With the children back at school after an amazing holiday, life would appear to have a little more routine, albeit for a short while. Late nights, early mornings and lunch on the run appeared to feature throughout the holidays.

The longer days and the lighter evenings are a blessing to us all. Alas, first cut silage will be upon us and ‘silly season’ is well on its way. Monty is now in the midst of his ‘A’ levels, and we wish him all the luck in the world. Fingers crossed he will be off to university in September.

Lambing has been and gone, thankfully. The weather was very unreliable and seemed to change from 2°C to 21°C in a matter of hours. Mis-mothering and Schmallenberg lambs seemed to be a common feature of this year’s lambing. Sock lambs galore and a few visits from “Mr Fox” – although, fingers crossed, his days are numbered. The price of lamb remains high and makes losses all the more frustrating.

Puppies are the order of the day around here, with both the red lab and the spaniel due any day now. A little more work, but so rewarding. A new four-legged friend arrived so Mr Teddy can enjoy hacking out with Zara. He has decided he will aim to be a professional ‘cowboy’ at a ranch in Arizona.

The baler and wrapper are serviced and ready to go go go. The grass is growing rather rapidly and a break in the weather is a welcome sight. The smell of freshly mown grass as the evening draws in is a smell that I love. All hands on deck to start gathering in the harvest for 2024. The maize will hopefully all be in the ground by the time you read this.

Mr Grumpy has been somewhat temperamental of late with our impending milk supplies inspection due any moment now. The compliance rules and regulations seem to change by the month and the standards are getting harder and harder to adhere to.

It never rains but it pours with inspections around here. Firstly, crop assurance, followed by dairy assurance and then Red Tractor. If they all got together and combined as one assurance, it would certainly save a fortune in lost working hours. They would also dramatically improve their carbon footprint. One clipboard coming down the drive instead of three is somewhat appealing. In an ideal world all inspections would take place in quiet periods, but as yet I am unable to convince myself as to when a quiet period starts or ends.

We have a lot to be thankful for in the South East; the weather appears to have been kinder to us than to many farmers in the rest of the country. Lots of fields remain bare, with no winter or spring crops having been drilled, and land remains flooded in many areas. Farmers have been running out of forage and straw and at the moment little change in the weather seems to be on the cards.

The event season has started with a bang, with Zara finishing third in the BE100 at Larkhill in 50mph gale force winds and achieving a great result at Oxstalls with her six-year-old completing his first BE100. So many events have been cancelled because of the weather that travelling three to four hours has become the norm. Hopefully the season carries on as it has started for her. At least we get to survey the land in the rest of the UK.

Until next time, stay safe and keep well.