Me again…..

Hello everyone, the time of the month has come round to sit down on a wet evening and write another blog for you on here. You will have to forgive me for this blog being heavily about myself and my family as that has taken up my main focus in the past little while since writing last.

For those of you who may not have heard on the various social media platforms that Rachel and I are part of, we have had our first child, a baby girl, Bonnie Williams came to join us on Friday 23rd of August at 16:22 in the afternoon. After a complicated delivery and a dose of antibiotics for mum and baby I was allowed to bring them home a week later. And what a joy that was as well. We had a bit of a rollercoaster in the Oxford John Radcliffe hospital, but it was the best place to be and the staff, were fantastic. Cannot thank them all enough. Getting them both home was elating and scary at the same time, all of a sudden the responsibility was ours with no one to look over our shoulders. A relief and a worry at the same time. But all going well now.

As a side note I would like to thank all of those people whose tweets and supportive messages were of great comfort to us both when things were a little difficult. It is amazing that there a people who I feel I have a genuine friendship with now, who I have only ever met over the internet and through electronics. The internet is a truly amazing place with some amazing people on it. Again, many thanks to all.

Anyway now is the time for some harvest thoughts, which to be fair my paternity leave was smack bang on the busiest part of harvest so I missed most of it, however it seems to have gone somewhat better than last year, smoother at least. All the rape was in and drilled by the time I returned with the pre-emergence spray having been applied.

On the spraying front there has been some glyphosate applied to create stale seed beds ahead of the drill, and some Fusilade max applied to the barley volunteers in some of earliest rape drilled. Other than that the spraying front has been fairly quiet at the moment, however when drilling starts I am sure that the pre-emergence recommendations will fly in.

As if fatherhood wasn’t a big enough challenge to occupy me at the moment I have made the decision to change jobs. I have been offered a position in Cambridgeshire, still spraying so plenty of reviews still hopefully even more, the new position also offers me a chance for career progression as Farm Foreman. However the main reason for moving on from Oxfordshire is simply to be much closer to our family support network. It will take a two and a half hour journey to Rachel’s parents, and cut it down to a leisurely fourty five minute journey, and the same to my family as well. With our new little bundle of joy, the help and support of family and friends will be much appreciated and needed.

I would also like to take the chance to thank my employer for my time here, I have learnt a huge amount of valuable skills. And gained a huge amount of experience, which will be invaluable to me on my career path in the future. And I would recommend it as a place of work to anyone. And I have had a happy two years here.

With the new job, comes new challenges, besides all the new fields to find and get lost getting to and from, there is a new sprayer to use. Moving from a self propelled 32 metre sprayer on to a trailed 24 metre sprayer will be a challenge. Also with the first step into a supervisory / management role, comes the personal challenge of working out what kind of manager I want to be and how best to come across to people I am going to work with. As I imagine it can be a difficult balance between being friends with the people you work with, and gaining the respect to lead them at work. It will be a delicate balancing act I am sure, but one which excites me.

Another challenge which I am looking forward to is the livestock part of the new farm. This involves some sheep and beef cattle, I  have had some experience with store lamb finishing in New Zealand, but Ewes and lambs are a whole new experience as well as beef cattle. So there is a lot of learning to be done, and an exciting time ahead on a progressive and growing mixed farming enterprise, which I am hugely looking forward too.

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