Sunday, 21 May 2017

Eco holiday In Brecon Beacon 3 - Lambing by Chris and Liza

Eco holiday In Brecon Beacon 1

Eco holiday In Brecon Beacon 2

Some of these videos may cause inconvenience to some people. I am sorry about that. When we went to a vacation in Wales is the time usually lambing in farms were happening. So farmers often lie awake at night, to help the ewe to deliver the calf. Chris invited us to witness the lambing and we eagerly accepted the invitation. We have never seen that. .

On the one hand, this is important. If my  daughters want to study veterinary science they must have work experience in a farm. I asked Lisa whether they accept students who want the work experience in a farm. Liza said she would. But my daughters  thinking was different. They think farm life is difficult . Chris was working three in the morning, three lambs were born early morning.They have three children, Lisa and Chris work very hard.  I told the children veterinary work is not that hard and they don't need always in farms. But they  are not impressed even though they like the animals and farm itself.

tree house in the corner
අසළින් ගලන   දොළ 
 some scenery near the farmhouse.

In these videos below you can see how Chris help ewe to deliver the calf. Afterwards he would apply the iodine to the wounds and inject the antibiotics to the calf.

Helping the Ewe 

This is not really an easy task. All over the month there will be several births per day.
minute after the birth

calf with it's  mother 
Mating season of the sheppes usually starts  in Autumn / winter time. gestation time is about 6 months.  So farmers usually know by the Easter ewes are ready give birth to the lambs. In  April grasses start to grow. Grass is the main food source for the sheep. The young lamb are sold for meat whne they are around 8 to 9 months. A Sheep's life span is 10 to 12 years.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Once a thavarish always a thavarish?

Female Cadets in Victory Day parade 9 May 2017 - Courtesy of RT.COM

In my previous letter "Will New Russia is turning back to socialism? Victory Parade of 9th of May" I suggested that Putin may take Russia towards Stalinist dictatorship loosely based on Soviet Socialism. What I wrote at that time was this:

"Is it that Russia is firmly heading back to Soviet system with some sort of a mixed capitalist system like in China. In that case this day will be a memorable one. "

Last year we went to Russia and found THE country is very charming indeed. Despite the western sanctions we did not find any food shortages. At least Mr Putin made sure of that. I was told by my friend who lives in Russia as a permanent resident, that country's meat production went up with other farming products like potato etc after the sanctions.  So is these sanctions really worked? It seems to me it galvanised the Putin's position among Russians more. A true Russian her standing up to the western beast. 

  I always talk to taxi drivers when travelling or rather they talk to me. Our Russian taxi driver has an economic degree and also some other qualifications. He used to work as a lecturer in some far away Uni. Then he worked as a Pizza Chef. He left that job as well and now a taxi driver. He admitted that he is nostalgic about the former Soviet union. 
"I would not have to be worry about my daughter's education back then in Soviet Russia. She would have gone to free school and if she is good in studies  she would have gone to free university. Or she would have been selected to a technical college. Now I have to pay for her studies and everything. " he says.

"Our biggest problem is health care", continued the man  and he lists several problems he had previously and how much he paid for the medicine and doctors. 

"Back then all these were free.  What I earned as a pizza chef was not enough.  Now I am a taxi driver and doing some other small jobs like delivery. Still the money is not enough. We are struggling. Everyone said to us capitalism will bring us this and that we will live like you live in UK or like Americans". He moans.
Kremlin - I took this picture last year

"Well, Moscow is really beautiful. Lot of new buildings. Roads are maintaining quite nicely. People are flocking to restaurants and  stolovaya s (Canteens). All these rich looking shopping centres around. " I say. 

"Yes, it is good for some. There are lot of rich people here in Moscow and for them all Ok. But there are ten times more people are struggling. Putin is only looking after them oligarchs. Not us"  He laments.

"What is your name? Can I write this in my blog. " I asked.
"No Sorry. You will put me in trouble." man declined to reveal his name.
"Really now with all this capitalist democracy". Surely no one will go after a simple taxi driver. 
"you are joking" He says.

Well I was not.  Next time we took a taxi the driver was from Kyrgyzstan. An immigrant. Same story with him plus he has a worry about if and when Russian authorities will ask him to leave or not. He works and send money to his family. There are many like that.  
"That is another country isn't it, yours?"
 I asked. 
" Well we listened to Putin. " he says. "America is far. Putin is near. "
"Sound policy" I said.

I watched intently this year's victory day parade of 9th of May  2017. I love to see parades. I noted  in my article back in 2014 how Commanders and Putin used word  thavarish (Comrade) to address each other. It has very significant political meaning in Russia. When the the "glavno koamanduyushi " I mean Commander in Chief says "comrade soldiers" it is a big thing.

But I found another interesting battalion in this years celebrations. Completely new battalion. This video is from youtube and it was published by RT.

Commentator says this is "yonnaya armia" in Russian. The youth battalion. They didn't have guns. Commentator was mentioning  this is a military patriotic unit and they are representing over 70000 boys and girls  from all across the country. An initiative from defence minister.
Yunnaya arimia or young army (captured picture from video)
Now I am really worried. Is this a just cadet unit or is there any other deep meaning to this group of cadets. This parade is to celebrate victory over Nazi Germany. Hold on a second? Did Hitler had a similar army or not? The Hitler youths.
Hitler Youth
 Why do you need this type of military style youth army? Unless you want to suppress some discontentment among population? Hitler cadets were brainwashed  on patriotism.

 Is President Putin  rebuilding a greater Russia or is he trying to stay in power for another 10 years despite any opposition? I don't think he has any opposition. RT says 2/3rd of Russians wanted Marie Le Pen to win. We are perhaps lucky she didn't. Russian love Le Pen and they have now yunnaya armia. Way to go comrades.

President Vladimir Putin is a really talented person. He said Lenin put a  bomb under Great Mother Russia.  But he never said anything bad about Stalin. I tried to find a Lenin Statue (Small bust) in Moscow's kiosks. I see many of Putin and Stalin but none from Lenin. May be I did not look hard. Putin is proud of Soviet Union's achievement in some ways. Achievement in Space for example. But Mr Putin,  Lenin was the one who created the Soviet Union with the likes of Trotsky. Oh Yes,  Stalin was on the side too.

President Vladimir Putin is a really talented person. RT says he is virtuoso in chief as well.  He plays grand piano in china here.  In 2010 he sang "Blueberry Hill"  to an audience packed with celebrities. Kevin Costner, Sharon Stone, Gerard Depardieu were in the crowd. He is a popular guy not only in Russia. He has lot of admirers around the world including China's President Mr Z jinping.

He is very talented indeed.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Eco holiday In Brecon Beacon 2

Holiday home in Beacon Beacon is really beautiful. Apart from the wood burner that gave the heating to the compound we found another interesting feature. A renewable energy source.  A micro turbine housed in a small hut that our landlord Chris described as his pet project. It's a micro hydro power project generating 5 KW when full throttle. 
mini turbine housed in here
Chris found a water source on top of the small hill. It's about 40 m drop to below. He put a large pipe and directed the water stream down to the small turbine unit. 
turbine is below 

power generation unit with Chris

mini generator 

Mini plant

In full throttle unit would generate 5 kW per hour. For 24 hours this would generate 120 KWh of electricity. Chris claims this is enough for his farms  daily needs. Any extra electricity generated would be feed back to the main grid. Specially late night and mid day when they don't use much energy.  Our children were very interested to see this mini hydro power generating unit. 
Water from the turbine unit released to this small stream.
How this works:
I took this explanation from the website quoted below.
"Micro hydro power is the small-scale harnessing of energy from falling water. Hydraulic power can be captured wherever a flow of water falls. The vertical fall of water, known as the “head”, is essential for hydropower generation (fast-flowing water on its own does not contain sufficient energy for useful power production). Hence, two quantities are required for production of hydropower: a Flow Rate of water and a Head. The capacity of a micro hydro power plant is usually between 20 and 500 kW."

Invest in micro hydro power plants