I wanted to sing that 'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas' with the snow lying deeply around the farm, instead, we are back to day three without water.
The supply has not frozen but rather it has been turned off. Three days of manually supplying the livestock with snow and water hauled up from the burn.
The estate, of course, have not replied to my emails yet they did recently send a reminder of the outstanding water charge for the farm cottage. The one where we fitted a filtration system from our own pocket so the tenants there would not become sick then die like my father did.
We had to report ourselves to Animal Health as we were unable to supply our livestock with fresh water or at least not enough to cover twenty five cattle in the shed.
When this happened before, The Farmer did his best to supply the livestock plus ourselves with water and as the power was off, we had no way of filtrating the emergency supply which we needed for thirty nine days. Yes, of course we became sick and yes, The Farmer had a heart attack from the sheer physical exertion in sub zero temperatures.
We have provided bottled and jerry cans of water to my son who is living at the farm (someone must stay there when the cattle are inside) but I have only just discovered that our nearest neighbour, a blind pensioner, shares our supply and has been gathering snow for three days.
This is 2012, isn't it?
I do not give one whit about legislation, civil matters, legal matters. They are overly complicated, mostly nonsensical and have been created by pen pushers who go home to a clean, running water supply.
I would ask these faceless bureaucrats,where is the humanity? You do not have to sodding well lug buckets of water up steep hills all day or shovel loads of snow (which melts into a tiny amount of water).
Quote from the Code of Recommendation for the Welfare of Livestock Scotland paragraph 54
54 There should be enough water available for at least 10% of housed cattle to drink at any one time. Water troughs - especially those in loose housing or cubicle units - should be designed and placed where: they are protected from fouling; and there is a low risk of the water freezing in cold weather. where there is sufficient space and easy access for all stock and dead-ends are avoided. You should keep water troughs or bowls thoroughly clean and check them at least once a day to make sure they are not blocked or damaged, and the water is flowing freely. Checking for blockages is equally important where drinking nipples are used. Provision must be made for providing emergency supplies of water.
"Provision must be made for providing emergency supplies of water".
Shame such a legislation does not exist for humans.
Update: I contacted our MP and goodness knows what was said and to whom but within half an hour of phoning him, we had a visit from the estate, a telephone apology plus the promise of several large tanks full of water for the *livestock* (nb none for humans) plus a pump to fill the troughs.
Most of the glen have now had the water supply halted as from this evening and nobody seems to know why this has happened or how long it will be off.
The estate has assured me that the elderly and partially- sighted gentleman neighbour will be given proper drinking water.
Many thanks to Gordon Banks MP, Christine Sinclair and Haldis Scott plus all the support here and on Twitter.