The rain came down.
It poured all day; leaving the fields sodden, the crops flattened in the fields; the animals, miserable – either huddling for shelter beneath hedges & trees or grumpy at being kept indoors as the wind whipped up sheets of wild, white water; spattering against windows, hammering against walls & gusting squally showers through the crack-open stable doorways. To be honest you’d be hard-pushed to believe it was a summers’ day as indeed it was so cold & inhospitable that it felt more like early November; & only the dark green of the fretful woods dispelled that autumnal myth.
In spite of the turbulent weekend weather, the workforce for the Dairy Complex were stoically unperturbed: the engine’s boom as the excavator fired up; the sounds of hammering & sawing filling the air; & Steve setting to work on the pump & electrical systems in the milking parlour.
By the end of the day the ceiling & walls of the Bulk Tank Room had been almost completely cladded in hygeinic panelling; the vacuum pump system was partially installed both inside & out & the heavy, 500-litre bulk milk tank had been carefully manoeuvred into place. We celebrated with tea & biscuits as the wind howled its sodden, stormy protest, outside; I can’t wait for the day when the goats can pack their furry suitcases & move in at long last. As soon as the new season straw & the second Galebreaker door arrive we’ll be able to transfer them across as the gate system should be installed, early next week. But the new building is so lovely, light & airy; cool in summer yet being made of wood, warm in winter; & so snugly weatherproof, that every day we have to house the girls in their existing accommodation – invaluable though it’s proved – is a frustration.
I was delighted to have a visit from a friend who until recently kept her own commercial herd of goats; however an exciting move to pastures new in Canada next year has prompted the sad sale of their girls. Thankfully however she is keen to keep up her caprine contact until she leaves & so thankfully, will be coming to help out here whenever we’re short-handed (which it all-too-often feels, we already are!). She is most welcome; & it’s such a relief to be able to entrust the care of our precious ladies to someone so knowledgeable, competent – & such great company.
And so in spite of the gloomy weather & even gloomier forecast for next week (no haymaking in prospect, alas), the pieces of the jigsaw continue to slowly but surely, fit together at last….