Sunday, 29 June 2008

Here there and everywhere

We have been here there and everywhere over the past couple of weeks.
We visited the Highland show in Ingliston near Edinburgh a week last Thursday.
We like to go down on a Thursday as that is when all of the judging of the animals takes place.
There was some splendid examples of all breeds of animals on show.
We switched between the commercial cattle and the sheep judging, as the both were being judged at the same time.
Fortunately we did not have to walk far between show rings.
The winners were:
Commercial cattle
Supreme Champion cross Bullock Silver Lining.

Supreme Champion Black face Gimmer from Milnmark Corsack

Supreme Champion Hill Cheviot from Hownam Grange Kelso

Show supreme Champion Charolais Cow Dunesk Unesta from Brechin.

Congratulations to all the winners and well done to all of you who took part.
Without you all, these show would not exist and the public would not see the amount of work that goes into turning these beautiful animals into fine examples of their breed.
We wandered around the cattle stalls to have a closer look at the exhibits.
There was a very large turn out, but it was pointed out that there was a little less than last year.
Could this be something to do with the cost of fuel?
It was a wonderful day out, the weather was not to bad maybe a little cold in the later part of the day.
We also had a wander around the machinery stalls, well some of the tractors on show would not get through our gate never mind down our road, even if we did manage to get a tractor that big down here we would sink it on our peaty land, these machines are for the big boys not the likes of us, a little grey furgie is more suited to us ; )
Well the show was a great diversion for the day, but we have things to do at home, so back to the grind I am afraid.
We had to repair an old bridge this weekend that had fallen apart later last year.
It has been across the main burn for over thirty years, it is made from old railway sleepers and one of the main sleepers holding it up broke into.
So we had to dismantle it all and rebuild it again.
The cattle being cattle have followed the same path year after year, instead of coming up on our side of the burn they come up on the opposite side, which means they stand on the opposite side mowing and calling because they cannot cross the burn.
So we had to go let them in through the top field which belongs to our neighbours.
Who said cows are bright, not always they are not.
Anyway we decided to bite the bullet and repair the old bridge.
We had a couple of Green heart sleepers which were discarded by the railway a couple of years ago, so we used them as the main supports for the bridge.
Green heart wood is extremely hard and strong, so hard that it cannot be worked with standard tools.
Being extremely durable in marine conditions, Green heart is used extensively in the building of docks and in similar applications and was an early choice for fly fishing rods.
Anyway it took most of the day to rebuild the bridge as you can imaging we were working above the burn which is about six foot deep, luckily the water was only a foot deep at the time as the weather has been rather dry.
But as there is only the two of us it was hard work dragging these 8ft wooden sleepers up a bank and across the supporting sleepers.
We managed to get it finished last night just before the heavens opened thank goodness.
Now lets hope the cows have common sense to use it : )

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