Our “The dos and don’ts of dating a farmer” piece attracted a big response. Here are some of your observations on the joys and pitfalls of rural relationships
“If he takes a different route to and from your destination, he’s not being romantic by showing you the countryside. He’s checking out other farmers’ ploughing, planting, harvesting or stock – he’s seeing who has got what machinery or eyeing up next week’s job.
Never talk to him while he’s doing this.
“Your washing machine will need regular renewal because of the debris left in boiler suits put out for the wash. So much for the claim: ‘But I’d checked the pockets.’
“Be prepared to find washers, chalk, twine (varying colours and lengths), grain, fertiliser, pens, lighters, notebooks, plastic clips and shed keys.
“Be ready to be greeted after the dogs when he finally gets home.
“Learn to accept him nodding off every night – it’s not you, it’s him.”
“Expect the kitchen table to become an extension of the workshop and never be surprised at what piece of machinery/equipment or other gubbins may randomly appear next to (or even in) the fruit bowl.
“Do expect corn, grain dust and hay/straw to cover your furniture during haymaking and harvest.
“If you are female, you must become adept at cooking and packing meals which can be eaten on the tractor without too much hassle. I have mastered delivering cooked teas, ranging from shepherd’s pie to meat and veg.
“Accept the fact that when your farmer goes Awol in the house, you will most likely find them on the loo reading the Farmers Weekly.”
“If you’re not prepared to spend hours on their tractor with them during haymaking/harvest/land-working, do not expect to see them.
“Do not expect dates during any of the above times.
“Meals out during above times will take the form of fish and chips in said tractor.
“Accept the fact that when your farmer goes Awol in the house, you will most likely find them on the loo reading the Farmers Weekly.
“Surrender early and accept that you too, will, before long, find yourself reading the Farmers Weekly while on the loo. It’s inevitable.”
“Get used to sharing the front seat of the car with a dog.
“You’ll soon realise that growing flowers is a waste of time as when the cattle get out they’ll eat them.”
Gillian Helen Bates
“Don’t mention the smell of animals or silage except in a positive sense.
“Cuddle the big animals as well as the small ones.
“Remember, underneath every thick coating of mud, there may be a vehicle that works.”