Will’s World: Like Neil Diamond, I’m forever in blue jeans

Are you a shorts person? I feel like I need to ask this very important question, as I’ve noticed a visible divide in the farming community between those who stick to the traditional dirty jeans, even on the hottest of days, and those who enjoy baring calf and thigh in the depths of winter.

There isn’t a middle ground either, it’s one or the other – you’re either #TeamJeans or #TeamShorts, and it’s as simple as that.

See more: Bridgette Baker – I’ve become a farming fashion expert

About the author

Will Evans
Farmers Weekly Opinion writer
Will Evans farms beef cattle and arable crops across 200ha near Wrexham in North Wales in partnership with his wife and parents.
Read more articles by Will Evans

Where did it come from, though, this penchant for shorts?

I have theories; the first being that the rise of the phenomenon came with the demise of small bales.

Imagine having to shift 5,000 bales of wheat straw in a pair of those little things – even the thought of it makes my knees sting.

In a way, then, we can blame Mr Heston.

My other theory is that it’s our antipodean cousins’ fault, with young farming Brits who took the well-travelled path Down Under from the ’90s onwards bringing the fashion back with them, until now they’re endemic.

And they are too. An agricultural show we attended last summer that happened to be hosting a national YFC event was the perfect example.

Everywhere we looked there were sickeningly young and good-looking people strutting about in those two-tone things that they’re all wearing these days, paired with dealer boots, the ubiquitous Schoffel, and mullet haircuts (more on the glorious return of these in a future column).

As we watched on, simultaneously dealing with four sweaty children clinging to us and pestering constantly for ice cream, the present Mrs Evans and I concluded that we’d never been so jealous or felt so old in our entire lives.

The generational divide writ large for us in the form of a pair of Wop-Wops – how utterly depressing.

But having said all this, I have occasionally donned a pair myself. Though obviously I go for the sensible cargo variety, or “Dad shorts” as my oldest daughter refers to them, bless her heart.

A recent airing of my shorts was on Father’s Day last month, when I insisted that we go for a family walk along the river to the local pub, so I could treat myself to a celebratory pint of Guinness.

We set off in the stifling heat, along the neglected and overgrown footpath, with me cheerfully leading the way, resplendent in the aforementioned Dad shorts, and regularly dispensing such classic Dad phrases as “come on, walking builds character”, “you’ll thank me for this one day”, and “don’t worry about nettle stings, there’s plenty of docks about”, much to my daughters’ delight.

Eventually, after battling through woodland, across brooks and around a few of the neighbours’ fields, we got to the pub, red-faced, out of breath, and only slightly grumpy with each other, ready for our well-earned reward of cold drinks and crisps in the beer garden.

“Told you this would be fun”, I stated happily as we all began to cool down. We’d think about the walk home later.

It was then though, right at this moment of ultimate triumph, that I began to realise that something was wrong. What was it? I felt disquieted, but I didn’t know why. And then it began.

A slight tingling sensation, that quickly moved across my body until it began to burn and itch everywhere. Mosquitoes!

We’d unknowingly stumbled right through seemingly the entire Welsh population of the biting nasties, and the trouble with shorts, as I can now attest, much to my extreme discomfort, is they don’t keep the mozzas out.

Needless to say, henceforth I shall firmly be #TeamJeans.