Saturday 18 May 2013

Sad Times On The Smallholding.

It's been an awful week on our little smallholding in Southern Ireland.  So I have not been in the mood to write the blog posts. The weather's been atrocious and we lost some of the calves with the cold and pneumonia.

I hate death.  It always disturbs me so profoundly.  It's such awful unfinished business.  The livestock transport contractor said he had filled 3 lorry  loads on Thursday with cows, bulls and calves.  The saddest thing is when one of your animals is taking its last breath and you can't do nothing for it.  You pray to God and ask for a miracle, but it never happens does it?

That's a photograph of a cheeky sparrow taken recently when we went to Portugal.  Jesus said: 

"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?"

Apparently the Romans (who never visited Ireland) called the Emerald Isle:  'Hibernia'.  This means: 

"The land of eternal Winter."

I couldn't put it better myself.  

Any road.  The forecast is supposed to be good for next week.  Perhaps we'll start growing Oranges like these we saw recently in Portugal?  

Sorry the digital camera (the one I asked in Argos "What film does it take?") still thinks it's 2008.


  1. Chin up
    Easier said than done
    Take care

  2. Thanks Ronnie. That's smallholding (farming) for you. It's not for the faint hearted, is it?

  3. Thanks John. Reading your blog always cheers me up. Thanks!

  4. Dave, sorry things haven't been going so well. Kia kaha

  5. Thanks Carole. Smallholding farmers need to be stoic and carry on no matter what.


  6. Really sad to read that, know what you mean about feeling so frustrated and not being able to do anything.

  7. Hi Cumbrian,

    Yes death is really frustrating and I hate anything suffering. I told a farmer the other day about our calves dying and asked him about his lambs. He said:

    "you could put them up in the bed with you at night. And you'd still lose them."

    We both laughed and I realised that's farming.

    Did you have a good holiday? Please tell us about it Cumbrian.

    Fantastic weather here today. Going to drink some Sangria on the homemade patio tonight, watching the cattle, silage growing and 3 oil tankers moored in Bantry Bay.


  8. Yeah, that's farming, as I was once told, "if it was easy, everybody could do it"

    Holiday went OK, a few more countries ticked off on my "places to visit" list.

    Weather a bit warmer here, but not sunny, at least it's not raining either.
    In the two weeks away, everything here has shot up, some trees in almost full canopy, grass is about 12" high on the back garden, dandelions in profusion. Even the fields have a nice covering of green, they seem to have gone from rough ploughed to green in two weeks. and the lambs are looking a bit plumper.

    Raggy cat sunbathing when we came home, straight in and to the biccies, no milk until we went shopping, it's resumed its hedonistic lifestyle effortlessly.

  9. The weather is great here today. All the fields are finally growing again and I am walking about in a T shirt, jeans and wellingtons. I have lots of strimming to do but the old back is giving me jip again.

    Said it before. Smallholding/ farming is very difficult when you get to middle age. Most gardeners and smallholders seem to suffer from bad backs.

    Glad to hear Raggy cat is well. Domino followed me to see the cattle yesterday.

  10. Yes, our backs don't seem to last as long as some other parts, mine's the same. It takes me a good half day to cut the back grass, No 2 son came and gave me a lift, he did it in an hour, and that included a smoke and tea break. Grandson (6) assisted as well.

    Weather back to winter today, even a hail shower, and a strong icy wind, Fields looking a bit greener, trees all got a bit of leaf cover, and the lambs seem to be coming on well, starting to get that plump delicious look. Asda had some lamb legs, very big, the butcher said they were English spring lamb, but he didn't know where they came from, a lot bigger than our local ones.

    Domino seems to be spreading his wings, if he's anything like Raggy cat the vermin will be kept well in check.

  11. Hi Cumbrian,

    Glad to read that you get help cutting the grass. There's nothing great about struggling on your own.

    Smallholding farming is very isolated and it's always great to have some one help you.

    Been a great week here in Southern Ireland. Got lots of jobs done around the farm and we even sat outside on the patio, watching the bay.

    Domino does seem to be spreading his wings. Just hope he doesn't get knocked down on the roads.



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