I think the reality hit this morning when a large wodge of damp straw trapped me by the welly.
The bulk of the work here is done to keep the cattle.
We plough a field then go over it again with the harrows. We return and sow the crop then back again to harvest. All the hay, silage and straw go to feed the cattle.
They are brought in to the big shed before winter begins (it comes early here) and the bulk of the day goes in to feeding, watering (the water pipe usually freezes so it is a manual job), laying down fresh straw for bedding and making sure they are ok and healthy.
They stay in the big shed usually until the middle of May when the grass begins to grow. (It arrives late here). The calving begins during the last days of April and the cows with their new calves stay in a separate shed for a few weeks so they can have special attention.
My husband is very good with his cattle and they are calm and responsive to him.
Wild and unresponsive with me though.
He is not going to be able to calf or indeed do any work at all with them in the forthcoming weeks. Even if he resumes full health soon, the work is too heavy and unpredictable for someone who has had a recent heart attack.
I phoned the auctioneer today and he is coming up to see the cattle then talk to The Farmer next week. We have to be realistic and look at what we can and cannot do. It is very sad.
Perhaps once we have had time to think about the next few months and the winter slog then we can decide how to make our workload a little lighter.
In the meantime, my eldest son and I are busy getting the big sheds cleaned and ready for the calving. We are both insensible with tiredness.