As we start calving again next week (in theory if the bull has been up to his job), John’s main task yesterday and today, has been to muck out the yards so that the calves are all born onto nice clean straw.
You can tell that social dates for those days must have dried up. Mind you I notice all next week is booked on days out on different shoots.
The muck goes out onto a grass field, ready for spreading in the autumn.
Best scenario is to take the muck out when there is a hard frost to avoid any wheelings on the field. But although there has been a distinct lack of hard frosts this week, the ground is still relatively firm and the tractor has not made too much of a mess.
The trailers each hold about eight tonnes of muck, and as John has been hard at it for the last two days, he has soon shifted some stuff out of the yards.
Out in the field the heap steams away, probably punching a smelly hole in the atmosphere.
Lurking in another grass field, the sheep are quietly counting down the days until lambing starts in March.
We have just moved the flock off the winter wheat.
John has let the sheep graze the wheat for a week or so for the last few years. The flock stays on for about ten days, as with the relatively mild weather the wheat has grown too proud, and grazing it off produces a thicker crop.
But despite the weather not being cold enough to freeze the ground sufficiently for easy travelling across the grass, it has been cold enough to lay a treacherous coating of ice on the roads.
Specifically a corner of our lane which seems to have a magical attraction for motorists who just do not believe the slow signs as they approach the bend.
Two cars in our hedge this week. Luckily no injuries except to pride and bodywork. And our hedge.
I am always surprised how unconcerned motorists are about the damage they do to fences and hedges.
This time, despite the flock being in this roadside field, the cars were both prepared to reverse out and drive off, oblivious to the fact that they had created a gap big enough for the sheep to trot through.
With John working in a roadside field he was able to travel to the scene of each accident quite quickly to offer his assistance.
And see the drivers try to extricate themselves as quickly as possible in order to drive off.
Everyone has done their best to make this particular corner safe.
John has cut back the hedges to improve visibility, the council has painted signs on the road and placed reflective, bendy poles up to and around the bend. Makes no difference.
One of the drivers was taking three children to school. Good job crashing into a hedge provides a soft landing.