And then the world went black...

March was a month of holidays - or so it seemed. First KH had a week off, to spend gardening and recovering from the January / February madness, then AW was away for a week with the family at Center Parcs (they all came back with colds!) and finally TB went to Spain to recuperate from the hard labour that is winter when you've got five horses wintering out and get away from the stress of trying to sell a house. But now the Team is back to full strength (although AW is still coughing).  There we were complacently sailing along at the beginning of the week relishing being back to 'normal' with adverts beginning to arrive in increasing numbers and then bang. The world exploded. The snow arrived in huge great large heavy dollops bringing down power lines, snapping poles like twigs and cables as if they were string. Worst of all was the lack of information from Northern Powergrid (the company responsible for the network, and to compound matters when you did information it frequently turned out to be wrong.  Adding to the woes was the failure of our backup system despite rigorous testing, maybe we over tested maybe it just wasn't up to what we were asking of it.  Anyway we were isolated from the rest of the world.  Thursday TB in Egton Bridge (3 and a bit miles away) had power and internet so the team descended on her small home office with a collection of equipment and managed to get some work done.  News from Goathland at lunch time said the power was back and shortly after so were we but then the water went off.  Battling through the heap and backlog. So far we still have electricity although the power company say we're due to be re-connected by 4pm today!  However, AW out at Green End is still without power and her dad's farm is also off and thus can't pump water from the borehole for the cattle. The poles have fallen and the engineers don't know when they'll have replacements.  Northern Powergrid can't even supply a generator, it goes from bad to worse.

And in the midst of all this we're moving bits of website and some emails too!

But we can still claim we've not missed a deadline. CJS Weekly has just gone to press, digital editions will be live soon.  A little short on news this week (we were slightly too busy being in the news to read and collate it all) but there are 72 new paid posts, 54 of which came direct over sixteen pages, 17 adverts for volunteer placements too.

Before the world went dark: AW writes, Our ewe Blossom is due to lamb in the middle of April. We know there are at least two from a scan but she is absolutely huge so there could be anything in there.  She has been out at grazing, about half a mile away, for a couple of weeks whilst the grass has chance to recover and with luck grow a bit more at home. As the date approaches we want to make sure she is near to home with a cosy barn for comfort during and following the arrival of her babies.
She was walked on to the grazing but being so large and the in hot weather (remember last week?  it was scorching, ice cream weather) we didn’t want her to have to walk back, so AW’s better half would hitch up the trailer and go and get her. Blossom and her grazing mate Keith are very tame and greedy so will usually do anything for nuts. The nuts were placed in the trailer and the sheep approached. Almost in and they realised something was afoot and tried to run, Keith escapes. Man grabs sheep, man tussles with sheep, sheep decides her legs don’t work any more and sits down. Now given the fact that she is very large, an immobile ewe is quite difficult to move but man would drag, push, pull and carry sheep to trailer. Almost in and she regains the use of her legs in one last ditch attempt at escape man has to grab sheep at a funny angle and wrenches already tender back. She is in the trailer, Keith is still free (he, although large is not close to giving birth) and can walk home.

Safely deposited at home Blossom has a slight limp and man has a very very tender back. Once snotties (small people) were in bed that evening AW would go and walk Keith home lured by nuts, in the near dark.
No, Man has not had any thanks from Blossom!

So that's it, our own little series of disasters, events and news.  I think we all need another holiday of failing that chocolate, now where are those Easter eggs.

Happy Easter everyone.