Friday, 6 November 2009

Times they are a changin'

Those of you who read my blog regularly, will know that I keep my livestock on land, first rented and then owned by my husband's family for the past 100 years. The land backs onto a terrace of houses, two of which are owned by the family. One belonged to my late in laws (now us) who bought it on their marriage in 1955. The other was bought over 90 years ago by my husband's grandfather. It is now owned by one of his sons, who was born there nearly 82 years ago. Owned, for now, in a few weeks time, if the sale goes through, it will belong to someone outside of the family. Great news for my Uncle ( in law) but very strange for all of us.

Even though he is only moving a couple of houses away, I will miss seeing him pottering around in his shed- at this time of year busily making the cider, which amongst many other things he is well known for.

I have come to rely on him to keep a check on my animals for me during the day and I value his wealth of experience.
Three years ago, when I first started to use the land, things were different. I had to earn his respect. I'm sure he thought I was 'playing ' at having a few pets, that I was fussy over their care and that I would never eat them !! Gradually, although he would never admit it, I think he recognised that I did know a little about what I was doing, that if animals are well cared for, kept clean and moved around the land regularly they stay healthy and if handled often in a quiet manner it pays dividends in the long term.
We now respect each other, he knows far more than I could ever learn. However he still has trouble taking on board the new rules and regulations, especially on feeding, but accepts that I have to stick to the rules.
Between us I think we do OK and bricking up the gate way between his garden and land the livestock are on is going to be quite symbolic.....the end of an era.

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