Sunday, 19 December 2010

'The Weather Outside is Frightful.....', Emergency Milk Tanks, Favourite Christmas Reading

Early morning across our snow-bound valley...pretty spectaucular, eh what!
We are indeed snow-bound...the Farmer decided to walk to the shoot yesterday morning across the fields having taken the 4x4 out to end of of our lane and having seen the state of the main road with lorries slewed at odd angle across it and foolish car drivers struggling to get up the hill, it seemed the only sensible thing to do. I had walked out with the dogs to exercise them before going beating and was then left to drive the car back up the lane (in low box) and the only time I slid (even in 4 wheel drive) was turning in to park on the yard.
The main concern today is getting a load of cattle cake delivered which we have been waiting for since Thursday. It has to come up from the West Country but we've had a message to say it is in Wales  and so should get to us sometime, however, whether the lorry will get up the lane is the big question. If it can't do it then it will be a matter of shovelling 4 tonnes of cake into bags and bringing it up with tractors! What a joyful prospect!
The milk tanker came on Friday night okay but tonight will be another matter. We have though been told by our milk buying company that unlike last winter, we can use a portable emergency milk tank and take it out ourselves with a tractor to end of the road. All dairy farms used to have these emergency tanks and they were invaluable, then it was decided by the powers that be that they were unhygienic and dangerous for the lorry drivers to empty being up on trailers so their use was banned. Last winter when so many farms could not have their milk collected much milk was lost but this time common sense has prevailed and the old tank can be brought out of mothballs. It will of course be thoroughly cleaned and sterilised and our particular tanker driver has assured the Farmer that he will collect our milk from the end of the road if we can get it there.

It is very, very cold here today and the snow is crunching underfoot and the skies are grey and full, I think we are supposed to have more snow tomorrow which may put paid to the half-plan of meeting family members in Llandeilo to hand over turkeys & pressies. We will see.

This is the first Christmas in almost 20 years that I have not got the cottage booked out. I think the weather has made people think twice about venturing too far from home over the festive season, however, that said I have got people arriving for New Year...if they can get here that is.

It is a day for sitting by the fire reading some favourite Christmassy, snowy books, having been busy cooking and baking for the last few days, so this afternoon I shall settle down witth 'Wind in the Willows', 'The Children of Green Knowe', 'Lanterns Across the Snow' by Susan Hill & The Faber Book of Christmas. That is the plan but I may well be asked, in the nicest posssible way, to go out and shovel cattle cake!!

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