Well, after two years of managing to avoid the dreaded virus we all succumbed to it one after the other. Some of us felt no effects, some minor and some felt like “death warmed up”; one didn’t even catch it despite everyone else in the house testing positive. It really is a bizarre virus.

Lambing is finally over; after feeling that it was a long-drawn-out affair, I would estimate it was a fair year. Not one of our better ones, but nonetheless nothing to write home about. A few tedious prolapses and a few lambs that didn’t quite make it. Fingers crossed the price of lamb stays at the level it has been for the past six months.

We are now all on foal watch as we await the arrival of another foal. Fingers crossed for a safe and quick delivery.

The lighter evening are fantastic, especially now the children are back at school, although supper gets later and later the longer the evenings draw out. There is so much work to be done and still not enough hours in the day.

I recently took a virtual party of 90 five and six-year-olds around the farm for “Farmer time”. The children were fascinated at the sight of a new-born lamb and a new-born calf. The teacher described them as “lockdown children”, as some had never seen a cow neither did they understand where milk comes from.

The majority of children didn’t understand that beef came from cows and that some parts of a cow were used in the making of beefburgers that they had for tea. The pure excitement for the children at seeing the size of a tractor; my only wish is that they could see it in person, but coming from an inner city school the chances are slim.

The crops are looking well this year, with the cost of fertiliser being so high we opted for some alternative nutrition (as have most of the farmers in our region). It is a trial experiment at the moment, and we shall see how the crops fair. The cost of fertiliser this month has given everyone a little breathing space, but is still high above last year’s prices.

Putin keeps fighting and the cost of living continues to increase. The weekly shopping bill has nearly doubled in a matter of weeks. Farmers are struggling to absorb the rising costs as food prices continue to rise. The cost of bread is set to increase by more than 25% in the next few months, as well as the majority of staple food items.

Food inflation hit 5.9% last month and is set to increase this month. The supermarkets are trying to resist the milk price rises, but the reality is that if they don’t absorb them, they won’t be receiving any milk. Estimates suggest milk production will have dropped by a billion litres in the next year and farmers are still getting out of milk production. Supermarkets have had a monopoly over food prices for far too long and it’s time the tables started to turn.

Listening to the news regarding the parties that Downing Street allegedly held in lockdown, it would appear most of the politicians have received fines for their antics. I’m beginning to believe that the whole parliamentary system is a farce. There is a “Do as I say and not as I do” attitude from all politicians, no matter which party they belong to.

By the time you read this, Zara will be at Badminton Grassroots horse trials competing her mare; fingers crossed they return safe and sound.

Until next time take care and stay safe.