Friday, 17 December 2010


I love Fridays.

Friday is quite the best day of the week. It is interesting and colourful.Friday is a hopeful day.

It is a bit of tradition, I suppose, but Friday is the day we dress in our 'town' clothes and pile into the car to get supplies in town.

We get up a bit earlier on Friday and feed all the stock. You tend not to think much when you do it as it is a part of the daily routine like pulling on your wellies or brushing your teeth.
The cattle blow little puffs of frozen breaths in the air and the sheep mill around your knees, they nudge and push one another and move like a big woolly conveyor belt.
They all become overexcited when the tractor brings bales of fresh hay. "Now now" you scold gently but the big ram (Ramboullet) starts to do his thang with Bonnie so you try to fill the troughs quickly.
Bonnie looks a bit miffed.....

The hens and cats fuss until they are given food and fresh water or meat and milk, respectively. The farm cats have a wild look in their eye and only one will allow you to cuddle her. I pick up Tessie and she purrs and fusses.

Bob the duck flies in from her secret duckery high up in the bales. She peeps and fusses too until she gets her own heavy dish of feed. Her dish is an old stone soup bowl - it was the only thing I could find which did not tip when she shovelled for her food.

The really tinies, ColliePig the guinea pig and Colin the chameleon (who live in the house) are given fruit and nuggets (ColliePig) or locusts, fruit and maggots (Colin).  I spray his viv with warm water and he glowers at me but once I close the viv door, he stretches his neck and his long sticky tongue catches an insect and he sits back smugly. I could  watch him all day with  fascination.

We troop in to the house, grab something to eat then get showered and changed. Everyone is excited about going into town. We know that we have little time as we have to be back for our daughter returning from school so my husband steps on the accelerator and we go a little too fast for my liking, rattling and bumping along the country roads.

Town is a culture shock once you arrive. It is alive with hustle and bustle and noise. Your eyes see all aspects of life, the little old lady hirpling along with bad feet and hauling a little tartan shopping trolley. She looks tired.
There are proud new parents with shiney prams but the dad is proudly holding the baby aloft in his arms; he is saying "Look at my beautiful child, look at how wonderful they are!"
There are people who have emerged into the daylight and who have needed something to help them cope with the harsh reality of it all. They sway slightly and their eyes are glassy.
Teenagers huddle in a doorway, their hoods covering most of their faces. They are being Hard. "Good to see you covering your ears in this awfy cauld weather, son " I say to the Hoodie..... He hates me.

You settle in to the town vibe when you see little puffs of frozen breath and people pushing like a woolly coated conveyor belt....

We buy proper newspapers, ones to hold in our hand and line ColliePig's cage with, the local one, the area one and the Farmer. My husband will study it like an A level paper later. He will find his glasses and settle by the fire then carefully study all the prices of grain (and frown) or who did well at the mart. Farmers are known by their farm names and he will say "That's a braw ram from the Mains of TrauchleBog". There will be a photograph of a sheep's hind quarters or a rosy cheeked family with a trillion bairns proudly showing their flock. Ovine, bovine and human.

We head back with our spoils and some luxuries. We get home and crank up the heating and light the fire. It will soon be warm.

Our daughter returns and the family feels complete. We all settle to read and sit quietly by the fire with a bowl fancy savoury nib nabs, the Farmer with the Farmer, little one with a new farm book and my daughter and I in quiet conversation.

I feel content and warm. I think about some of the people we saw today and wonder what they are doing now. Have they gone home to a warm house, other people happy to see them?
Is the little baby being settled for bed?
Is the glassy eyed man still seeing the world through a dark kaleidoscope?

Friday has been busy but we relax for a while before the night time feed and settle of the animals.

But just for that little while, you think "I wish this moment would last for eternity".

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