Sunday 10 December 2017


SNOW! After too many years of snow-free winters it is a white world this morning and its still falling. Other parts of the country have had much greater snow-fall than us but we have enough to satisfy the small grand-children's desperate longing for snow, having never seen it. As I sit at the kitchen table (the unheated office is not conducive to sitting for any length of time!) writing this the falling snow has become thicker and with bigger flakes and is falling in a lovely feathery swirl from a full grey sky so dense that I cannot see across the valley. Our 4 year-old grand-son has already been out and landed a snowball on his dog-walking Granny, to his huge delight!

While we do enjoy the snow the daily farm work has to continue but fortunately the cows are all indoors and the only activity with machines in the snow is to fetch big bales of silage from our yard down the drive and to make sure that the milk tanker can reach us. At the moment that should not be problem but should the snow continue to build up we may have to re-open an old track that does not have a steep slope for the tanker to reach us. Our driveway is on a hill and in the past we have had to tow the tanker up in icy conditions. In the absolute worst-case scenario, which I doubt will occur this time round, we have to dump the milk and insurance has to taken out in case of this. Years ago we were allowed to take the milk out ourselves to the main road in an emergency mobile bulk tank, but this has been forbidden in the last few years due to food hygiene issues and the risk of contamination both of which were extremely unlikely as the emergency tank was as clean, safe and tamper-proof as the big tanks in the dairy on the farm. So, the powers that be would rather we let the milk go down the drain even though the main roads are clear enough for the milk tankers to reach the end of the drive. One of the advantages of living in an area with many dairy farms is that the main roads were always kept as clear as possible in times of severe snow, to allow the milk tankers to get to us all, even if only to entrances to the farms but where we could leave our emergency tanks. Now it is deemed better to waste the milk and rely on the insurance companies to compensate us for the loss of earnings.