Robbie Newlands: 'High on my agenda is trying to do my Christmas shopping'


Apart from an occasional day of light rain, the last month has been great weather for November and the cattle and sheep have been very settled, laying around and enjoying an easy start to winter.


The cows are now onto their winter ration of swedes and straw and their calves all inside and onto the barley beef system. Although the weather has been fluctuating between frosty and mild temperatures, the atmosphere has been dry which has prevented those days where the cattle sheds get foggy and pneumonia is a fear.


Our tups are all out with the ewes and enjoying themselves, taking advantage of the settled spell and the late autumn grass which should keep the ewes going right through to the end of tupping at new year.


The lambs on the other hand are devouring our less than impressive crop of swedes. Diamond backed moths gave the swedes a hard time during summer, so we have put out feeders with draff to spin out the swedes. Those lambs which we have sold have come to decent money and hopefully as we head towards 2017 the seasonal lift in the lamb price will help to cover the extra feed costs.


Lesley, our tractor woman, has been ploughing and what a change to last year; the fields are turning over well and we are even getting poached stubbles where cows and calves were fed pre-weaning, tidied up.


High on my agenda for the coming weeks is trying to do my Christmas shopping. It is only one present which I need to buy but it will set the tone of how well I am looked after till well after Christmas.


I have learnt over the years things I would be happy with, such as tools, are not taken well by the lady of the house. A new food mixer or pans do not even hit the spot.


Then, the next dilemma is clothes. If I get something too big, it means I think she is putting on weight, or too small and I am sending a subtle message to go on a diet. So clothes are out. I do not think Kirsty really appreciates the effort and thought which goes into buying her something for Christmas. It usually takes till Christmas Eve before I make up my mind what to get her.


Good luck with your Christmas shopping. Wishing you all merry Christmas and happy New Year.

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