Family life has returned to some sort of normality, or should I say as normal as it gets in our rather manic household. Fergus, aka Mr Fixit, has returned from his travels and is back on the farm with a bang. A very long list of equipment purchases has been seen on his desk. 

Judging by the running commentary since his return he has had the most amazing time and has come home with renewed vigour and new ideas. Let’s hope the bank balance can keep up. Mr Grumpy has now resumed his normal stance now his right-hand man has returned. 

Trail hunting will be coming to the end of its season soon and so the eventing season will begin. The horses are all fit and ready to go. Ted received a miniature Shetland pony for Christmas which he has named Duck. Duck seems to be more like a dog and follows him everywhere, including inside the house. Any ideas for toilet training would be welcome. I’m sure the dogs won’t mind sharing their bed!

Later this month the arable side of the farm will start moving forward at a rate of knots, spraying will be in full flow and fertiliser will not be too far off being applied. For now, the yards have all been cleaned out and the slurry tanker has been serviced and is ready for a busy season. The crops seem to have fared well in this rather wet and sporadically cold winter. We look forward to starting silage making at the end of April if the weather is kind to us. 

I was reading with interest the other night an article that was explaining that the average daily temperature for 2022 was lower than in previous years. Scientists are now predicting a mini-ice age in 2030. 

Using the sun’s activity, solar researchers estimate that in the 2030s the movements of two waves of fluids will lead to a 60% reduction in solar activity. The decline in the northern hemisphere temperatures will be similar to the freezing conditions seen in western Europe during the late 17th century. During that time, now known as the “the little ice age”, the Thames froze over for several weeks, which it hasn’t done since. I am sure the debate will continue in our house for weeks over this prospect and whether or not it will occur.

I was sad to read that in the recent cold spell, when all his pipes were frozen, a farmer in South Wales had transported water to his suckler cows in an IBC that had contained AdBlu in a previous life. He had thoroughly rinsed the container before using, but found all his cows dead upon arrival the following morning. 

At first electrocution was suspected but it transpires that the slight residue that was left in the container was enough to cause the cattle to have a fit and die within an hour. This is tragic for all concerned and a stark warning to us all to be extra vigilant when reusing containers.