Thursday 17 November 2011

New Look Website, Olympic Free Zone

The new look website ( for Penyrallt Fach Cottage is now up & running & it looks wonderful. I am very pleased with its clean fresh appearance and many thanks must go our good friend G. The Mushroom Grower who apart from being a purveyor of fungi is bit of a whizz with a computer.

We've had good year with the cottage bookings, Christmas & New Year are booked up and I already have several weeks booked out for 2012 which is encouraging.

I would recommend Penyrallt as good place to escape the Olympic hysteria that will no doubt grip the country next year...we will be an Olympic Free Zone and extend a warm welcome to anyone who feels the need to retreat from the media frenzy that will mark the sporting fixtures of 2012!

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Moving Lambs, Home Decorating, Death of a Daihatsu, Leonardo at the National Gallery

I have just come in from helping the Farmer & his dog seperate our lambs from a group of cattle with whom they have been sharing grazing, to bring them up to yard to check them over before selecting those to be sold and those that are not quite ready yet.
Splitting off a group of scatty sheep from a group of curious & flighty young cattle & getting them through a gate onto the lane & making sure they go in the right direction (not up towards the main road!) is not the easiest thing in the world with only two people & a dog. However with much rushing about and waving of sticks and shouting at the cattle to keep them away from the gate we managed and now the lambs are safely up in the yard being sorted.

Things have been very busy lately. I have spent most of last week painting & decorating our stair-well which was in dire need of sprucing up & of course the job got bigger as  I went along as it always does. However, it is now done and though I say it myself  the stair-well looks very good with its new soft grey walls & clean white woodwork.

Yesterday our faithful old Daihatsu Fourtrack was declared dead at the MOT station which is bit of a blow. We have had it for 10 years and it has worked hard for us but it turned out that it was held together by rust that has gone beyond welding so we now have to look for a replacement vehicle. It is actually quite scary to think that we've been merrily driving around in a vehicle that failed the MOT so spectacularly! But thank goodness we have such things as MOTs!

Last week the Farmer & I treated ourselves to an evening of culture when we went to Theatr Mwldan in Cardigan to see the live showing of the preview of the Leonardo da Vinci Exhibition at the National Gallery. The theatre was packed which amazed us...there is obviously a real appetite for such cultural events as we are so far from London and travelling up there is so expensive. Whatever one's views on Sky & the Murdochs, Sky Arts certainly did us a huge favour by showing the exhibition. It was wonderful and to have art experts discussing the paintings at very close quarters was fascinating. If one is able to go up to town then a visit to the National Gallery while it is housing the 'Madonna of the Rocks'  & the Burlington House Cartoon is a must.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

OMScO, TB Testing of Cattle, Well Matured Christmas Cake

I missed the opportunity yesterday to write 1-11-11 which looks very neat & tidy, however we had to attend an orgainc milk producers meeting and the day just disappeared.
The meeting with OMScO ( was good in that we were informed of a much needed price increase in our milk price which pleased everyone. The very worrying thing is though is that the organic dairy market in UK is still dropping & we are so dependent on export sales to Europe and the exchange rate. The market for organic dairy products is still growing on the continent. Unless the British retailers by which of course one means the big supermarkets, take an interest in organic products there is very little that can be done to up the consumer demand. Impressive tv adverts may do something for certain products but not necessarily for the whole industry. New marketing strategies are trying to be found & the comsumer needs to be better informed on the value of organically produced milk & other foods.

Last week all our cattle, the dairy cows & the Herefords were brought in for their annual TB test. The vet came out to do the preliminary injections & then returned two day later to test for any reactors. There were none which was very good news for us. TB is an on-going problem for dairy farmers and many of our milking colleagues  have suffered loss of herds & restricted movement of cattle. We are very fortunate that so far we have not had TB coming into our herd; maybe this is due to the fact that we are a 'closed' herd, not buying cattle from outside. The badger cull in Wales has been stopped though the Farmer & I have never been fully convinced that a cull was the answer. Vaccination of both cattle & badgers would seem to be a more sensible approach.

Last week I made the Christmas cakes and when I was putting them away in the oak cupboard in our dining-room I found I still had one left from last we are eating it! And as a very well-matured dark fruit cake it is excellent, rich & moist with strong lingering aura of brandy & spices. Can a really good rich fruit cake be left to mature too long? I don't think so.