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Make hay in Majorca while the rain falls
WHAT do you do when you cannot get on to make hay because the ground is too wet to travel and there has not been a forecast for any decent length of dry weather since you made silage, and even then it rained?
There is no sign of harvest because the corn has not ripened and there has been no sunshine and only rain.
The lambs that were ready for market have gone and it will be a week or two before the next lot look fit and the same situation for the bulls.
Well I will tell you what. When a friend suggests you might like to use their villa on a golf course, plus pool, because they are off on a cruise; you bite their hand off, thank them profusely and get on the internet to book the next flight out there.
So here we are, just back from the beach and John is not yet in a flat state of panic to get home because it is still raining in England and it is hot and dry out here in Majorca. Or to use its correct name, Mallorca.
I came here expecting to see an economy laid low by recession, weak euro, empty restaurants and shops.
But everyone looks very prosperous.
Hundreds of yachts and motor cruisers are tied up in the ports.
Designer boutiques everywhere. It is a different world to home. True, we are in quite an exclusive area.
We left the several hen and stag parties who travelled with us on the plane behind at the airport. Most were wearing very suggestively printed t-shirts indicating that until wedding vows were exchanged they anticipated a very good time.
But John cannot forget the farm, although he has every confidence in his brother to look after the livestock and keep an eye on the arable crops. Reliable house sitters mind the farmhouse and dogs.
I know that as soon as we drive back into the yard, the slothful creature currently surfing the Sky TV stations for golf, motor racing, fishing programmes and the Olympics will be straight into his overalls and then his Land Rover to check on the cattle, sheep and crops.
And he won’t stop working from daylight to dusk for at least the next three months.
There will be a mountain of paperwork.
Tax demands. VAT returns.
Documentation about livestock, crops, chemicals, invoices, fuel and utility bills. But above all, with land as strong as ours, harvest and farming generally is going to be a struggle.
Despite all the new drainage work we have done the ground is waterlogged.
Primarily the cropping plan for next year may have to be changed once John starts ploughing into stubbles, assuming that harvest happens within a decent timescale for drilling winter corn. It will have to wait for spring and let the land lie fallow and dry up over winter.
The trouble with holidays is it gives you too much time to think.