Well, if that doesn’t get my hitcounter going mad with two second duration visits, I don’t know what will….
I just watched last night’s Countryfile in the bath via iPad and iPlayer. Well, I thought it was impressive anyway.
One of their segments brought back memories.
In about 1973 when I was 14 years old, one of the little after school clubs I joined paid a big dividend. Chess club was a bit staid. As was Geography club. Snore. But the Young Farmers’ Club was definitely the place to be – being, as we were, on the edge of Exmoor, 600 feet above sea level. West Buckland School is a superb and thriving school and it has always had a touch of the farm about it.
“Next week we’re visiting the AI centre in Tiverton” our teacher Mr Avens announced.
At first, to a bunch of teenage boys, this did not stir much excitement. But then, as word spread round as to the meaning of “AI” (Artificial Insemination), the boys in the Young Farmers’ Club of West Buckland School started to get positively gleeful about the prospect of this visit.
It did not disappoint. The whole visit was given a Monty Python air, as we had to don blue plastic hats and overshoes. My, how we laughed.
But the climax of our teenage glee came when we were shown the bulls. Needless to say, the man showing us round had to explain how they actually did IT. How did they actually collect the semen from the bulls?
My, how we sniggered, as the poor chap explained that one of the men there had to don a plastic mac (I’m collapsing with silly giggles at the very thought of it!) and thrust this long receptacle up or down (or both) the bull’s penis as it mounted another bull or, sometimes, without any mounting at all.
Gales of exploding laughter, there was, as soon as we boys could politely relieve ourselves!
Anyway, Countryfile reported this week that 40-50 year old semen collected from bulls is still being used to inseminate cows to rejuvenate the South Devon breed. Indeed, they showed us such an insemination. So semen collected shortly before or after our Young Farmers’ Club visit to the AI centre in Tiverton, is still being used to procreate beautiful cattle! Incredible!
In order to justify the, frankly, over-egged title of this post, I finish with this: My nearest and dearest has brought the Two Cocks brewery to my attention. It’s based at Christmas Farm, Enborne, Berkshire. As soon as I am released from my lenten waggon trip, I will search out one of their brews pronto.
Photo above: South Devon cow (or is it a bull?) – Some rights reserved by Scootie.