it was time to bring some new blood into the firm, and so with this in mind I went out and bought myself a young pup. For the first few weeks of his life under new management the pup was known as Sion but as nobody (including the pup) seemed to like the name, I renamed him Henson. The only problem I have now is that Sion/Henson is totally confused and seems to be going through some kind of doggy identity crisis.

Lambing time is more or less over, with only a few of the girls left to go. I have a feeling that they’ve worked out that the longer they stay in lamb the more meal they will get and so they are in no rush to get on with the job. Unfortunately for them next week when the meal runs out I won’t be buying any more so they’ll just have to slum it and eat grass.

With Arwel Bach booked to come and spread muck I thought it might be a good idea to fix the muck fork on the loader. I spent an hour or so straightening the bent tines and even bought new ones to replace the ones which were beyond repair. So, with a full compliment of tines on the loader I was confident that maximum efficiency would be achieved.

On the day, however, it soon became obvious that if I wanted to achieve maximum efficiency rather than fixing the tines on the loader my time would have been better spent learning to drive. Loading a muck spreader is hardly complicated, any fool can do it. Yet I seem to find it impossible. On several occasions I managed to drive the tractor straight into the spreader and every three or four load fulls, I managed to miss the spreader altogether and dropped the muck straight back on the yard.

When in my embarrassment I looked over at Arwel he was doubled over and I’m not quite sure whether the tears he was crying were tears of laughter or tear of despair. Still we persevered and after a few days the job was done.

All bar two of the cows have now calved and gone out to enjoy the summer. I’m glad to say none of them required my midwifery skills this year. With no sign of the new calves passports in the post I thought I’d better ring the British Cattle Movement Services in Workington to see where they were. As soon as the ’phone was answered I recognised the voice - it was Aled Hughes. We chatted for about ten minutes and I filled him in on the local gossip. It was only when we said ‘ta ra’ and I put the ’phone down I realised I’d forgotten to ask about the passports!

The cold weather has made grass growth very slow this year, however, the thistles, nettles and docks don’t appear to be affected by the temperature and are thriving in the Llan. No matter how much I spray the hay fields I never seem to get them clean. So it looks like anyone carrying hay this year is going to have to invest in a good pair of gloves.

I’ve got a feeling that the powers that be have got my name stuck in a computer somewhere and can’t seem to get rid of it. In the last six months I’ve had DEFRA inspect all my cattle tags and passports, I’ve had the Trading Standards inspect all my animal movement records.

The Environment Agency fancied a day out of the office and came to check my sheep dip and dip disposal facilities and to cap it all a vet from the farm assurance scheme came to inspect everything that everyone else had already inspected. As everything was in order I’m hoping it will be a long time before I see any of them again.

On Saturday March 19th two marvellous things occurred - Wales won the Grand Slam and I hung two new sliding doors on my shed, to finally complete the job. I was considering smashing a bottle of champagne against it to declare it officially open but I thought it might damage the paintwork.

Gareth Llan
© Gareth Bryan - 2004

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