I know that at the age of 51 I’m very lucky to have both my parents still alive and gently kicking – aged 90 and 89 and celebrating 60 years of marriage next month. But it is not always a harmonious relationship – they do live with me in their own self-contained side of the house, with doors that can be firmly shut. Most of the time it’s fine and dandy, but being an impatient old cow I sometimes struggle.
Forgetfulness and hard of hearing are the two most difficult things to cope with. So there is a diary in which EVERYTHING gets written and left open on their kitchen table to aid the forgetfulness. And despite wearing hearing aids, they just don’t hear and a typical conversation can be…
“What did you say?”
I repeat and raise my voice slightly.
“I still didn’t hear”
So I repeat again raising my voice.
“There is no need to shout”
To which I snap and really do shout… “well you didn’t bloody hear so I have to SHOUT”.
However, there is a little incident the other evening that made me smile. While at the Exford show I purchased from Vivian – The Lavender Lady (www.thelavenderlady.co.uk) various wonderful creams and a bottle of lavender spray to spray onto one’s pillow to aid sleep. Mum doesn’t sleep well, she loves lavender so it was a perfect gift. However, I forgot to spray it on the pillow before she went to bed and so sadly she asked Dad. He managed one squirt onto one side of the pillow, but as he leant across to do the other side he didn’t lean far enough and squirted Mum full in the face! Still, she slept well that night.
It’s amazing when you own a piece of land just what the general public get up to.
The entrance to the farm is normal width but not wide enough when you need to get a tractor past and someone has parked their car there. I pulled into the entrance, dodged the parked car and let the springers out to run down to the house and drove off following them. Half way across the first field I spotted an elderly lady standing on the drive waving me down. As I got to her I wound down the window and politely – yes I can do it – asked if I could help? After all, she was on private property and technically shouldn’t been there. “You’re driving far too fast, you could have hit me and WHAT are these dogs doing off the lead?” she yelled. Stunned and somewhat taken back, I asked again if I could help?
It turned out it was her car blocking the farm entrance whilst she had gone for a walk up the moor. She had come across a dead deer caught in the fence, and thought she would come down to the house to report it. All fine and dandy – no problems there. However, she then complained that the gate was heavy and she couldn’t shut it. She also added that she was appalled at the speed I was driving (slower than the dogs running ahead) AND that my dogs were running wild. Still I kept my temper. I asked if she had shut the gate? To which she replied she couldn’t so she had left it open. At this stage I should have told her to b****r off but somehow I kept my temper. Hard… very hard.
“Lets get this straight” I said. “You have parked in MY private entrance, blocking it. You have walked in from the moor where you DO have a right to roam onto MY farm where you DON’T. You have left MY gate open so any stock in MY field is now out on the moor and any stock on the moor is now in MY field. You have the bloody cheek to tell me off for driving too fast on MY OWN BLOODY DRIVE while my own dogs are running loose in MY OWN BLOODY FIELD.” She went quiet. I drew breath and told her that any damage done to her car while parked in my entrance was done at her own risk and drove off.
She hasn’t been back.