Thursday, 14 April 2011

Dippy Dora wakes up.

We are starting to get into the swing of things now, my eldest son and I.

He has taken to calling himself "The Farm Biatch" and I am supposed to assume the role of Farm Manager.
Now, I see a manager as someone who is efficient, neatly dressed with perhaps a clipboard and sadly I do not tick any of these boxes just now.
The Farm Biatch is an ex Drum Major and has a voice which can probably be heard in Penzance. He has no tolerance whatsoever for anything other than 100% commitment to the work.

I was caught dreaming several times today....

The first 'mini sleep' was when I had to cut the net off the bales. Farm Biatch would then run at the bale with the stabby forks and lift it into the cow shed.
I drifted off in a sleep deprived stupor instead.

"COME ON DREAMY DIPPY DORA" "THE COWS ARE WAITING". He roared over the noise of the tractor.
I cut the net and just avoided becoming a kebab on the forks alongside the hay.

The silage was next.
It is quite satisfying to slice open a big fat bale of silage. Very satisfying to be frank.
I cut and bailed these bales one lovely day last year and now, months on, the black plastic is sliced open and the pungent smell of fermented sweet grass is released. It is full of nutrients and the cattle love it.

Of course, while I was standing remembering the day last summer when I bailed with the Red Kites whirling around the sky above and the very sandwich I ate whilst sitting in the sun...FB had jumped out of the tractor and deftly sliced open the bales of silage.
I had that fleeting feeling of someone else cracking open the seal on a new jar of coffee - vaguely miffed because I never got to do it and missing the newness and the fleeting aroma.

"What is wrong with you today?" roared FB.
"I am just sleepy, Rosie and my head is all full of the things which have to be done".
"Oh great. I'm not Rosie" barked the Farm Biatch.

I shuffled through the shed following the tractor like a lone seagull.

My next job was to open the big metal gates to let the tractor in but not let the cattle out.
They were in there thinking about it.

There is a square which is cut out of the metal which is supposed to be the bit for the bolt but it is exactly my height for peeping into.
I peeped.
I peeped just as a cow kicked the metal right beside my ear.
I sort of died for a split second even although the cow was on the other side of the door.

Farm Biatch was impatiently revving the tractor and I had to open the door but feared a stampede. The evil brown cow would squash me with a hoof the size of a dinner plate and besmirch my nice fresh summer top with cowpoo.

We managed but it was all a blur. FB was not impressed with the quality of my work and the fact that his mother was now a completely gibbering wreck.

I sat with the sheep for a while. They are gentle and docile and are rather disdainful of the uncouth cows.
I cuddled one of the newborn lambs and felt it's soft coat against my cheek. This was more powerful than valium and reached further than hot, sweet tea.
The lamb's mother bleated softly and I swear she looked concerned at me but it is hard to tell what a Wensleydale is looking at through the wild fringe of dreadlocks.

We are now back in the house, fed, calmed down and resting. The Farmer is feeling the cold so I lit the fire and there is a nice smell from the oak limbs which were cut yesterday. A good heat too.

Tomorrow, I will try to be alert and efficient even if it means painting wild starey eyes on my eyelids a la disco goers circa 1980's. I will drink coffee and wear earplugs and be ready for the evil brown cow.

The children are just back from a long walk. They have rosy cheeks and smell of fresh air.

"I'm as tired as a bumble bee" said the little one as he kicked his wellies off in exactly the same manner as his Dad. Sock a foot long once the welly comes off.

I know how tired a bumble bee feels.


  1. Lovely post. Your son has a way with words, "as tired as a bumble bee" is so sweet.

    The red kites have returned to Lake Geneva these past weeks and I enjoy sitting watching them soar and dip in the mild Spring air.

  2. I adore watching the kites and we are lucky to have quite a few around here.
    They mew like cats and when we are out in the field, they become very daring and swoop down to catch mice.

    One tired little bumble bee has finally nodded off after his long day playing outside :)

  3. I am so sorry you are having such a hard time of things right now, I am glad the Farmer seems to be on the mend, I hope you are coping with the emotional aftermath these things bring, the constant reliving of the terror, the helplessness and the worry, make sure someone looks after you a bit and I hope you know how many people care about you and yours, people like me who you have never met. Take good care of yourself x