Monday, 20 February 2017

Spring, String Quartet Rehearsal, Barren Cows to Abattoir

Spring is definitely on her way, the first daffodils are opening and the snowdrops are appearing in their multitudes in the old garden and along the hedgebanks. It is very mild now after the biting cold of last week and life is stirring in the buds appearing on shrubs and catkins are hanging on the hazels and some of my rambler roses are putting forth tiny russet leaves. Frog spawn is to be found in odd places near water and every now and then a pair of mallard are to be seen on one of the ponds checking it out for good nesting sites.

Today we are hosting the practice session for the Farmer's string quartet so the old house is resonating to the strains of Haydn and Vivaldi. They played solidly for two hours before lunch and are now settled in for the afternoon. Obviously,
thick golden squash soup and sourdough wholemeal bread is good fuel for musicians. The classical repertoire makes a pleasing change from the more frequently heard Welsh folk dance music. The Farmer plays violin and we have a cellist, a viola player and a second violinist here, all working very hard. A good way of passing a dreich, damp February afternoon.

Despite the music-making some farming was done this morning in that a lorry came to take some barren cows away. It is something we all hate doing , loading cattle onto a lorry heading for the abattoir, especially when they are time-served dairy cows who have given us years of milk production, but a time comes when they have to make way for the younger replacement heifers who are at the start of their milking lives, so we have to harden our hearts and send the old girls off. It is never done easily.

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