...or Tea for the Wild Indians (part 2)
I was struggling into my gardening trousers - hopping around the room on one foot whilst the other fought its way down the bunched-up leg of aforesaid trousers - when my eye was caught by what looked like a dead cow swinging past the window. I stopped mid-hop for long enough to take in that no, it wasn't a dead cow but a bundle of those big fertilizer sacks hanging on the forks of a front loader; big fertilizer sacks stuffed with the detritus that accumulates over the years in a working farmyard. It looked like a major tidy-up was taking place in the yard over the garden wall.
In due course and fully trousered I continued with my own tidying up - clipping, snipping and weeding our garden into some sort of shape in the fond hope that on Saturday guests will be able to walk around it and find something of interest. I kept a keen eye on the activity over the wall. Nosey? Moi?
On the other side of the wall the workforce increased. A tree which fell in the gales of 2007 was divided into manageable pieces; logs to the left and twigs to the right. Thistles were topped not only in the little triangular field but also in our new field and on the lane. (For which many thanks). Cattle were checked and a cow was brought into the shed for an imminent calving. A fine red bull calf was born and the tidy-up continued.
Fencing wire and stakes were sorted and bundled. Tubs, buckets and bins were collected in an old drinking trough. Palettes were stacked and guttering re-attached. Old loose straw was trucked off site. A thin spiral of smoke from a distant fire - tidily out of the way - signaled the end of goodness-knows what rubbish. Better not to ask.
At the end of the day, and in a thin drizzle, work drew to a close. The last few nettles were plucked by hand from between the fencing wire.
How quiet and unnaturally neat and tidy the shed and yard are now. Our lane is trimmed and spruce too. (I have visions of keeping it this way - and of planting daffodils to nod their golden heads in the Spring now that I can see ground under the nettlebed.) I had not anticipated this transformation when I got up this morning.
I then recall that Granny T - a doyen of Marton WI and who will be a welcome visitor on Saturday - had dropped a few hints to her son and family (who farm the land over my garden wall and who all turned up in force today) about how she expected to find the farm at Lower House. In short - Tidy. No argument. No escape.
We all need a Granny Thomas don't we?