Friday, 30 December 2016

Once upon a time..

In a land, far, far away...

Where it was very hard to tell if the road went uphill or down; and gravity didn't behave in the standard manner.

Nor neither; did the compass always point true. 

Progress was made, all the same.

Journeys to the ,unknown interior' , can be far scarier for some, than going 'out there'.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Looking forwards...

"Don't look back; you're not going that way"

A useful instruction to counter regret, or thoughts of 'what might have been.'

But perhaps we might more usefully look back, but with all the same kindnesses extended to oneself, as one would to others.

There's always learning from past experiences; and identifying patterns if you can look objectively enough.... Aha! Yes I see....Right back here again.

So; if you want to see things change; then don't keep doing the same old stuff.

And keep looking back with fondness and gratitude for all the luck, and all the good stuff, whenever you can summon the mental energy...

But, butt, and indeed thrice buttt.

If you are struggling, then someone advising you to count your blessings, or reminding you that you're not as badly off as so and so, really doesn't help.

This presupposes some 'hierachy of suffering' which if taken to its (il)logical conclusion means that only one person on the planet can be worthy of our compassion at any one time. As they are the worst off, of all...

So have compassion for others, for sure, but also allow some for ourselves. Whatever the source of our angst be it physical, or mental in origin.

The other benefit of looking back, is of course, remembering all the happy memories, experiences and encounters along the way.

Random acts of kindness, from which we can derive as much pleasure from receiving, as giving....

If only we will allow ourselves to accept them.....

Oh but no! I couldn't possibly, let you do that for me...

Oh really?

Why is that?

What's so special about you then? That you wont allow yourself to be helped by the likes of me?

Are you afraid of becoming 'indebted' in some way?

Well that's not really how it works is it?

Kindness begets kindness, its not something to be chalked up on a score sheet.

Helpfulness cannot be traded on the commodities markets.

And that is something for which we can all be thankful...

Full 2 week October trip report coming soon, so long as new tech' plays nicely.  

 Moreover, there are moments of utter loveliness such as this, to bear in mind...

An an open road, balmy climes, combined with the heady joy of being at liberty in 'camp where'ere you please' Western Scotshire.
 On a trusty steed, packing a friendly tent...

Meanwhile, at the same time, having no particular place to go, which interestingly, it turns out, would daunt some.

 But for me, particularly given the ridiculous fair weather, it was an intoxicating treat.

Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.... For much; and to many.

But why not accept the sheer luck of it too?

This season, can remind us that, not everything has to be bought, and paid for...

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Vernacular language...

Separate groups in society have always had their own private codes, and definitions, only fully understood, and agreed within that group. ..

Whether that be amongst the professions. 

Or marked by those regional dialects and differences within languages. 

And then there's the verbal and idiomatic distinctions,  drawn along such delinations as age,  social grouping, or hobbies, enthusiasms, and what have you... .

But it only really occurred to me today,  how these terms, and descriptions can become so very localised to people working together, in one place.

To within a 12 acre, rural neighbourhood in fact.

Girl Monday, has, for various reasons, been temporarily repurposed as 'Girl Wednesday'
It was most noticeable today, how her presence speeded up the pre Christmas veg harvest..

When we'd finished picking sprouts, I was pleased to discover that she would still have an half an hour free,  in which to continue working,  so I suggested she help us 'fettle' the sprouts...

Which spurred her to enquire,  whether 'fettling' is the term we use when preparing all the other vegetables for delivery ?

I'd not fully considered before, the logic behind the particular terms, applied to each operation...

(Spoiler alert!.... As with most of these 'job specific' etymologies .... There is no real logic, or at least, not one explicable to others)

But here is the 'correct' parlance; for these operations, peculiar to this place, just in case; you should ever be called upon to help out in this very local, locale...

And wouldn't wish to feel like a hopeless ingenue.....
Few of us enjoy not feeling 'in the know' vis a vis specific terminology...


Sprouts,  and leeks are fettled

Cut leaves, eg spinach,  kale,  or salad
are graded.

Roots such as carrots,  parsnips, beetroot,  are prepped

- but seldom washed, unless it's felt that not to do so, would seriously imperil the conservation of soil, within the valley ..

And cabbages are groomed.

Most other produce,  is bagged up,  and sent out in much the same state as it was picked...
Thankfully that task, should all be done and finished by the end of tomorrow.

And then; after Friday; when the man of that moniker will be putting in a welcome appearance, to get completed a few urgent tasks on the jobs list.

There'll be a chance of a sit down, for at least a day or two.

And perhaps even, the necessaries will be put in place, to enable the resumption of pictures here,  alongside the words...

For some reason that does feel important.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Slightly wistful...

Having been around livestock for most of my working life,  I'm pretty good at regarding them with a fairly detached attitude.
Particularly animals such as pigs,  given the only reason for their existence,  from an economic point of view, is that they be eaten.
They don't do so well in the milking parlour, and even the hairiest ones here would provide very skimpy cover as a winter wooly.
The final two, of the batch of nine,  that have spent the Summer busily digging up roots,  have just trundled past the window in the stock trailer, piloted by their nemesis Robin,  who has crafty designs upon all their succulent,  flavoursome,  slow grown parts.
However, one chap of the brigade had become a bit of a local character...
When he and his brethren were let into the last of the sweetcorn aftermath,  they quite naturally chowed down on all the edibles available.
Until someone had a light bulb moment.
Lady pigs when they are about to farrow will often exhibit very strong nesting instincts,  gathering up materials to make a comfy bed. In the woods, or outdoors with plenty of straw they have a surfeit of materials to play with...
But can you imagine their frustration when confined to a concrete floored crate?
Turns out it's not just humans, that can choose to cross the boundaries of traditional gender roles.
The last of the guys to go today had spent a lot of time making a bed in the communal arc,  trotting back and forth with mouthfuls of corn stalks to cosy up the accommodation.
It was hard not to identify with his comfort seeking endeavours,  as winter sets in,  even in relatively balmy Devon.
And when, the following day,  we broke off from our weeding,  and furnished the pigs with apple boughs,  this particular pig Co opted his mates to carry them all in.
I couldn't resist filming it. A large pig trying to get an overly wide branch into his bedroom to complement the soft furnishings..
Too funny..
They will be missed.
But enough of the sentimentality.
There is just time,  if the tractor will deign to start,  to get that ground worked down,  and sown to a soil preserving green manure of ryecorn...

Something a bit like this.... How the seasons fly by...