FW agony uncle Farmer Frank answers Christmas conundrums

Farmers Weekly’s fictional agony uncle, Farmer Frank, has ruffled a few feathers since he began dispensing his homespun wisdom. After all, he’s not qualified, not experienced and, according to some, not all there. Here are his answers to some seasonal conundrums

Do you think Christmas has become too commercial?

Yes. By the way, if anyone sees my daughter, can they tell her I want a flatscreeen TV this year. The 48-inch one.

I think my husband is playing away from home – what should I do?

I’d need more information as regards what exactly it is he’s playing away from home. If it’s skittles or backgammon, you’re probably fine. If he’s in a relationship with your sister, my advice would be rather different.

Do you think the drainage network is irreparably clogged?

Mine certainly is. There again, that could have something to do with all the toffees I’ve eaten this week. 

How do you stop hare coursing?

I’m lucky, I’ve still got a fairly decent head of hair, but my mate Reg who’s thinning out wears a wig and he reckons it’s taken years off him. His ginger tom once mounted the wig while he was asleep. I gather the barber got a shock next time Reg went in…

Who would you like to see in the New Year’s Honours list?

Farmer Frank MBE, that’s got a certain ring to it, hasn’t it?

Is Christmas a good time to sit round the table and talk succession planning?

No, it’s a good time to sit round the pub and talk gibberish.

What are you doing to help the next generation?

Absolutely nothing. Last thing I want is them squeezing me out. They can wait their turn like I had to. In fact, I’m doing everything I possibly can to discourage more young people coming into agriculture. Last thing we need is them realising what a great life this is!

How would you describe agriculture to a young person considering it as a career?

Crushingly long hours, gruelling physical work, no thanks from anyone and awful pay.

We are considering bringing a spaniel into the home in 2016. Any advice?

You won’t regret it but it’s hard work. I always remember when I got my last dog. There was definitely a transition period when there was some adapting to the mess and smell. But the dog eventually got used to that.

I’ve been having a feud with my brother over some land for 10 years, but I’m conscious Christmas is a time for forgiveness. How can we make a new start?

10 years – that’s not a feud, that’s a minor disagreement. I’ve have feuds over land that lasted four decades.

What do you think about the new rules on auto-enrolment for pensions?

Never heard such rubbish in all my life – I mean, pensions for cars. Whatever next, passports for cattle?

How can I stop our Christmas tree wilting?

You’re asking the wrong man. I’ve long since resigned myself to the problem of wilting.

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