Sunday, September 21, 2014

Speed the plough

Dear friends, allow me once again to bring you into my world here.

Today I went to a ploughing match with my Dad.  A ploughing match is just what it sounds like - a contest of ploughing.  This particular one was a vintage tractor ploughing match.  Each ploughman has his vehicle and his plough.  They each get a 'plot' (section of land) and they must plough it within the allotted time and within the guidelines.  The furrows (the grooves/cuts made in the ground by the plough blades) have to be straight, not too deep not too shallow, even lines - there's a whole bunch of very specific guidelines that I don't know.  There are different classes for different categories of plough/tractor based on how old the tractor is and other stuff.  There were also a couple of ploughs that are motorised but they are not pulled by a tractor, instead they are pushed by hand by a madman strong farmer (they look like bloody hard work and one of the ploughmen with this type of plough had to give up because he was struggling so much to keep in a straight line/to break the ground.
Forty or so vintage tractors chugging back and forth across a stubble field on a beautiful September day is a lovely sight to behold.  Add a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea from the burger van and that's a pretty damn nice Sunday morning in the hills and valleys.

Dad on the left and Charlie, our neighbour who farms the land on which the ploughing match was held.  And who also plays the keyboard in our band.

I mentioned having a cup of tea at the ploughing match - let's take a minute for tea.
I am English therefore I must drink a fuck load of tea. Errrr.......yup! Yes that's absolutely correct. I have no argument. I don't know what it is but it is just ALWAYS the right time for a cup of tea here. Always.
Cold? Tired? Just woke up? About to go to bed? After a meal? Going out? Coming home? Working? Relaxing in front of the TV? Hanging with friends? Out and about? Gardening? Cooking? Asleep House on fire?
I get through three cups by midday and goodness knows how many more by the end of the day. I don't know why this is. I don't know what compels me to drink so much tea here. Well not just me, most people. Just wanted to clear things up for everyone - yes, tea drinking is like breathing here. You just do it all day long without thinking. Right, time for a cuppa.

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