Wednesday, 27 January 2010

All Stations Go.

Very busy few days here on the farm.
Are you a creature of habit? If you are retired and can choose what time you get up, do you vary according to how long you sleep in? Do your meal times coincide with when you feel hungry?
Well, I can tell you that here on the farm we live by the clock. In the days before we had Foot and Mouth disease, when the farmer milked twice a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year, our day started at 6am.
Now, of course, he is semi-retired but after sixty years or so of working by the clock, old habits die hard. He does manage to stay in bed until 6.30am - but , my goodness me, if he wakes and it is twenty to seven he leaps out of bed and says "We're late!"
I stay in bed for my morning cup of tea (courtesy of the farmer) but always get up just after seven. As I draw the curtains back our neighbouring farmer is going past the window in his land rover to collect his daily paper - he is a creature of habit too you see.
But all that has gone to pot this week because our neighbour has a lot of cattle and they are indoors for the winter. This is mid=winter cleaning out week - and who is helping him? My farmer. This means collecting the papers half an hour earlier so that they can "get going" and how odd it seems not to see his land rover when I draw back the curtains. Sad isn't it, that I am so ordered - well that is what my friends all think (don't you, those who read this blog - you know who you are), but actually, I enjoy the discipline of regular meal times etc. it makes it easy to plan my day.
The cleaning out of the beast is also run like a military operation. Because the land is so wet and these large tractors make such a mess of the land, all the manure is being moved to a dry piece of land a couple of miles away from the farm. One of them digs out the manure and fills a trailer while the other one drives to the heap they are making; then the one at the farm fills another trailer and starts out towards the heap. When they meet on the narrow lane, where it is difficult to pass, they swap round, changing tractor driving - all done like a military operation.
And as this same chap had a big new tractor last week, the farmer is enjoying driving this big monster up and down. You know what we have said about big boys toys in the past!
Today is a busy day for me. This morning we are proof reading our first publication as a writers' group and this afternoon it is our poetry reading afternoon. I am quite looking forward to that - eight of us all sitting quietly together round a fire, drinking tea, eating biscuits and reading each other our favourite poetry. Can't think of anything better, can you?

#My friend, M, had the operation on her hand, is home again and very cheerful. She thanks you for all the kind inquiries.

19 comments:

Coastcard said...

My best wishes to your friend, M - and I wish I could be joining you all this afternoon round the fire!

jinksy said...

Except maybe eight of you all writing poetry...

Elisabeth said...

I, too, am a creature of habits, but mine are different from yours - city life versus country I suppose.

I love the rhythm of a life lived around certain regular sequences. That way you can alter the rhythm on weekends and during holidays to offer diversity, inside a safe and tidy frame.

Heather said...

So pleased your friend's op. went well. We too are creatures of habit and still eat our main meal in the evening as that is when we had it for donkeys years before my husband retired. We get up a bit later than you - I like to be up at about 7.30 but on these cold mornings it does tend to run on a bit! Breakfast at about 8am, lunch at 1pm and dinner at 7pm. I think it makes life easier and as you say, it is easier to plan one's day. Enjoy your poetry reading and keep warm.

dinesh chandra said...

My best wishes to your friend , heart touching post.

Regards

Dinesh Chandra

steven said...

hello weaver! that reads like a dream of an afternoon. enjoy your time with the words, the friends, and the warmth on a mid-winter's eve. steven

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

I'm not sure about this routine business. After all, the benefit of being retired (even semi) is being able to go with the flow! And on these cold, dark mornings, I'd happily stay in bed! Enjoy the poetry.

Golden West said...

Sounds like a wonderful day, Weaver. I enjoyed your post about friendship - it's a blessing to have someone who goes back far enough to understand the ups and downs that shaped us.

Pondside said...

Perhaps because we spent so many years ar the whim of the Air force I crave order in my personal life. The Great Dane used to laugh when I'd wail 'I want a little boredom!' I agree with you that having some things set firmly allows the rest of life to flow smoothly.
Have a wonderdul afternoon.

Jane Moxey said...

I envy you your routine, Weaver. Being used to living by bells and a very ordered routine at boarding school (very many years ago, I might add), my adult life has not been so ordered. I've tried to impose routines from time to time, but with the free lance world of my husband's work in the past, it's been hard to establish and keep a routine! I hope you have a lovely afternoon with your writing friends and that your farmer isn't too exhausted from the tractor driving exercise!

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

A fire, hot tea, friends, and literature -- no, I can't think of a much better way to spend a morning. It sounds wonderful. :)

Cloudia said...

Dear dear companionable habit!



Aloha, Weaver


Comfort Spiral

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"This morning we are proof reading our first publication as a writers' group"

How exciting! How wonderful this will be. Although I envy you the day with your friends, writing and poetry, I know you have worked hard to get it. I'll think of you when teaching World Geography tomorrow - when my fingers brush over the British Isles on the way to Prague.

Bovey Belle said...

Yes, lots of habits here, and I was thinking of this only on Monday. Our routines have changed in the past year, since our youngest "child" has left school (he's nearly 19 now!) Before, I was always up at 6.30 a.m. to do breakfast etc and then drive him down to the A40 to catch the school bus. Equally, afternoons were punctuated by driving down to the bus stop to pick him up after school (4.30 ish). We now have the luxury of staying in bed longer, and have been doing so - as long as the cats allow anyway!

The farmer next door still has unchanged milking habits so we can usually tell it's 6.30 if we're awake, by the sound of his farm machinery as his middle European milking duet set about feeding the cattle and start on milking.

3 p.m. is cup of tea time here - a habit of my husband's . . . Oh, and Sunday morning is always car boot sale and Archers Omnibus . . .

Poet in Residence said...

What is habit? Whatever it is, don't be a slave to it. Here's an illustration.-

A Chinese man was recently asked what he thought about economic progress in his country. He replied -
I now have a steel box in which I sit for 2 hours each day.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Glad friend is recovering well.Familiarity and routine breed comfort and security, but makes it hard to deal with change. Tea and biccies round the fire with your friends? Lovely.

Granny Sue said...

I suppose almost everyone has a set routine if they have a job they must go to on a schedule. My job, though, is generally anything but routine--the day's plan changes at a phone call or email. In warmer months when I do most of my storytelling, the routine is anything but-I travel to all sorts of places, take the back ways, stop to see things along the way...it's so much fun.

Congratulations on your group's book! We've discussed that in our group and I would like to try it. Let us know when it's done and how to get it.

An afternoon of reading poetry by the fire, with tea--perfect. I can just picture it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Re habit: I don't expect we shall ever change now, but Poet and TFE are probably right - it does make it hard to deal with change - I do get put out when things get our of sequence.
Re: our book. We are all writing about Railways in a book called "Trains of Thought" which is going on sale at Easter. We are all amateur writers but it has made us all focus our minds and we are reasonably pleased with the book after proof-reading it.

Re: Poetry reading afternoon: We heard peotry by Keats, Fanthorpe, Coleridge-Taylor, Dylan Thomas, Sir Philip Sydney, Roger McGough, Longfellow, Carol Ann Duffy, Housman - to name but a few. Lovely to hear both new stuff and old familiar stuff. It is a splendid afternoon.

Thanks for the comments.

BT said...

What a busy life your farmer has, even semi-retired. We are creatures of hopeless time keeping and very erratic 'habits'. I could never be a farmer's wife - I hate getting up early and it's now 6.25am and Jim and I are both still up. How hopeless are we?