The bad weather has closed in again and there is snow. In addition, it is bitterly cold - that cold coming in from Eastern Europe, a big land mass where the cold just builds up. (Gwil in Vienna, wrap up warm). This means that our animals need food urgently.
The farmer has a strict order of feeding, which he follows every day. First the in-calf cattle in the loose housing - they get silage and straw for bedding; next the hens; then the wild birds; then the sheep in the top field, who get silage and sheep nuts. Finally the in-lamb sheep opposite the farm on the other side of the lane. They have recently been scanned. All but two are in lamb,mostly with twins, although there are a few singles and also one or two with triplets. Even today, with a covering of snow, they would rather scrape the snow away to get at the grass, than eat the silage in the rack. But they are totally addicted to sheep nuts, which is what they get every morning - about ten o'clock.
They start looking for it at six-thirty when the farmer drives out of the drive to get the newspapers from our little market town. They watch him go, they watch him come back; when he feeds the wild birds they all dash to the wall again to watch him; when he drives up the lane to the other sheep they all watch him. Finally, he walks up our drive with two buckets of sheep nuts, climbs over the stone wall (!!) and feeds them by scattering it in a long line. Immediately they begin to eat it as do numerous rooks and pheasants. But instead of staying in one place they always think there is a better place higher up so there is so much dashing back and forth that the rooks get more than their fair share. Ah well, sheep give good wool every year and they make fine chops, but I have to say they are not over endowed in the brain department.
Incidentally, the two barren sheep will shortly go to market and be sold for meat. It's a harsh world but no farmer keeps anything that doesn't show a profit.
And speaking of such things, my hens have suddenly started to lay as though there is no tomorrow. And little do they know how right they were - the farmer has been moaning for the last few weeks about my 'blessed hens' - some of whom are ten years old - and how they just don't earn their keep. Well now we have too many eggs, so it is mushroom omelettes, home-made oven chips (anyone on a diet can make them using that one-calorie spray - it tells you how on the tin), and green beans for lunch.
On the subject of my hub and the trouble I have had with it, I must report that I have had excellent service from BT. I wrote asking for a new hub and they rang me this morning, asked a few questions and as a result are putting me a new hub in the post. All I had to do was renew my contract for a year - and I could see no reason not to do that because I don't have a single complaint. Praise where it is due. Keep warm and dry.