So the British always talk about the weather – but today’s was strange and wild.
I leave the house in heavy rain- kitted up for warmth and waterproofing as if for a moonlanding. By the time I park at the shed, it is dry again; but the wind is blowing, in fact it is howling, thrashing the trees, tugging at the building fabric.
During the morning the hail piles up against the door and melts as it slides down the long windows of the conservatory.
At lunch, after putting out a fresh bale of silage for the pregnant ladies in the calving paddock, I walk down to check up on Moira, who threatens to calve any time soon.The sky clears blue, but the wind still drives strong and cold with snow on it. The day feels energetic and strange like an autistic child.
And this is why the weather is today’s story.
The welfare of any calves born now is subject to the tyranny of this erratic cradling. After a long delay in the anticipated births, I live with imminence – the presence of something yet to happen.
The calculus of this changeable season changes utterly dependant on whether somewhere on the farm, or in more than one place, a mother has dropped a damp parcel of newness onto cold ground.
She will turn and lick furiously to help lift the lifesaving pelt-
-while a quivering spirit determines whether to struggle, endure or submit.