To the warm people,

It is at the moment snowing. It’s just not right. Everyone keeps saying that this is the worst winter they’ve ever had, and this summer’s not looking good either. Can any of you explain the POINT of global warming if it’s not even bloody working. Thank you for all your emails to, it really makes me feel happy to see that I have so many people who love me. Thank you especially to Andrea for your e-mail, it was so sweet, I miss you too, and I’m sorry for being a nong and coming back early. Your emails also served another purpose, because I felt so guilty for not writing, that I decided I needed to at least look like I was making an effort, so here it is.

What has happened in the meantime? I went to my godmother’s birthday “meet”, where my aunt Beatrice and I drove there and back through a blizzard with summer tyres. That wasn’t even the worst of it. On the way back we took a wrong turn and we ended up in this massive traffic jam, on account that it was Rush hour (everyone going home from work), and we ended up on this freeway, where we drove about sixty because it was snowing so hard. Anyway, we were a bit stressed because I had said I would be home to do the Stall, i.e. the cows. Well, I realised we would never make it, so I rang up and got the answering machine, where I reported I would be late. I figured that Tobias would do it, and they would figure it out before the cows starved to death, but my poor aunt, she was in hell. She just kept saying, oh those poor cows, oh those poor calves, oh Sarah I’m so sorry for taking that wrong turn. As it turns out, I was only half an hour late (we had to do a huge detour), and Tobias had already done the calves, so I was saved the stressful part of the stall. Actually, I think that most of you guys probably haven’t got the slightest clue what stall routine is, so I will describe tonight’s events:

16:50pm Give Freelauf stall Silo, try not to look at the ox who has had one of his horns ripped off and there’s blood and meat everywhere.

16:55pm Clean out leftover hay from the stall, and open feed gates. Give in Silo. Close feed gates, so that they’re locked in.

17:10pm Clear straw around ‘Mus’ and put calf No 18 to her. Then make calf swallow medicine, preferably while drinking. Do not touch rear end of calf because covered in diarrhoea. Clear straw around other cows. Release tail strings. Clean udders and teats. Take No 18 away from mother and put back in pen. Put away pitchfork, shovel and manure pusher.

17:30pm Let calves to the cows. Yell loudly for them to go to their proper places RIGHT NOW. (amazingly, this actually works). Get that little %&/+ No 16 to his mother (he’s the second youngest in the stall group, therefore not trained yet). Feed No 16 yogurt, while he’s drinking. Get everyone else sorted and get ‘Mus’ and ‘Gordula’ settled down so the calves can drink from them.

17:40pm Give more Silo to cows, put flour and hay out for the calves. Stop No 33 from drinking from ‘Nora’.

17:50pm Put the calves back out, starting with No’s 16 & 14, then who ever has finished.

17:55pm Put manure into wheelbarrow, wheel the wheelbarrow a hundred metres (through blizzard), push it up a rickety wood ramp and tip out. Repeat three more times.

18:15pm give flour to cows and tie up tails

18:20pm Give old stall hay to freilauf stall, then give new hay to stall cows. Clean up a bit. Give more hay to stall.

18:30pm Go in for dinner

19:15pm Go back out to stall. Give Vegetables. Spread straw around. Open feed gates.

19:30pm Go back into house and write another Travel Diaries edition.

21:15pm Go back to Stall and lock feed gates (so cows cant get in) clean away manure.

21:20pm Go to bed. (well actually, have a shower and fill hot water bottle
first, but you guys already knew that).

Sarah

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