Hi-ho!

I was going to kick this off by comparing us all to a different dwarf  – à la Snow White – but as soon as I really began to think about it, I realised that we are actually all Grumpy and Sleepy. I leave you to apply a judgement re: Dopey, yourselves.

John is grumpy because it has been raining on his grass, and some of his tractors are poorly sick. I feel I don’t blog often enough about farming: perhaps I should bring you up to date. His current excuse for not fencing the garden or digging out the steps is haymaking and silaging. This involves, firstly, praying for dry weather, secondly, mowing dry grass (if you are pollen-sensitive, cue: Sneezy), thirdly, tedding it about while praying really hard and meaning it for more dry weather, and lastly, dashing out with your baler mere minutes ahead of the towering black cloud and driving at breakneck speed around your field. Naturally, this injudicious speed results in a bunged-up baler, so you must repeatedly crawl underneath and perform grass midwifery. Off you go again, only to hear a sinister thunk followed by a symphony of tearingly unpleasant machinery noises. The rain begins to fall faster.

If you are the wife of the owner of said machine, this is where you quietly disappear.

The core priority is to remove your stricken object back to the yard as soon as possible; you must, if you value your reputation, conceal the affliction at all costs from your farming neighbours. Apple, let me assure you, has nothing to teach UK agriculture. 

These type of mishaps can presage a lengthy spell parked in front of the workshop. Panels are removed. Exploratory surgeries are undertaken. Hands blacken further in filthy oil. The mechanised equivalent of femoral head pinning is discussed. Dog-eared parts manuals are consulted. Phone calls are made. Wives are dispatched to collect the Vital Transplant Organ.

Of course, if your yard is already populated with agricultural engineers who are repairing the tractors that you don’t actually have time to tackle yourself, then your chances of keeping the latest twist in your machinery misfortunes quiet are pretty much nil. Hubby has, I believe, one key tractor due to be broken open into two halves in order to fix an oil leak, and another yard tractor parked up sans steering ability, awaiting fettling. He came home Friday lunchtime to find that I had given Harry a toy tractor to play with that was a scale replica of a rather swish new model – a distinct improvement on any of John’s current collection. I caught him looking wistfully at the New Holland website a few minutes later (he is a diehard blue-tractor man. Speak not to him of green ones, even if they are the only company servicing the farm-mad toddler market) and sure enough, he has now announced that he wants a new one. These things can cost £50,000+ for a used one. And the farm profit is currently our only income. Yikes.

I am grumpy because I have a gynae hospital appointment tomorrow afternoon with a Mr Sorinola, as opposed to Mr Steven Olah, the other consultant gynae, or Mr Savonarola, the 15thC Dominican monk I initially confused him with. There was a time when I used to whip my undercarriage out for medical inspection with nary a qualm, but this will be the first time someone has looked – I am discounting my GP’s vain attempts  – at my cervi since about 2 hours before Harry emerged from one of them, and I have gone a bit Bashful. I’m also rather nervous about what he will be telling me.

I will be obliged to schedule a lengthy and awkward session with the the razor around my sadly uncared-for pubic area later this evening – lengthy because of the sheer level of neglect, and awkward because, despite 2 weeks of dieting savagely and exercising like a demented thing, I have only shed a measly 4lbs. Hence, I still cannot see what I’m actually doing down there.

Harry is grumpy because he has had intermittent diarrhoea for a couple of weeks which is worsening; he is being carted to the drs tomorrow. We have gone 22 months with hardly a day of nappy rash, but over the course of today his poor beleaguered bottom has gone, yet again, from delivering a turd the consistency of a housebrick, to shooting out spoonfuls of watery squits; his skin has gone from palest pink to abraded and ever so sore. He is a tough little shoot when it comes to bumps, cuts and bruises, but he’s coping badly with this.

I didn’t know my heart could wring itself into such a sad little shape until I saw him waddle towards me, knees bent, clutching his sore little bottom in waily distress. His skin has deteriorated astonishingly quickly: he was left in a dirty nappy while we were at my parents’ house early this evening – possibly for the best part of an hour, because the contents were weirdly undetectable by nose – and that has unfortunately been responsible for his skin breaking open. I have kept his nappy off since and slathered him in Bepanthen once his skin was dry- despite his violent, heart-rending struggles and hoarse shrieks – but the poor little lad kept pooing every 20 minutes and undoing my good work. Sigh.

Hopefully he will have a quiet, crap-free night and I will attempt to sneak a dry nappy onto him when I go to bed, too. Which may not be late, as the little bugger decided that 4.30 was the new 7am this morning, hence we are all Sleepy. And probably Dopey.

PS. John wants me to tell you that he is actually a Brand New dwarf called Frisky. And I am not the only one with a neglected undercarriage, hint-hint.

That is all.

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