In the byre.

 

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I hear the beasts along the track well before I reach the farm. In now for winter, they bellow, snort, moan, even sing. A gloomy November day, the little light there is washes through the slatted wood of the byre. ‘1771 I think she is…..’ Buzzing of the clippers, a stripe down each of their backs so they can be sprayed for fluke – Ian tells me about the life cycle of the parasite that lives in the liver. Whistling, ‘go on’, ‘hup hup’, as they are moved around the byre. I ask Craig what he likes about the job and he says he just likes working with cattle, he can’t see himself doing anything else. Talk turns to bovine related injuries, how some simply have mean demeanours. Just like folk. Raymond announces its 19 years to the day since he started at the farm. Talk of pensions bring grumbles and its noted that for some Glasweigans life expectancy means they won’t even reach retirement. Pause, ‘196’…….a flu vaccine, a trim of the hair in their ears. Sitting in the hay, drawing the men and the cows.