“It has been some time since I last updated my blog. There is no excuse apart from the fact that I have been working seven days a week and have not had the time to edit the videos I take on a daily basis as I go about my work.
In the time since the last blog we have run both the farm and water businesses plus attended court, lunch with our local MP, a meeting in London, investigated large scale solar panels, been interviewed by the paper, asked to be a school governor, started work on Godlingston Manor Kitchen Garden where we intend to sell home produced vegetables, attended carol services, Christian Aid, church committee and PCC meetings, Isabel’s piano exam, spoken at the launch of the Royal Agricultural College’s Grand Idea competition, bought a bull (a pedigree Aberdeen Angus) and very sadly had to sell half my cows when the National Trust joint venture fell through at the last minute. Christmas was fun with the purchase of a family present in the form of an Xbox! Needless to say I turned out to be singularly useless trying to control a racing car with two thumbs on the controller they provided. I therefore felt compelled to invest in a steering wheel and pedals so I could enjoy my part of the present!
However, I have now had a chance to compile several videos taken from these daily snapshots of our life here at Godlingston. Some of the dates have overlapped from previous videos but that probably comes from me doing the editing in the middle of the night!
Henry has, as always, been a part of our lives and, because there has been so much interest in him from local and national press and TV, I have compiled a short video showing his life from the early days until recently. Watch it on the link below.
Another departure from a straight video diary is a video that I made about cutting gorse. This was mainly for the benefit of a machinery dealer who supplied me with an Austrian hill climbing tractor and I wanted to show him what we were doing with a homemade gorse cutter. It may be of interest to some people!
As I mentioned, I have been asked to be a judge for the Royal Agricultural College’s Grand Idea competition. This is an annual competition for entrepreneurs within the student body. I feel greatly honoured to be asked and for those of you who wish to see more details click on the following link: thegrandidea.co.uk/Default.aspx?id=477252
The video, ‘Autumn 2010 at Godlingston Manor’, below speaks for itself. We had a major scare when one of our cows tested ‘inconclusive’ in what is now an annual TB test. The cow in question had to be segregated and then re-tested two months later. Luckily, she passed but it was a very tense time as had she failed she would have had to be slaughtered and the whole herd tested again. Some farmers have had this go on and on for months whilst having a ban on movements off the farm which can put them out of business.
The video ‘November 2010 Godlingston Manor Farm’ below saw Henry getting a virus, probably from introducing him to the main herd. We also did hedge and gorse cutting and various maintenance work amongst other things.
December was dominated by the weather. Things take twice as long when you have to defrost water troughs and feed animals hay. We ended up sending water to Scotland as the spring up there that supplies Aquaid was inaccessible. Even so I had to tow our lorries in and out of the plant. The sale of half the herd was a disaster, but was clearly my fault for assuming that the joint herd venture was going to go ahead.
Finally, I was having a chat with my eleven-year-old son George a while back, when he asked me if I would mind if he joined a rock band before becoming a farmer. Bang goes any hope of early retirement! Nevertheless he doesn’t make a bad sound for a child of his age so I thought, for a bit of fun, I would make him his first rock video compilation. At least I can become his agent! What do you think of the video below?"