And so the scramble began.
First things first … I needed to sort the cows out as they had been dried off and were nearly ready to move to their next lease location. Fortunately this was another one of those things which had lined up as I was in the process of choosing a new milking placement for them. The young couple who had been leasing them had increased their own herd numbers to the level they were wanting and, therefore, no longer needed them for the next season. There were two dairy farmers wanting to take them but, because the current season had not quite finished, a decision hadn’t yet been made. This meant my change of plans for the girls didn’t have much of an impact on anyone and also the timing of this change of plan made the herd transfer back to me very simple. Problem number one solved.
Problem number two didn’t occur as the young couple leasing the cows were most happy to graze them for me until I had things in place at the new farm and their transport to the South Island organised. This left all of the young stock that I was raising to deal with but, luckily, Friend had found grazing for them on a property close to the new place and so I began the logistic nightmare of gathering them all up in some sort of co-ordinated manner for their trip across the Straits.
Fear, apprehension and doubt crept in as the enormity of what I needed to do began to dawn. Not only did the milking herd and the dairy replacements have to be moved, there was my flock of East Friesian sheep and, of course, Last Thyme – my rather precious and rather large horse. At this stage, reverse was not an option … I was committed. There was no point in thinking What the hell have I done? I needed to put my big-girl-pants on and deal with it.
However, the trucking company was marvellous. I didn’t realise how much stock moved long distances around the country on a daily basis. Trips North and South are a ho-hum occurrence and the matter-of-fact reassurance wrapped around the whole procedure by the truck company was amazing. But, more importantly, it set the scene for the path I realised I would need to take. Problems are solvable – you just need to find the right people to help you solve them. I needed to learn to open my mouth and say Help! I decided my mouth was going to get very wide very often.