Neil Thomson leaning against tractor wheel© Jim Varney

After the harvest that lasted an eternity, thoughts turn to sowing. There is a saying that a camel is a horse designed by committee, meaning that while it does the job of being a camel perfectly well, it just doesn’t look quite right.

Well, that is exactly how I feel about our present drilling outfit. It is a combination power harrow and piggyback drill outfit made up of two different brands of machine.

Neither are performing particularly badly, but after four years of marriage they are simply not meant to be.

That partnership was a choice made by three of us sitting around a table trying to get the ultimate in equipment, when in fact it would have been far better to go with what had been destined to be together all along.

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Now we find ourselves in the market again and we have to avoid making the same mistake. It is a worry that the partners in our machine-sharing arrangement are not on the same wavelength when it comes to making the decision about the choice of its replacement.

Oh, the joys of co-operation. I thought it was meant to reduce your worries – “a problem shared is a problem halved” and all that. But it is more like a problem doubled.

I suppose the benefit of a committee would have helped Chris Robshaw make the correct decision and England might have made it to the next round of their own Rugby World Cup.

Oh dear, I do feel very sorry for the English, and I know a lot of you will be reading this through gritted teeth calling me a gloating Scottish bastard.

But I will make hay while the sun shines and record in this column that as I write we are sitting in a very respectable second place in our group, with only Samoa in the way of qualifying.

I will be at the match on Saturday, so let’s hope by the time you read this my English readers are not laughing at me. Well, so what if you are? It’s all good fun.


Neil Thomson farms 607ha in partnership with his father and brother from Caverton Mill, Kelso, on the Scottish Borders, growing combinable crops and brassicas. Some of the mainly medium loam is let for potatoes, and the farm also has cattle and sheep.