I'm tired, Maureen's tired, but Chirbury and Marton Young Farmers are all hyped up and ready to party - with the exception of Dan who says he's knacked and is going home to sleep. Perhaps it's something to do with Valentine's night and lurve being in the air?
It's been a long week for Maureen and myself - her newly appointed apprentice.
The Young Farmers enter the County drama competition each year and each year Maureeen draws on her experience as village pantomime organiser to whip them into some sort of shape, persuade them they have skills and tease out that latent talent. This one woman dynamo also finds time to paint scenery, find props, costumes and sound effects. I came along to wield a paintbrush but have found myself drawn into the whole jamboree... As usual the request for help came at the last minute. A great deal of work has had to go into a very short space of time and it's been a steep learning curve for all.
This week has been a blur of 12 hour days trying to get these young people, whose primary skills are not stagecraft, performing a one act drama to go before the judges on Friday night. It has been hard. Very hard. A bit like herding cats. Best of all has been the boundless enthusiasm. Lines have been learned in milking parlours, on tractors and whilst lambing, but judging by tonight's rehearsal - forgotten in those self-same places.
Tonight was one of those nights when we perhaps should have forgotten rehearsing and all put our feet up. The Young Farmers minds were collectively elsewhere. So after one run through we called it a day and made for home (us) or the pub (them). Tomorrow, Maureen threatens 'We're staying 'til we've got it right even if we're here on Friday morning...' At least tonight we have gone away knowing the set, sounds, props and costumes are in place - including a 'broken leg' of which I am inordinately proud.
The competition's the day after tomorrow at Whitchurch. Eeek!