Christmas has been and gone but the new calving season gets underway at the farm on the M62
And just like that it was gone.
The weeks of festive brainwashing, mince pies, mulled wine and last-minute panicked gift buying all a distant memory in the blink of an eye.
The radio will no longer be full of Do They Know It’s Christmas and A Fairytale of New York.
The post Christmas lull has been felt strongly this year by most as the oppressive fog and continuous rain has left us all feeling weary.
Days seem to lose their purpose as everyone wanders around in a cheese-filled stupor trying to figure out where they’re meant to be! Our Christmas morning started unusually late following an unplanned sleep-in.
Even John-William, a well practiced early riser didn’t stir until almost seven. Once it was established that Father Christmas had stopped by and left a little bag of gifts, we had to abandon all hopes of relaxing in front of the fire with a warming drink and a Lindor chocolate.
With cows, sheep, dogs and ponies to be seen to, plus a frustratingly awkward cow and calf to feed, we had no time to sit and soak up the day. After some rapid mucking out, a quick dunk in the bath, we somehow all made it out of the door, laden with gifts, dogs in tow.
We arrived at my sister and brother-in-laws in Driffield just in time for a quick Prosecco before heading to the dining room for a sumptuous Christmas feast with my lovely family. As the turkey was being carved we finally relaxed and were able to appreciated the superb spread of food, all grown and sourced within a matter of miles of the farm.
Those few hours of eating, drinking and present opening were bliss but like the countless farmers up and down the country, it was all too brief and as soon as we were there, we were heading home to more rain, more mud and more work.
The little guy spent the next few days in a haze of chocolate and new toys, for once reluctant to leave the house.
After almost a week of being repeatedly kicked and bellowed at, Paul finally succeeded in getting our latest calf to get on its feet and suck without assistance. It’s a long, time-consuming and back-breaking process persuading a very large calf to feed itself.
Cows can deliver an alarmingly accurate and painful kick as Paul has been reminded of this last week when Wilma, one of our Teckels, thought she would assist in encouraging the calf to its feet!
She discovered some delightful milky deposits in the straw but also discovered large newly calved cows are not to be messed with. However, Paul’s perseverance has paid off and the huge bull calf has figured out where the milky bar is!
Before we know it the older girls will start calving and as we’re welcoming calf after calf and no doubt succumbing to more bruised shins and thighs, spring will creep up on us.
In an already tired state we will begin that exhausting yet rewarding time when the meadows fill with bleats and deep guttural murmurings as our long-awaited lambs begin to arrive and the circle of life will continue.