Saturday, 10 March 2012
Big Fatstock Show.
Today has been a big fatstock show at our local Auction Mart - it is an important event up here in the yearly calendar and the farmer went along with my camera. He did invite me along too but on the whole women are seen as being out of place unless they are actually showing or selling something, so I kept away.
Before he went I nipped into town to post a parcel, only to find that there was no power at the Post Office, so all the machines were down and the place was closed and in darkness, so the parcel will have to wait until Monday.
Back to the fatstock sale. The supreme champion was the black heifer above. Although she is black, her breed is Belgian Blue and she was sold for £3,400. 00 and will go for breeding in the hope of getting some good progeny from her. The Reserve Champion was the big lad, the brown Limousine. He has been castrated so cannot be bred from but before he goes for beef (which he will do eventually) he will probably be shown around the country by his new owner, in the hope that he wins other fatstock shows. He fetched well over £4,000. 00.
Someone in the comments yesterday asked if we had Foot and Mouth here on the farm. Yes, we did. I know I have already told the story, but for the sake of those who don't know I will just tell
it briefly again. The farmer went round the flock of sheep one morning in early April and found one sheep standing on its own and looking under the weather. When he examined it he knew immediately that we had Foot and Mouth disease. At the time, we also had a dairy herd and although they were not affected they had to be killed too. The Ministry vet came and verified that it was Foot and Mouth. We drew a kilometre circle around the farm and everything in that circle was slaughtered, so we took out five other farms too. By five o'clock that afternoon everything on our farm - all the sheep and all the cows - was dead.
It was a terrible time and felt like a bereavement. But like everything else you spring back and recover and now it all seems like a bad dream.
Before I finish today's blog I want to put on one more thing. This is for UK readers alone. The government charges the fuel tax on air ambulances. It does not do so on lifeboats and many people feel - rightly in my opinion - that air ambulances should be exempt duty too. It is a subject dear to my heart as only fifteen months ago I was airlifted to hospital. Air ambulances rely entirely on public donations. In order for the government to have to compulsorily debate the issue the petition needs 100,000 signatories. At present I think they have about sixteen thousand. Do you feel like signing the petition? I am useless at doing links, but if you are willing to sign the petition this is the site to go to: