Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Owl or Lark?


The farmer has always risen at six o'clock in the morning.  This goes back to the days when he was a boy and there were milk cows on the farm.   The herd had to be milked and the milk put into churns in those days and carried on a cart, pulled by the farm horse, down to Leyburn Station for transportation to the milk depot.  And, although the farmer had to walk the couple of miles to school, he had to help in the dairy first.

This habit has stayed with him and he finds it impossible to stay in bed - six twenty is his time for rising and it never varies.   Even on holiday he is out and about by this time and often goes off for a walk before breakfast.

Because I taught for years and usually dropped my son off at his school on my way to work I would also get up early.  I liked to leave the house tidy, the bed made and  almost always the evening meal prepared, so my mornings started early too.   My then husband taught more than thirty miles away, so he had to be up and off at crack of dawn.


Our Aga has been under-performing for the last few months for no apparent reason we could see, so we called in an Aga engineer for today.   As we were having our breakfast, at about seven thirty, the phone rang and the engineer was asking directions to get here.   He arrived five minutes later and by nine had solved the problem and left.

I asked him  - was he always this early and he replied that if he had to go to a farm then he knew they would be up in time, so he could make them his first call of the day.    Old habits die hard.

Are you a lark, or are you (like my friend M if you are reading  this!) an owl?  I would argue that larks get the best part of the day but the I suppose owls would say that they get the best part of the night.

 **At the top are two items from the bygone age of milking cows; both are in our kitchen, one on the dresser and the other over the door:  the yoke from the days when two buckets could be carried on the shoulders and the brass strip which was round the top of a milk churn which would wait for collection on the Station Platform each more.  The wording reads:
UTLEY. EMPTY LEYBURN STN. 

**  The Aga engineer found the problem with the Aga immediately - the pipe from the oil tank to the cooker was clogged up with fragments of detritus.   He had it cleared in no time after a complete service and the Aga is now back to normal.   The moral of this story is that it is always best to get the right man for the job.

***Following on from yesterday's hay/silage saga - I have to report that at lunch time today, after several showers, the farmer decided that the crop was definitely far too heavy to ever make hay before the rain came (the weather is not all that settled) and called in the silage men.   Now nineteen bales of wrapped silage are stacked in the silage store and there will be no hay from our fields again this year. 

26 comments:

Rachel said...

Lark. Early to bed and early to rise. Must be my farming up-bringing. That thing above the door looks like an early example of a bra, guaranteed to give you lift.

Derek Faulkner said...

Definitely a lark and always get up between 5 and 5.30 every day of the year and always in bed between 10 and 10.30. Although I go to bed early I rarely sleep all night, perhaps 4 hours if I'm lucky. Lying in bed has always seemed a waste of time to me and on beautiful summer's mornings I find it hard to believe that people can still be in bed at 10 or 11 and missing so much.

Countryside Tales said...

Loved reading about the old days of farming milk cows it took me back to my childhood. I was an owl before having children- now a lark!

Derek Faulkner said...

Just seen your comment on my blog Pat, re. the barn cottages. They must have been awfully cold places to live, stuck out in the middle of nowhere, especially in the Dales and any heat must of been welcome, even if it came accompanied by the pong of cattle. On the marshes down here people also had to put up with constant damp and suffering from the Ague. That was another name for malaria, spread by the mosquitoes here and we still have some of those mosquitoes around to this day.

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

I'm a lark, David is an owl. can be frustrating at times and very useful at others!
Gillx

Librarian said...

My sleeping habits have been shifting back and forth. For many years, getting up at 5:30 so I could be at work at 7:00 was normal. Now that I have a lot more freedom and work largely self-determined, I usually get up at 7:00 on working days, starting between 9:00 and 9:30 - like you, I like to leave my flat tidy with the bed made and the breakfast things washed etc.
Saturdays I get up between 8:00 and 9:00, and Sundays I try to stay in bed at least until 9:00. But often, even when I've been out dancing and have come home between 2:00 and 4:00 in the morning, I can't sleep as long as I would like to.
A lot depends on the season - winter is easier to sleep longer - and whether I have male company or not.

Wilma said...

If the sun is up, I am up. Sometimes even earlier. I usually get between 6 and 7 hours of sleep. Like Derek, I can't abide the thought wasting away the morning hours by sleeping. I am most definitely at my best both physically and mentally in the morning hours and get slow and dull once the sun sets. Glad your Aga is performing well again.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I'm more of a lark (but definitely not a 5:30 lark!) and my husband is more of an owl. My two children are absolutely owls. I don't know why, but it bothers me that they prefer to stay up late and rise late. Maybe it is that notion of laziness. I grew up in the country (dairy farmers) and everyone was up early. -Jenn

Heather said...

I am definitely not an owl and am not sure I count as a lark either. However, if I do wake early I get up as going back to sleep is a mistake. I don't like to leave the house if I haven't done my morning chores - it's horrid coming home to them.
I have the same tableware as you and love the yoke and milk churn collar.
Sad about the hay but at least you have silage.

Dawn McHugh said...

A Lark I get up when I wake up anytime between 5 & 6-30 I dont use an alarm clock, as soon as I am out of bed its made and the washing comes downstairs with me, I need 2 mugs of tea to get me going, bedtime is anything between 10 & 11pm except for friday when Martin is due home then it can easily be 1am we have a lot to catch up and he often isnt home until 11pm :-)

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Wish to be an owl and a lark at the same time! I'd waste less time sleeping

Terry and Linda said...

We are larks here...farm work waits for no one.

Linda

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I am definitely an owl. I like the quiet of the late night but being a teacher for all those years meant I had to pretend to be a lark. I would have much preferred it if the school day had started at ten and finished at six. Twitt-twoo!

Sue said...

A lark. I can't stay awake in the evenings no matter how hard I try. (We have two old wooden yokes in the barn - Paul won't allow me to bring them into the house as they're probably infested with woodworm.)

donna baker said...

I get up when the weenies wake me up, but I'd like to stay abed a little longer. If I had to be out and about early, I'd be anxious. I go to bed early nowadays and read till I get tired. I guess I can't complain, but I think I tend more toward the owl, but would like to be a lark.

jinxxxygirl said...

Poor Kitties... no hay.. :( Well , I halve always considered myself a night owl as i like to stay up late and read... Hubby is a Lark.... When working i could not give into my NightOwl tendencies very often as i had to be up very early for work... now that i'am retired i probably give into my NightOwl tendency a little too often...lol On the rare occassions when i do get up early I always enjoy the early morning hours...And the day seems extra long to get things done........ Hugs! deb

Penny said...

Both lark and owl these days as I don't find bed a comfortable place any more. Shame about the hay, silage is no where near as romantic.

Tom Stephenson said...

Insomniac lark.

Frances said...

Weaver, I am a natural lark, who had her natural sleeping patterns altered for some years prior to this year's retirement. My work schedule was often 11-7, or 12-8, or even 1-9. By the time I got home and fixed some sort of supper, I was dining later than 10 pm, pretending I was in Spain or South America. This lead me to watching late night tv comedians like Jimmy Fallon and getting to sleep not long before midnight.

It has been such a pleasure as this year's spring turned to summer, to be able to wake around sunrise, and have my natural mode restored. I hope that Jimmy Fallon does not miss me as part of his nightly audience.

May I tell you again how much I enjoy your posts! xo

angryparsnip said...

So with the rain will the sillage not mold all wrapped up tight. I know you have told me about this before.
Will you buy a bit of hay for the kitties and hedgehogs ?

I am an owl. All the years of going to school then working after school, coming home late for dinner and the homework.
Like the evening because it is so quiet and if I did not fall asleep I could get lots of work done.

I like the early morning if I was just myself to take care of I would wake up early. But the quiet evening the stars and the evening sounds are wonderful.

cheers, parsnip and thehamish

Cro Magnon said...

5,30 am. I can't stay in bed any longer, I have so much to do. As I write it is 6.09 am, and I've only just started all my tasks.

Polly said...

This is such an interesting post. I'm not from a farming background but we lived in the country and I do remember seeing milk urns being transported on carts. I was a Lark when I worked, nowadays I'm usually up about 7.30. I liked your Hay or Silage post too. The fields where I walk my dogs have wheat, rape and grass growing in them and the grass ones have just been cut, does this grass become hay/silage and what is the difference between hay and silage? I smiled at the thought of the chickens, cats and hedgehogs :-) I like your blog but I'm not very good at regular following, I can't seem to organise myself very well!!

Midmarsh John said...

I used to be up by 6 a.m. when working so as to take the dog for a walk and still get up at the same time since retiring. It's a pleasant time of day most of the year.

the veg artist said...

Lark here, married to an owl. I find early mornings peaceful and full of promise. By evenings, I'm just ready to collapse in front of the TV!

Derek Faulkner said...

Polly, silage is grass that is cut and immediately baled in large polythene bags while it is still fresh and green. It then ferments and is given to the livestock in that condition in the winter.
Hay, is grass that is cut, left in the field and then regularly turned and dried in the sun until it is bone dry and then it is baled in uncovered bales for winter feed.

Polly said...

Many thanks for your explanation Derek. Sorry for the lateness.