Life as an Ostrich

Dear All

I am wishing I was an Ostrich, and then I would bury my head in the ground every time the news came on!! I think the politicians are flock of sheep all following each other on the latest fad and then running around baaing loudly forgetting what they were meant to be saying or doing.

However down on the farm spring is slowly springing up here in the Cotswold Hills, naturally somewhat behind the rest of the UK.  It has a wonderful time for lambing with perfect dry cold conditions, and we have lots of them running around the place – the lambs especially like meeting up in groups and running around playing chase me Charlie – all good exercise to teach them to run away from the fox when he comes sneaking around looking for a lamb tikka!

Ironically we could now do with some rain, the thin soils up here dry up very quickly and we now have large cracks in the fields waiting to soak up some rain, the oil seed rape has just started to flower, but we can see everything else is just waiting for some rain and warm weather and then the crops will really zoom away.  A few weeks of good old British drizzle would suit us fine – ideally at night so everyone else is happy as well.

The goats definitely have a spring to their step and seem determined to escape at every opportunity, and seem to be getting quite a reputation, they love our Cotswold stone walls – great fun to scramble up, escape and go visiting, they especially like garden visits and have been seen up trees and even on a shed roof, where next!  The alpacas and busy eating lots of grass fattening up, in preparation for shearing on 13th May, I wonder if the Donkeys will recognise them when they come back – half the size with funny top knots, they always make me smile.

I am glad to report that Pingu the peacock is getting on very well with Rio his new girlfriend, he was a little shy at first but is now in full song and loves posing and displaying this wonderful tail.  Rio is only 1 yr old so I think we have a couple more years until the patter of tiny feet are heard.

Our planning application went in for our 8 holiday pods – one would have thought we put in for 1000 houses!!  The site has been relocated and I hope the natives are once again happy – it is difficult balancing the business pressures in a historic village such as Notgrove – we have progressed steadily since Roman times, but I think people forget in reality how grim it was to live in those days!!  When we came here in 1969 there were only 2 telephones, and I think only a couple of cottages had central heating  – we only got mains water in 1963.   The only item that hardly moves are grain prices – today wheat is £114 per tonne and when I went to college in 1988 it was the same, we did get 3 tons/acre then and we sometimes get 4 tons/ac today but normally average 3.5, so not a huge difference – except fertiliser and sprays have gone up by 10 times!!

The farm employs 1 and the holiday business supports 7 full and part time!!  Please keep on coming here we need you!!

Here’s hoping for a lovely summer (and some rain!)