dusting off combine

© Tim Scrivener

Combines are rolling, so we should spare a thought for all the spouses who will be leading a solitary existence until harvest is complete.

If you’re in that category, here are a few tips on dealing with it, making the most of it or actually grabbing a few hours with your husband or wife (assuming you want to, that is).

1 Perform a rain dance. Nothing stops wheels turning faster than a decent shower. Given how soaking this summer has already been, you probably won’t have to try very hard. Of course, if rain stops play, they won’t be very happy so it might not be exactly “quality time” you get to spend with them.

2 Take up welding. Nothing will make you an indispensable part of the team faster than the ability to stick bits of metal back together again.

See also: 25 pieces of advice for 25-year-olds 

3 Take to social media. You can spend hours on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You might not be seeing much of your own friends and relatives, but you’ll get to spend lots of time with other people’s – and you might learn something while you’re there.

4 Announce you’re pregnant. This will cause a real stir – especially if you’re a bloke.

5 Keep an eye on your other half with a drone. Or a jetpack. You’ll even be able to spot the lodged crops/flints/wet land/ approaching telegraph pole before they do.

6 Make friends with a new crowd of very attractive people of the opposite sex. Hold swanky late-night parties. When word gets through, you might find your spouse is suddenly able to get a few early finishes, after all.

7 Introduce sheep as part of your rotation. They’ll keep you more than busy, regardless of what’s happening harvest-wise. Once the first artic-load of store lambs has arrived, time for a relationship (actually spare time, full stop) becomes a thing of the past anyway. Especially if your land isn’t overly well-endowed in the fencing department.

8 Get out there and rogue that blackgrass because, gawd knows, there’s plenty of it this year. Who knows, zig-zagging across 50-acre fields might even become a new fitness trend. 

9 It’s a good time to finally get round to those jobs you’ve been putting off. And putting off. You know the ones – the catching up on work emails, the room that needs repainting, the gate that needs rehanging… 

10 Embrace it. We’re often surrounded by other people these days, so enjoy those precious hours on your own. Get stocked up on supplies, bring the duvet down to the sofa and watch boxsets until you drift off.