Finding the time to write here (or anywhere if I'm honest) is so difficult lately! If I'm not working, I'm running around doing something, somewhere.
Netball was cancelled last night due to the rain which was rather unfortunate as I was really looking forward to going again. We're into proper "training" sessions now, not everyone makes it there each week so you're never really doing the same things, as we have to work with the number of people who show up. Take last week for example - we had nine players come and a young girl who was hanging around put us up to 10. We spent the bulk of our session going over different warm ups and exercises that have been taken from the NZ netball website - exercises that are specifically good for netball. It was really good but my gosh, the muscles that I apparently have, that I have never met before in my life showed up the next day and they hurt! It was rather painful to say the least.
Some were seemingly simple when the woman running it demonstrated them, but when you have to do a form of "plank" for 30 seconds, the idea in your head seems OK...until you're about 10 seconds through and the targeted muscles in your sides start to burn like wildfire. We had to do that three times. Then we did sideways planks for 15 seconds on each side. We're all looking at eachother, wondering who's going to give in and drop first! Everything else was good, all focusing on landings mostly which is rather important as I'm finding that catching the ball in midair is quite common so landing properly is essential.
We then spent about half an hour playing a game with five players on each side, I managed to get the role of Centre which was great! I always thought centre would be quite difficult because you've got to be on the ball the whole time, but at the same time you don't really have a many boundaries - you're allowed on the entire court except for in the goal circles. The only issue is having to be everywhere at once, especially if there are only five players on your team; two of which have to stay in a circle at each end, the other two are limited to their areas so I have to fill the void, it's not easy but I did it. While there was only a small number of us it meant they had time to give me pointers too, everyone would stop and say - "Ok, so in this situation you should do this or go here" etc., etc.
So of course I was really keen to get back into it last night but as we are currently limited to an outdoor court, the weather is playing an important role in the situation.
Sadly Chantelle isn't able to join now, there are a few reasons behind it but I get why it would be better for her to sit it out this year. It just means our set, no excuses, weekly catch up has gone out the window - but oh well.
Work is going OK at the moment, I'd be lying if I said I am loving it, but it'll get better. Just with the autumn calving, we're having to deal with a fair few not too pleasant members of the herd which doesn't make life particularly enjoyable at present. Working with Cam and Hamish again is great, I'm really happy being back there again, back in the saddle working in my favourite place. There are a few difficult cows there, but in general it's fine. I'm also helping get the new cows and calves in at the moment, and feeding the calves there too, so I'm a little bit more involved than just being the typical relief milker. They're breeding to some interesting bulls this year - not only Simmental's and Angus but Belgium Blue's too - they're beautiful calves.
My other farm though, as I say it'll get better in time, they've calved about 350 cows out of 520 odd, so there's still a few to get through but thankfully the first time calving heifers are almost finished. Those young ones are a little too spontaneous with their kicking and I can never quite trust them, they also all look the same too so it's hard looking out for those few who are a little too feisty for me to try cupping on. They're coming along nicely though, given a few weeks of milking and they should feel more at home in the herd.
They all need to find their spot in the pecking order too, so when you add a mob of heifers to a herd of cows who have worked together a couple of years, they're gonna fight a tad. Although in saying that, some of the older cows are driving me insane! Believe you me, if you have to cup on a cow for the seventh or eighth time in one milking - you're gonna get rather annoyed. They don't even have an excuse really, they just stomp their feet and knock the cups off, it's really exhausting milking two or three cows, then having to go back to that specific cow and re-cup her again as she's knocked them off.
It sometimes gets to the point where I just say to whoever I'm milking with, "I'm done trying" and then they can give her a go.
Yesterday afternoon was utterly brilliant (note the sarcasm!!) Where the herd was running late when I arrived, and they're meant to go on the feedpad before milking. As they were running late they'd get their feed after milking instead. Have you ever seen somebody - perhaps a toddler - who normally has their afternoon snack, get told that they have to wait an hour or so longer before they get it? It's not cool aye? I would imagine said toddler would have a bit of a tantrum over that, which is basically what the cows did!
So I waited out on the race and brought up a large group of the herd and pushed them into the shed so I could start milking. I encouraged them into the bails, walked out and pressed the button to start the machines and when I came back the cows were gone. They'd all turned around and run out, back to the feedpad where somebody must've been pushed into the single wire tape and snapped it, allowing them in there. So of course, cows will be cows and they all ran in there, stuffing their faces full of the powdery goodness of palm kernel and whatever else they're being fed.
Funnily enough you know when cows have broken into something, and cows also know they shouldn't be in there which is why they make a big deal out of it. They moo, a LOT and rather loud too. Basically a bit of an "omgosh! Look where I am, I'm eating something I shouldn't be!" and the rest of them moo too, so they all know to run to the place and suddenly half of the herd is on the feed pad eating out of the bins and I just stand there watching in disbelief, all of my hard work is out the window and now I have to work even harder to get them out of there. Thanks cows! They're the best...
Milking them after that was joyful, we were all running rather late so we were annoyed, the cows were angry - even more so having lost their food for a while and the milking was seriously messy. With the lush grass from all the rain we've had, you've gotta keep your eyes peeled for cows that are gonna crap everywhere - because at the moment it goes for miles and comes very suddenly, you've gotta dive outta the way otherwise get a free, green shower. Not fun.
Taylor is finally going in for his surgery to fix his hernia tomorrow, his Mum's dropping him in in the morning and then I have to get over there a few hours later to pick him up before I go back to work. It'll be good once it's fixed and sorted, it's been a long time coming!