Neighbouring farmers held a farm sale today or roup as it is known.
All machinery, tools, odds and ends are sold and whilst it was a good turnout, I spoke to the lady who was the outgoing farmer about how she felt. She found it very difficult to see items which were part of her everyday life held up and scrutinised then flogged off to the highest bidder; a small collection of belongings which took a lifetime to collect, gone in two hours.
We will miss this family and miss seeing them when they were gathering hay, out lambing in all weathers, a wave from a tractor...
My father used to lend a hand on this farm (he and the farmer were cousins) and have a lovely photograph from the 1950s of dad and his sisters plus the farmer and his siblings all waving cheerfully from an old car. Dad said they had all gone out to help with the harvest and everyone looked tanned and happy, the farmer relieved that the work was done and for family celebration to begin.
It is the end of an era, another tenant farmer gone and many of us talked about how we felt.
The roup is one of those rare occasions where you meet people you have not seen for a long time, years sometimes so there is a lot of news to catch up on.
We had a few comments like "Oh my goodness, is that the baby!" to our strapping four year old and how Rosie had changed from a shy little girl to a beautiful young woman.
Now, roups at farms bring lots of cars, 4x4s, trailers and even the odd tractor and trailer. It churns the fields up something terrible and becomes a sea of mud where people try to jump out of the way of cars trying to leave the field, skidding sideways, spraying great fountains of mud everywhere.
We headed home with spares for the combine plus a huge chain and The Farmer thought he would have a quick look to check our cattle as we were passing.
We were left horrified.
While we were at the roup, a shoot had taken place in the field where the cattle were. We were given no indication that this would happen as we would have moved the cattle to a different field. Their pasture churned up by the treads of many 4x4s and ruined.
The field had all the fences completely renewed last month, new gates and posts added.
So where are the fifteen cattle which were grazing there this morning?
We will look for them first light tomorrow morning but my guess is that they have been scared off by the guns.
Would it be unreasonable to attach the big chain we bought at the roup to the gates?
To keep the cattle in, of course.....