13 March 1998

Farmers child & farmers wife

I SHOULD have known better!

Seriously, anyone who has been a farmers daughter for 21 years should have been more aware of the pitfalls of life with a farmer, but did I listen to reason? No! I was in love.

I walked blindly into a YFC at 14 and from then on was destined never to find a spouse who didnt live in his wellies. I even worked in a bank for three years to test out other species of potential mates, but the homing instinct kept bringing me back to smelly socks and muck. Roger walked into my life and reason walked out.

At first we lived on a small estate, but that was unsuccessful. While he was combining until all hours and bringing home the corn, literally in his boots, all the other husbands on the estate kissed their wives goodbye at 8.30am and hello at 6pm, cut the grass and polished the car at the weekend. Mine was usually too exhausted to indulge in passionate details, had seen enough of rotating blades to be totally disinterested in the lawn mower and what was the point in cleaning the car when he still had to go and look at a field of corn to be cut


In my innocence, as a bride of the land, I thought things would improve when we moved to the farmhouse. Another good idea hits the dustbin! Now I had all the baggins to prepare, answer the telephone, collect bales or potatoes in my spare time and depending on the season, greet reps with a smile and lie.

My goodness, how the farmers wife has the monopoly on confession after a week of living with the "honest farmer". "Hes not just here at the moment" roughly translated means hes sat beside you frantically shaking his head because he doesnt think he can stand talking to the bank manager at the moment; "Theres a cheque in the post," by which you mean you can put all the blame on the post office if the seed firm does not receive its money by the next day, and "Bloody hell that clocks slow," really means the cricket was getting too exciting to leave, but dont tell anyone.

Also, you have got to be a person whose head is not turned easily with flattery, to be married to a farmer, because "Hello dear, dont you look stunning," means "Can you pick up a load of bales from the bottom field before it starts to rain?"

But then again, whats the point in looking stunning when you could be under an oily tractor holding a spanner one minute, or dehorning a calf another.

I look at other mums on the school run in their immaculate clothes, with hair perfect and a full make-up on and sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be clean all day. But I can only wonder, because I chose to marry a farmer and thats how it is with farming.

Mrs B Webster