Monday, 28 May 2012

Glorious weather!

Well, here I am at the cheese plant.  Can't even get a mobile signal up here today but I can get a stonking 3G mobile broadband connection.  Hurrah!

So what a glorious sunny weekend for all our events and markets!  Wimbledon market was wonderful as usual though it did entail getting up at a ridiculously early hour.  As I have no Francesca any more, I am feeding all the babies and big boys while David concentrates on the milking.  I had to have all my babies finished and the van loaded by 6.30am in order to get away to market on time.  It takes about 3 hours to feed everyone in the morning .. so you can work out the rest for yourself!!! Yawn ....

There were some extra plant stalls at Wimbledon this week which made for a great display in the sunshine.  And my friends at Sorbitium Ices were doing an absolutely roaring trade with their delicious ice creams.  GeeGee Parrot's Mama came to visit as usual so we enjoyed an ice cream together in the shade.  Very pleasant, I can tell you.  How that woman manages to look so damn elegant all the time beats me!  Come wind, rain or belting sunshine, she always looks so lovely. 

Here's a few shots of the market stalls on Saturday:

Ellie's Dairy with Perry Court fruit and veg behind


Some of the plant stalls

Farmhouse cheddar & butter and Isle of Wight tomatoes

Over the weekend, the remaining mums returned to the main herd and so I have lots and lots of babies to feed now, although the older group are now starting to get weaned.  All the new tinies are doing really well and have taken to their bottles and teats very quickly.  They always look so grown up when you first move them from bottle feeding on your lap to feeding at the bottle rack or on the teats:


I am still feeding the two Nubian boys on bottles as well, as they will be going to a new home at the Museum of Kent Life in a couple of weeks.  As they will be bottle fed there it is better for them to keep going on bottles rather than confuse them with moving onto teats and then back onto bottles.  The little girl will be staying with us - I have to think of a nice exotic Nubian-type name for her, so any suggestions will be gratefully received! 

Mum Johari often likes to watch and check that we are feeding her babies properly:


As you approach the barn first thing in the morning, everything is so quiet and peaceful.  Then you get spotted by one of the milkers (usually Peaches or Winky) and they let out a bleat to let everyone else know that a human is approaching.  Then as soon as you walk into the barn, you are greeted by lots of babies jumping up and running over ready for their breakfast.  The noise of 150 small bleating, shouting goaties has to be experienced to be believed ... David fills up his food trough and beats a hasty retreat to the quiet of the milking parlour, leaving me to deal with all the little people!

Here are some of them waiting (not so) patiently for their feed:

And where on earth did you get those ears??!

Finally for today, a short video of Saffron with her two little chaps taken last week.  Saffron was having a well-deserved lie down, but babies decided that they wanted her to stand up (presumably so that they could feed).  This is the technique for getting mum up on her feet: 

So, what does this week hold?  More sunshine, I think, a trip to leafy Sussex to our wholesaler (so that's bound to be a wet day, given my usual luck) and lots of goats and cheese.  The coming Bank Holiday weekend should be interesting as I have to get to Parson's Green on Sunday and there are a lot of road and bridge closures because of the Jubilee.  Could be a looooonnnnnngggg journey home on Sunday afternoon!

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