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In your field: Charles Bruce - 'You don’t realise how much you enjoy socialising at sales until you can’t go'

With spring happily just round the corner, we will be so glad to see the end of one of the wettest and coldest winter I can remember – and I am now 63 and as far as I am aware do not suffer from memory loss.

It has adversely affected the butchery part of our business as our first two farmers’ markets of this year on the first and second Saturdays of February were both cancelled.

 

The first was due to snow with more forecast, and the second was due to drifting snow between ourselves and Inverurie and, later in the day, the police closing the roads.

 

Many of the roads in Aberdeenshire have banks running alongside and many of these were filled to the top with snow blowing from the fields nearby.

 

The weather has settled in the first part of this week and allowed us to resume our ploughing.

 

With the end of the Covid-19 outbreak still seemingly out of reach it is very difficult to budget for the retail part of the business and not a whole lot easier for the other enterprises due to Brexit.

 

If I was a man who liked a wager, I would put a considerable sum on betting that we here in Scotland will come out of lockdown just in time for the Scottish Assembly elections in May, for which the SNP are heavy favourites.

 

I cannot understand why the BBC gives so much airtime to what is a party-political broadcast in the guise of a Covid-19 briefing and allows our First Minister a platform on an almost daily basis.


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I, like many others, just can’t wait until things get back to normal, or as near normal as possible, so people stop looking at each other with suspicion and terror in their eyes.

 

Sales at the marts seem to have gone quite well although, like everything else, it has involved a lot of extra work and commitment from all involved.

 

Pedigree sales have obviously been much more difficult due to the length of time the animals are normally in the mart and the huge social side of the pedigree world has essentially stopped.

 

With many like-minded farmers getting together in spring and autumn for pedigree sales, lifelong friendships are common between farmers from all parts of the UK and Ireland, even if we only meet up twice, or possibly three times a year if the Royal Highland Show is include.

 

It is perhaps surprising to some just how big a part the social aspect of these sales plays for many of the people attending and, until these gatherings aren’t there, you just don’t realise how much you miss them.

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