Our landowner initially demanded proof from our bank that we had £50,000 for renovating the interior of his house. The letter which he received from us did not meet with his approval and it would appear that no letter, no roof.
The materials to provide a kitchen, heating, plumbing electrics; we have bought and stored them over the years yet no acknowledgement given to this cost nor the cost of renting somewhere else whilst the farmhouse roof decayed further over several years of harsh winters.
Given that the house belongs to the landowner, yet we still pay rent for the house, anyone with an iota of sense would think it prudent to upkeep the property that they own and when an article has reached the end of it's life eg a 150 year old roof, joists, wood, etc 'through fair wear and tear' then under Scottish Agricultural Law, it is the responsibility of the landowner to replace the article and not the responsibility of the tenant.
Some landowners will attempt every dodge and ploy to evade their legal responsibilities, some will demand the Herculean Tasks and on completion will dream up a new task which will also be dismissed. It is a game for them, an amusement, an act of stalling for time whilst the Right to Buy for secure tenants is debated.
We have mucked out the Augean Stable aka the cow shed although we do this twice a year rather than once every thirty years, do not have one thousand cattle nor diverted the river. We used the tractor and shovels in the difficult corners. A graip in the impossible to reach bits.
We have chased cattle which ran faster than the Ceryneian Hind, have tightened the Belt of Hippolyta to the last notch after several difficult years due to climate change, which leads to the Apples of Hesperides - they won't grow because there is too much rain and too little sun.
The Cretan Bull was rather a docile old chap who preferred nibbling buttercups and providing us with rather good calves to tearing up crops and levelling orchard walls.
Cattle of Geryon? Yup. Fed, watered and cared for them. Occasionally been chased by them, chased after them but I think we have Made Peace.
Mares of Diomedes? That is yet to come as Rosie wants a pony.....
The Stymphalian Birds; now they were a pain. Bronze beaks and metallic feathers that they could launch at their victims. They took over the countryside, destroyed crops and communities. Toxic dung.
We know them as factors and land agents these days.
The snow here is thick and hides pits and dips, excellent for trapping the Erymanthian Boar or catching you unawares when you stagger under the weight of a bag of sheep feed only to vanish from view and become flattened by the sack of feed. Let's throw in 'And Lose your Hat'
Cerberus.....the most difficult. Depending on tradition, beware the ample of thigh especially when it is ensconced in the Chair of Forgetfulness.
Be unafraid. Do not partake in fierce and heavy Frowning for no balm nor unction will rid thee of wrinkles.
Tell the beast what it can do with it's letter and foul attitude.
Hoik the devil over your shoulder like a sack of sheep feed and drag it into the daylight.
Kings will flee, feudal task setting will cease. The Right to Buy will manifest and the myth of the laird will vanish like smoke from our consciousness.
The land which was stolen from us and not compensated for will grow crops again.
We will have clean drinking water and be able to invite people over.
We have done the tasks set for us and will continue to do them but not for the Cerberus. We will do them for our family, our animals, for anyone who needs our help.
The sun might even come out.
It will shine on the new farmhouse roof.