A July update

I should have known that putting “posts every Friday” on the top of the page would jinx my blogging. The last couple of weeks I’ve been incredibly busy and although I started a few posts, I never managed to finish them. So here’s a quick update on some of the animal- and countryside-related things I’ve been up to.

At the end of May two old friends and I visited Rockingham Horse Trials in Corby. I’ve never watched eventing before so the cross country was especially exciting to see! We took lots of photos and admired the fences some of which were very extravagant, for example the old Ford tractor which I appreciated because my grandad worked for them for most of his life. There was also a water jump adorned with two JCBs which was very impressive.

In June I paid a visit to Cheryl, Charlie and Chloe on the farm where I was lambing in the spring. It was so lovely to see them again and catch up as well as seeing some of the lambs a few months on! Here are Wilbur and Holly who were the first cade lambs I bottle fed. I think Charlie had to feed ten of them in the end and they got a bit rowdy as they gained strength!

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The village I grew up in holds an annual festival called Wakes week at the end of June. Apparently Wakes weeks became a tradition in Northern England during the industrial revolution but I’ve always believed the Kirk Ireton one to be a sort of holiday for the farming community. Throughout the week there are evening events such as darts, a quiz, music in the church and a fun run around the village. On the Saturday there is a procession with themed floats pulled by tractors and the Wakes Princesses. The girls at the local school all get a turn at being princesses and this year some of the boys actually declared and had a go too – I couldn’t walk in some of the heels the lads were wearing! After the procession there used to be activities all up and down the road but recently this has all been moved onto the school field. You can get cakes in the school, burgers and drinks in the marquee and watch the maypole and morris dancing, the tug-of-war, falconry demonstrations and the chicken racing.

I do think Wakes has gotten smaller in my lifetime which is a shame so two years ago when Tom and I were invited back to be on a float we got involved. This year the theme was “board games”… and here we are making right fools of ourselves in the name of keeping tradition alive:

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Going home has also yielded a quick rescue of four sheep who’d escaped onto the road at night…

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…finding a bird skeleton in good enough condition to look at and asking my mum to keep it somewhere safe for later study…

…and possibly the grossest discovery of my biological career, a decomposing mouse full of life! (Honestly this is really not for the faint hearted.)

Zozo, did you catch him and leave him behind the couch? Or was it Daisy?

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Work has been incredibly busy lately too. In April I moved roles and now look at issues with the sewer network. No-one will believe that it’s much better than it sounds and actually more interesting than my previous placements with the company! But to relate this back to animals, I did rescue this crow who’d got mixed up in a sewer issue last week. He didn’t seem able to fly at first but after being threatened with “wildlife rehabilitation” he recovered, bit me and flew off.

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I’ll leave you with a lovely photo of old lady Zozo enjoying the sun in my mum’s garden. See you next week when hopefully I will be back on track with my blog posts!

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