26 December 2012

Christmas is very tiring.

After lots of present opening and keeping an eye on the Christmas dinner Tess put her feet up and took a nap on the couch.
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24 December 2012


While shepherds watched their flocks by night
All seated on the ground,
The Angel of the Lord came down,
And Glory shone around.

The Union of Shepherds has complained that it breaches Health & Safety Regulations to insist the shepherds watch their flocks without appropriate seating arrangements being provided.
Therefore, benches, stools and orthopedic chairs must be available. Shepherds have also requested that, due to inclement weather they should watch their flocks via CCTV cameras behind centrally heated shepherd observation huts.
The Angel of the Lord is reminded that before shining his / her Glory all around, the shepherds must be issued with glasses capable of filtering out any harmful effects of UVA, UVB and Glory lighting.

23 December 2012

Tess's First Holiday.

A short while ago the dogs went on a long weekend break to North Yorkshire and took their housekeeping staff with them which meant Vicki and I also got a long weekend but notice that I omit the break! This was the first time that Tess had been away on holiday and after all the trouble we've had with her travelling problems it was a bit of a worry as to whether everything would go okay. Thankfully though all our patience and hard work had paid off and she was a model holiday maker, I think she is going to grow up to make a fine and enthusiastic tourist. There were times when she got a bit restless but  guess that's to be expected of a young Border Collie. Anyway here are a few pictures that I took of her.

Watching the big train huff and puff its way along the track.
Praying that someone will throw that sticky.
I'm a model dog on holiday.
Posing at the Kilburn White Horse
Right - that's it, I've sat still long enough.

14 December 2012

A Frosty Morning.

The plants are the same, they just got painted a drifferent colour in the night. The plants in Winter can be just as interesting to the eye as they are in the Summer.
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13 December 2012

Checking The Sheep.

Checking in on the sheep on this cold Winters morning.
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18 November 2012

US Grand Prix

This weekend I'm enjoying the grand prix from the USA. Its being run on a brand new track which is always good for generating extra excitement. Also this race is the first one from the USA for a number of years which is also something most people who follow the sport are pleased about. The USA have a great motor sport heritage so it seems only right that they have the chance to put on a show on for the world to see.

22 October 2012

A Wet Autumn Day.

It's not really raining today but it may as well be because the persistent drizzle is just as wetting and miserable as any rain.

I've spent most of the day either potting up plants or tidying away things in the potting shed. Such things as barrels and other containers have been gathering there since being brought in from there summer homes. Slowly but surely they are being found new homes for the winter.

Also today I went to the estate office and booked my Christmas break and also a long weekend break in a couple of weeks time. We aren't going far away as we are taking Tommy and Tess. This will be her first holiday so with her past travel woes in mind we are keeping everything crossed for a pleasant trip. No one can say for sure but this could be Tom's last holiday. On account of his joints he is finding it more difficult all the time to do things so I expect there will come a time when he will find prolonged car travel to much. Not that he is put off by his problems, he is still first in line when the car keys come out so it's definitely not a case of anyone making him take to the road.

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15 October 2012

Today I made a start on filling this years leaf ring. I will fill two of these rings throughout the Autumn. You may think when looking at the picture that it already looks pretty full but what you see there will shrink to nothing within a short time. Also if I need to I will get in and trample the leaves down. As the bottom of the pile settles I also pull the ring up so by the time I'm finished the pile will be twice the height it is now.

Next to this years ring you will be able to see the darker colours of last years pile. There was originally two rings full but over last winter and summer the amount has reduced to such an extent that the rotted leaves will now easily fit in to one ring and will reduce by as much as half over the coming winter months by which time I hope they will be ready for using on the garden as a soil improver.

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13 October 2012

Big Sticky

Believe it or not this stick is just the right size for a Border Collie to play with - according to Tess.

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-- Sent from my HP Pre3

29 September 2012

The final leg.

Today is the final day of our holiday. The time seems to have gone quickly but I have lots more memories than when I started a week ago. Today we travel through France to the ferry at Calais and then follows the worst part of all, the six hour drive home through the UK. It will be the early hours of Sunday morning before we arrive home. The best part will be seeing the dogs again.

28 September 2012

Homeward Bound.

After a wonderful day in Venice yesterday we now find ourselves homeward bound. Today we travel back through Switzerland and into France where we will spend the night. Yesterday was amazing, half a day was nowhere near long enough for a place like Venice. I think one spend days exploring the narrow alleys and the wonderful historic buildings. I'm starting to get worried that I'm turning in to a townie because apart from Venice we visited Paris a few weeks ago and I loved it there too and then there is Valletta in Malta that we visited a few years ago. I took plenty of pictures which I will post when I return.

27 September 2012


Yesterday we took a trip across Lake Garda to Tolli. This is a well worth place to visit. There is some historical interest, nice shops and places to eat, most of which face out onto the lake. The trip was all the more enjoyable when the sun came out shortly after leaving the hotel. Today we are on our way to Venice which has meant an early start as it's quite a way from our hotel. I will take some pictures to post when I get home.

26 September 2012

A Day To Please Ourselves.

Today our driver has a day off so we are left to amuse ourselves. Unfortunately the weather has taken a turn for the worse so at the moment we are just waiting to see if the rain clears a bit before heading out on foot to see what there is to keep us amused.

25 September 2012

Back From Verona.

We have just returned from Verona after a very interesting sight seeing tour. There are lots of interesting things to see, far more than you can see in one day. The weather has been great, hot and sunny all day so it was a good excuse to try some Italian ice cream. After dinner were are taking a moonlight cruise to Garda which is across the lake from where we are staying.

Dolomite Mountains.

Yesterday we went for a drive to the Italian Dolomites. It was a nice drive up through the various villages with some magnificent view of both the valleys and peaks. The road eventually came to an end at 2500 meters with clouds coming and going on the chilled wind. There was a cable car ride to the top of the mountain but they warned us that because of the wind they might stop the car running at any moment which would have left us with a lengthy walk back down to the coach so we didn't dare risk it as no one was equipped for a high mountain trek. So instead we had a light lunch and checked out some of the gift shops. Today we are going to Verona which I know little about except that it has some connection to William Shakespeare.

23 September 2012

Switzerland and Italy

Having traveled through the UK and France on Saturday today we are going to be traveling through Switzerland to Lake Garda in Italy which is where we will be staying until Friday morning. It has been a long journey but when viewed as an adventure is a worthwhile one.

6 August 2012

Busy Week.

This week is going to be a busy week in the garden as I have one of the hardest and most difficult jobs of the year to do - trimming the two big hedges in the memorial gardens. Lots of climbing up and down the tower with the hedge cutter getting heavier and heavier not to mention all the bits of conifer down the shirt and in other unmentionable places but it's got to be done so best do it with a happy heart. I will try to remember to take a picture later. I also have someone coming to repair and service my tractor and as usual there is all the grass to cut.

Thank you for the comments on our own garden although I can't take any credit for the way it looks as it's mostly Vicki's work apart from the hedge cutting and lawn mowing. It may seem strange but I have no enthusiasm when it comes to working in my own garden.

Captain Shagrat asked if the cottage is ours. Well it belongs to the estate and we get to live here as part payment  for the work I do. Other properties like this on the estate rent out for around £650 a month so I see it as been worth slightly more to me as they also pay some of the other utility charges that go with the property. Of course the true value is much more because if I even lose my job here we will be both jobless and homeless. We do have our own property but without a job we wouldn't be able to afford to live in it so I'm just going to have to be a good boy and also hope people keep coming to shoot the birds and the farmer keeps on growing good crops so as to pay for my upkeep.

5 August 2012

Feeding The Pigs On Churn Estates.

In a previous post I showed how to feed the sheep on Churn Estates map so this time I'm going to show how to feed the pigs. There is a little more to this job as you need to mill the barley and feed that as well as pellets. So as you will see from the video the first job is to load up the mill at the pig farm with barley. You can either harvest this or when you first start the game there is a small supply at the arable farm which they don't mind you having - just don't fill your tractor with diesel while you're there! This is where I start the video.

After tipping your load at the pig farm walk over to the mill and press the 'R' key on your computer keyboard and in around 20 seconds the barley will be ready for feeding. Drive under the milled barley silo and when you get the sign in the bottom right corner press 'R' to load the feeder on the front of the loader tractor.

You then drive in to the pigs field and go to the yellow feed trough and when you are over the trough with the feeder you will get the TIP sign in the bottom right corner so you then press 'Q' on your keyboard to empty the feeder in to the trough.

When this is done go back to the yard and fill the feeder from the next silo which will have pellets in it, these are the same pellets I used to feed the sheep with. Then do the same with these as you did with the barley except you put the pellets in the brown trough. Once this is done return to the yard and pick up the water tanker and reverse up to the blue tank, when you get close enough the water tanker will automatically fill with water. You then take this to the pigs field, reverse up to the blue trough and when you get the tip sign press 'Q' and the trough should fill with water. All that remains now is to return to the yard closing the gates behind you, although strictly speaking you aren't done yet as there is another paddock and a barn with more pigs that are hungry for food and water. 

4 August 2012

The Garden (August).

Here is this months picture of the garden plus the previous ones.








31 July 2012

Feeding Sheep On Churn Estates.

Today I am going to show you the feeding process on the Churn Estates farm. This particular video shows me feeding sheep out on the hill. Feeding the pigs back at the farm is similar except they have to have Barley and pellets where as the sheep just need pellets and both need water of course. For feeding you need the hopper for the front loader on the tractor, I think there is a version for a telehandler too if you prefer, the one I have came with the farm. I filled the hopper with pellets from the pig farm but there is a sheep yard close to the sheep field which also has a pellet silo. The water tanker is part of a pack from the LS-UK Modteam, (Download Here) you can fill it from the tank at the pig farm as I did or you can also reverse in to a water supply like a pond for example. To empty in to the water troughs just press the 'Q' as with most other unloading tasks. You may notice there is a feeder in the field with the sheep, later in the year this can be used for feeding your bales of hay or whatever you choose to feed.

Anyway I hope you enjoy the video and maybe find it useful and if you want to ask anything just leave me a comment and I will get back to you.

28 July 2012

Tippy's Top Tip (Rounding up the walls).

As today is the second anniversary of Tippy's passing.

I am going to remember her with another of 'Tippy's Top Tips' which used to be a feature of my blogs. This tip I think is both interesting and useful. 

Below are two pictures taken of two separate Tayberry plants, the pictures were taken within a couple of minutes of each other (the time it took to walk from one to the other). The difference between the two plants being that one is grown against a north facing wall and the other against an east facing wall. The north facing wall gets very little direct sunlight. In the summer it may get a little at each end of the day, in the winter none at all. The east facing wall gets full sun all morning but none in the afternoon. By looking closely at the pictures it's easy to see what difference this makes to the plants, the one on the east facing wall is in advance of the other by at least three weeks.

North Facing Wall

East Facing Wall

The growth difference of the two walls can be put to use in both providing the right growing environment for different plants, for instance you would have a hard time getting peaches from a north facing wall but a south facing wall would suit them well. In this instance I am using the two different walls to increase the length of the cropping season which it more or less doubles. This will work with many plants, but not all because some like sun and even more sun whereas others are not do fussy.

25 July 2012

Dig the lawn.

Today didn't start very well. First job as usual was to go and check the sheep and there I discovered a dead lamb. I called the farmer who came and took it away.

After this I went to my work in the garden and there found the dogs digging up the lawn. A right old mess they made of it too.

So I go to work expecting to get plenty of weeding done and find I have all this stuff to sort out first.

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Churn Estates

For some time now I have been playing on a map called Churn Farm, this is the map that I judge other maps by and until today there have been none to better it, at least not as far as my personal preferences go. That was until this morning when on eating breakfast I was checking out the latest news on the LS-UK forum and joy of joy there was a new map entitled Churn Estates. I'm not sure if it's made by the same person who made Churn Farm, if it is they have changed their name but it is of the same high quality and in the same style so one has to assume that the same person who made Churn Farm had a hand in making Churn Estates, if not then it's a good copy and a great improvement.

There was always lots to do on Churn Farm what with harvesting, feeding and milk production, there is even more to do on Churn Estates. There are pigs to feed, apples to harvest and sheep to clip just to name a few of the new jobs. The lay out of the maps is also interesting and varied although I haven't had time to check it all out yet. I played Churn Farm for weeks and there were still some land I never went on let alone harvested so there is always plenty to be done on these style of maps.

Anyway here is the link if you want to try it for yourself: Churn Estates

There was one little problem I had when I first installed the map and that was when I went to play no matter whichever way I tried to unpack the folder it kept on saying that the Map Fruit Change Trigger was missing. In the end I had to go to this page Map Fruit Change Trigger and download it. Then it was just a matter of putting it in my mod folder the same way as you do any other mod and everything work fine after that. If you have any trouble just drop me a line, I'm not an expert but I will try and help if I can.

24 July 2012

Hottest day of the year.

Today has been the hottest day of the year in the garden. So I've been cracking on with some weeding at long last, its been pretty hot work though. The head gardener on the other hand has managed to find a way to keep his cool once again proving my point that dogs are smarter than humans.

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Yesterday the farmer finally managed to get the sheep clipped. This is usually a job done in June but with the way the weather has been they've only just managed to get round to it. I'm sure that with warm sunshine forecast for the next few days the sheep will be glad to get rid of their coats.

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23 July 2012

The Secret Path.

Today I've been opening up the secret path in the village. It had become overgrown with Ivy and self set trees and was therefore virtually impassable. So my task for today was to open it out so people can now pass from the top of the village to the bottom without having to go round the road.

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Pottinger Euro Top

I was recently asked what liner I was using in the hay making post. Well it's a Pottinger Euro Top and can be found here: http://www.ls-uk.info/downloads/33/23331

I will be honest that I have stopped using it because for some reason it misses quite a lot of material, you will see what I mean by looking at the two pictures below.

The rows in the bottom two thirds of the picture were made by the Pottinger and you can see the misses, the rows in the top of the picture was made by a different liner and are cleanly raked.

I haven't posted on here lately but I've been quite busy on Churn Farm and I have also start trialing a German farm called Herlefeld V2: http://youtu.be/uKmpcfne-SA

18 July 2012

Inspired by the sunshine.

Its the first time in months that I've actually felt inspired to do any gardening. Life is much better when the sun is shining.

I am busy giving the long Dahlia border a much over due weeding.

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12 July 2012

Enjoying The Sunshine.

Today me and the head gardener are enjoying some sunshine, hopefully it will dry out our bones a little.

As its a dry day I'm busy trying to get some weeding done even though soil is still not in the best of conditions.

-- Sent from my HP Pre3

10 July 2012

Nice Drop Of Rain.

July is living up to its reputation of being one of the wettest moths of the year with another 5mm of rain yesterday and a wet start to thise day. We're already up to 80mm for the moth and its not half way through yet. 

-- Sent from my HP Pre3

8 July 2012

British Grand Prix

Today is the British Grand Prix and if it's anything like qualifying yesterday it promises to be a great race. At the moment the weather looks bright and sunny but things can soon change and if it does then the fun should really start....

....Well that's that over with, unfortunately it wasn't the result I hoped for, I really can't get excited about a Redbull win. I was hoping for another with by Fernando Alonzo but unfortunately his tyres didn't hold out long enough and he lost the lead with just a few laps to go. I guess second isn't to bad. Of course it would have been nice to see one of the British guys to win but the car just isn't working at the moment.

7 July 2012

a day out

Today Vicki has had the day off work so we have taken Tommy for a car ride. We have seen lots of water, had a paddle and a picnic. Then we went to the garden centre were we had an ice cream and bought a head stone for Tippy's grave. Now we are visiting grandma and granddad who have lots of treats for us.

27 June 2012

Young Mulberry Fruit.

Today I am work  close by one of the Mulberry trees and I'm pleased to see that they at least don't seem to have been affected by the weather as there promises to be much fruit.

Because of all the rain we've been having most of my time  lately seems to have been taken up by grass cutting of one sort or another so its good to have this extended period of dry weather although having said that it was drizzling when I took the dogs out this morning so I wouldn't say the weather has entered a settled period.

I have Tom with me today, I only bring him out to the garden if the weather is fine and warm on account of his joints, it wouldn't do him good to lie around on cold wet ground.

Well must go and make the most of what is left of the day.

-- Sent from my HP Pre3

20 June 2012

Krone BigM.

Tonight I've been cutting grass for more hay. For grass cutting I use this Krone self propelled grass cutter. It works well without any problems. It doesn't kill the grass as some mowers can do. You can either leave the grass spread out or in a row ready to be picked up with the forage wagon of forage harvester.

The Krone BigM can be downloaded HERE

Krone cutter in action on Churn Farm.
All finished and ready to go home.

18 June 2012

Pictures By Bandicam.

Tonight I've been working on Churn Farm making some hay. I cut the grass last week and went though it with the tedder  at the weekend but wasn't able to get back to it yesterday. Below are some pictures of tonight's work.

I would like to thank Tyler Wilson for his comment and for being the first follower of this blog. He made a comment about the picture I posted so I will just take the opportunity to tell you the name of the software I use to record both the video and images from the game. It's called Bandicam and can be found HERE. You can use it for free but with limitations. I think the length of the recording is limited to 10 minutes and the Bandican name is always present in any recording you make. Or if you want you can remove these restrictions for a small cost.

17 June 2012

Oakwood Farm.

This weekend, having got fed up of doing battle with Springhill Farm I downloaded Oakwood Farm V2 which is made by  Chris_7710 one of my favourite map makers. I don't intend it to take the place of Churn Farm, I'm just checking it out at the moment, although I am enjoying Oakwood Farm so who knows. I will post some pictures of Oakwood Farm shortly. The first job was to make some silage to feed the cows.

Silage Making.

From what I can see all the fields are planted with crops of Wheat, Barley, Canola, Corn and grass. There is one field of outlying sheep close to the farm so I will be able to make use of the cattle feeders. There are also some cattle in the sheds although I haven't gone in to what can be done with those yet.

I will leave you with a plan of Churn Farm, I'm only working fields from 1 to 21. I could work the whole map but I don't really have the time so am just sticking to the top right of the map.

14 June 2012

New Drill.

Tonight I finished off the seeding project that I mentioned in a previous post. I've rearranged some crops so that the grass is altogether in one area of the farm. Because I work the farm on my own it's easier if I can move from one field to the next instead of having to transport three or four lots of equipment across the farm. Anyway I got it all done tonight so I think the next big project is to make some hay. Below is a short video I made tonight when finishing off the drilling, it isn't to demonstrate anything in particular but as you will see I have a new seed drill, it one is an Amazon. It works well and sows a wide variety of seed. The only difference I can detect between this one and the old drill is the colour

Apart from the drilling I have also been doing some work on Springhill Farm which is another of the farms I like to work on. It's a good farm but I don't like it as much as Churn Farm. It gives the appearance of being a small farm but there are many small fields which take a lot of getting round due to the tight layout of the map so you tend to put in a lot of time and hard work yet don't achieve so much. I'm actually playing it as a bit of a theme farm in that I am trying to use machinery from a past time, although I'm not absolutely religious about sticking to a certain period as it's not always easy to find the machinery to do the job so I have to take something a bit more modern. Like for instance I was trying to use the small bales produced by a conventional baler. The only balers I could find weren't that inspiring to use and then I ran in to problems handling the bales so I've gone down a more modern route as far as baling goes.

9 June 2012

Rearranging some crops.

These past couple of days I've been doing some seeding at Churn Farm, I'm re-arranging some crops to make things more convenient. I'm trying to get the grass fields grouped around the farm to make them handy for the silage clamps.

As you will see from the pictures below I use one of the standard seeders which works well and covers quite a lot of ground although some of the seeds that it will sow is unrealistic, like for instance potatoes but I mainly use it for Barley, Wheat, Canola and Corn. The tractor I use on this machine is my Ford TW25 which is a tractor I enjoy using. It's a pretty basic model but I like the sound and look of it and it works without any problems.

Also I've been working on Springfield Farm which is a small estate farm, with narrow winding roads and small fields. I've had a little go on it before when I was looking for a main farm but found it lacking in what I wanted but now I have Churn Farm I thought I would have another look at it just for fun and the challenge of the tight layout and learning a new farm.

-- Sent from my HP Pre3

Flower Borders.

The flower borders at Newby Hall.
For more information click [HERE]

-- Sent from my HP Pre3

Nweby Hall.

-- Sent from my HP Pre3

Day out at Newby Hall.

Today we are having a day out at Newby Hall. We have come to see the gardens but there is a vintage tractor show, somehow Vicki didn't seem to notice and walked straight past them al - a trip to the opticians seems in order!

-- Sent from my HP Pre3

7 June 2012

Knerveland CLC Pro cultivator.

I haven't posted anything on here for a while, mainly because I've been busy getting a new farm established. I guess that might sound a bit of a daft thing to do considering all the time I spent setting up the last one but the thing is I'm always checking out new farms in search of the one that suits me the best. I didn't really fall out with my last farm, in fact I liked it but then I came upon what was supposed to be a new improved version so I just had to go with that one which meant losing the one that I was working on which would have been fine if the new version really was better than the old one which it turned out not to be, or at least it didn't suit me. Then one day I came across 'Churn Farm' which I really like and have now spent a lot of time building it up. Of course I can't help myself looking so I keep inspecting new farms as they come out but so far I've not been tempted away. Although funnily enough I do keep getting the urge to dabble with 'East Peak Farms' which is a bit surprising in a way because its a simple farm which is lacking in some quarters like for instance the crop rows are poorly detailed and the regrowth times are way to fast but there is something about it that makes me keep it was one of my saved games.

Anyway the real purpose of this post is to give a little demo of the Knerveland CLC Pro cultivator. I will just do a round of the field which may become a little tedious but at the end I will give you a close up look. As you can see this cultivator will rip turf therefore avoiding ploughing. I get the impression it might be a little heavy so a good tractor is advisable. Whilst it works well and looks okay with quite good detail I won't be using it on my farm simply because it's too small only being as wide as the tractor - I would be going round and round in circles all day in some of my fields but I would have no hesitation about running it on a small farm such as Higher Hills Farm, especially as the cost is only 630. So a good starter cultivator for smaller fields and when the cash is in short supply.

5 June 2012

The Garden (June).

Here is this months picture of the garden plus the previous ones.