Just another day on the farm, after an extraordinary week, while most people are enjoying the sunshine we are living it.
Thursday morning started at 7:30 checking sheep for maggots, as its that time of year where lambs and ewes through a combination of hot weather and good grass – flies attack with gusto.
A trip to B&Q to collect 5 bags of cement educated me on the tightening of security in these times of austerity in Redditch, the staff member said that hey had to come outside which he promptly did, he opened the pallet for me I moved my truck to load then was asked to go back in and pay, I did this and was then left to load as many bags as I liked after sorting through the first and second pallet, I managed to find 5 unexploded bags of cement and left the loading area confident that B&Q were up skilling their staff to take care of their stock from cradle to grave!
Look after a pensioner for a day programme
Weekly shop followed returning home to grade the drive with the JCB then to meet my volunteer for the day Uncle John, a quick tour of the farm and a transfer of sheep onto the far priory field was executed with precision, feed and the variety of it is the best motivator for sheep.
Quick cup of tea then off to collect a trailer for bailing tomorrow, over at Riverside Shepherd Huts where their latest Hut was loaded ready for its journey to Cumbria in time for it being used as the honeymoon suite for their customers pending wedding. Checked sheep and returned to the farm.
Collected tools for digging out new BBQ area footing for the Coach House marked out the area and allowed John to remove the turf as part of his pensioner fitness programme.
Safe to keep a shotgun?
Took a call from two companies both wanting to assist me with a PPI claim which I didn’t have followed by a call from the fire arms guy wanting to check that I didn’t need a further visit since my last licence renewal, I had to complete a two minute check, was I Wayne Smith? Yes did I Live at Oaks Barn Farm? Yes, had I been ill since his last visit? This I thought at first to be most caring, but in reality meant was I mentally stable other than my random life choice of becoming a farmer. I confirmed that I had all of the guns in my cabinet and had not sold them on the any if the enhanced security team at B&Q. To this end the firearms officer was satisfied that I would be safe to be left alone.
Quick check on John to see that digging in the heat of the mid day sun was not to much for him, then loaded Aldi Scotish battered fish and oven chips into the oven for lunch, quite why sending fish all the way to Scotland to be battered enhances the eating experience I’ve yet to know but millions of tourists do the same each year so they can’t be wrong can they?
A glass of squash to John and a discussion about using the JCB, was dismissed on the fact that it would be dusty and less entertaining for the guest who had now gathered round him reciting Thor stories of how they to employed pensioners and felt guilty when they used ladders at 78.
Filled trench with water to soften the soil then retired for lunch in the sun.
Returned to the trench and helped John to fill the barrow with the loosened soil, showed John where to tip the soil and went off to mix the cement, while John hammered all of the levelling steaks into the hard soil at the bottom of his trench took the first mix over to John who was now on his knees with a levelling trowel in the full heat of the 1 o’clock sun, got on with second mix for which John was now ready and allowed him to wheel the second barrow unassisted as he had proved himself earlier in the day.
One final mix and the job was done, I cleaned out the mixer while john cleaned off all the tools he had covered in cement and returned them to the barn ready for his next visit to the Farm.
Sue returned from Yorkshire full of tales of how her visit to the local supermarket witnessed a man prizing open the electric doors to leave the store with a case of cool light beers without paying. Perhaps B&Q have good reason to enhance their security?
Gone well almost
John leaves then returns moments later with the birthday card he was supposed to give to Sue, knowing that returning home without having achieved this task would not be an option worth considering as he had clearly fallen foul of tasks that Freda had set him in the past and he had learnt from this. John leaves again.
Receive text to say that our hay has been bailed today ahead of the scheduled tomorrow and is now ready to be taken off the field, collect the first load, of 70 bales and return home to meet Emma and John our new Volunteers for our come grow with us programme. A quick tour of the farm followed by some sheep dagging gives them a good insight to the farm. Off to collect a further 68 bales return sheet trailer and finish at 9pm followed by a chillie wine and bed.