June has been a reasonably ‘benign’ month, compared to the rest of the year. It has been mild, we’ve had some rain and some sunshine, everything is growing like mad so the animals are all fattening up nicely – in fact, some of us that aren’t even dependant on grass are fattening up nicely, too. Surprisingly, it is now the last week of June.

Has May been yet another month of extremes ? After the driest, coldest April ever we’ve now had the wettest, coldest May for years. We have over the years had the swimming pool open in March and guests lying on the beach, sunbathing at Easter.

This time last month my opening gambit was about the weather beginning to warm up and the ground starting to dry out after the wettest six months in years. Here we are a month later desperately praying for rain, following the driest April in history combined with a bitterly cold but drying North Easterly wind which has sucked the moisture out of the ground.

Spring is officially here and already the weather is warming up and and the ground is drying out. The grass is slowly starting to sprout and the wild flowers and the garden flowers are starting to blossom.

Nearly the end of February now and the sun is shining again. Isn’t it strange how good weather seems to make everything seem better. Good weather and good news, at last. Children can return to school in two weeks and, all things being well, we will gradually come out of lockdown from then onwards. We have been told we can open for business on Monday, April 12th, so at least we have a provisional date to work towards. The vaccination roll-out has been nothing short of remarkable in the UK and despite a minority of recalcitrant defying lockdown restrictions and therefore prolonging the agony for all of us, the stats’ are all moving in the right direction, at last.

It rather looks as if the only thing I got reasonably correct in my last blog was that it might snow ! Here we are, a whole month later, up to our ankles (nearly) in white stuff. At least it seems to have given lots of people something to cheer about. Apparently, the hills are alive with children’s laughter, and lots of parents are joining in as well. It is amazing how something so simple and natural can lift people’s spirits, just really by breaking the monotony of lockdown and suddenly escaping ‘Ground-hog day’ mentality for a while.

Christmas is now behind us and the year-end is rapidly approaching. 2020 will be one of those unforgettable years for most of us, for all the wrong reasons, and 2021 is obviously going to be difficult for many of us. Here at North Bradbury farm we should be opening up again in February, so we are already on a final countdown with jobs and maintenance work that will have to be completed before guests can arrive. Eight weeks will fly by and no doubt we will have the usual last minute panic and broken deadlines to look forward to.

November has been reasonably peaceful here at North Bradbury farm. Not just because we are halfway through our second National Lockdown of the year. We are now closed for the Winter which means no guests, no staff and not many animals.

In three days time we alter the clocks and although it’s still officially Autumn it often feels like the beginning of Winter. Not because it’s particularly cold – it’s really just because our daily routine suddenly changes.It will be getting dark by Five O’clock in the afternoon so animal feeding will begin at Four thirty. ‘s our last week of paying guests so it will suddenly be very peaceful and quiet. The lambs and pigs will be off to market or going into the freezer.The ducks will be in the freezer in a couple of weeks. The geese have been advertised and will hopefully be moving on.