by Max Akroyd
A bright and sunny morning in June would be welcome, if nothing special, but the same thing in December is a delight. A real tonic after grinning and bearing it in the mud. Sure, legions of grey clouds are marching in now, but the morning’s work in the field was illuminated with a late autumn glow. The dogs stopped looking suicidal and chased each other around on my broad bean beds (more of their transgressions later). The goats played king of the castle on the mysterious mound at the foot of the garden’s south-facing slope.
Digging another twelve metres of trench was half as difficult as yesterday… I was working in a long-sleeved shirt it was that warm. (And a vest, of course. As a Yorkshireman that’s de rigeur national dress.)
Every silver lining has a cloud though, and today’s was discovering that those lollopping canine imbeciles have carefully excavated all the tulip bulbs that Emma spent every spare minute planting. Seemingly the taste of the organic hoof and horn additive was too much for them to resist and all they left us with was well-licked and slightly chewed tulip bulbs atop a pile of mud. It appears they’ll only be safe if they’re planted in pots (the bulbs, not the dogs – tempting as that may be) so I assembled our rather motley selection of crocks in a shed for the disgruntled artist to view tomorrow.
Talking of sheds, the moment of truth is approaching when my domain, the engine room a.k.a. the toolshed, will have to be tackled. Actually it’s being relocated to free up space for new, relatively tidy farm animals.
Final job of the day: some planning. Maybe it’s another Yorkshire thing, but I’m wary about spending time planning. It has the same whiff of bull manure about it that ‘Team Building’ courses had when I worked for a corporate outfit. It’s not authentic work like digging a trench. But when, like this morning, you complete such a labour and can’t remember which crop the trench was for, even I admit it’s time to get the pencil and paper out…