A few days ago I posted a picture on the Birchwood Croft’s Facebook page about putting up our ‘Christmas tree’. It was very similar to the one above. However, being a theatre nurse by trade does mean I have OCD and as said on the post, my shweng-fee had noticed that the original was not symmetrical (reality had been that it started off getting stacked to see if I could keep the driving rain out of the buckets and nothing to do with having seasonal cheer).
Today, I decided we needed a more ornamental tree. This was after I tufted the cows out to spread the remains of the latest straw bale. At the start of the week I had placed the bale into the byre and it was one of the Green Fairies who unrolled half the bale and placed the rest in the corner. It’s then been slowly forked out to give fresh bedding for the cows throughout the week. The plan is that only one more bale of straw will need to be organised before the Crofter returns home. The big count down has started (always helps when you get to the single digits).
Yes, the next flight off the rig will be his. Which means if this baby decides it’s time for a labour party at the local hospital, the Crofter will just have to wait until his scheduled flight (and I’m sure a few in the office have just breathed a sigh of relief that they haven’t had to deal with getting him home in an emergency). I’m not sure how many others have birth plans that include names and numbers of who can feed/deal/drive various livestock and machinery in case of an emergency (I’m pretty sure I have spoken to everyone listed but just in case any friends/neighbours/acquaintances get a random telephone call; don’t have a heart attack, you obviously told me to call if I needed anything so I have taken you up on your offer…).
So often in agriculture we have to deal with sudden changes (a calf arrives overnight, an animal becomes unwell), seasonal issues (power cuts), and weather conditions (gale force winds/ice). With awareness of these potentials, we try and have plans in place with contingency back up. However, life does have quirks and even out-with the ‘norm’, life goes on regardless. From public holidays to life events, in agriculture, you don’t suddenly have a day you can just put your feet up.
Which works well for me. A lot of events are not specific day related to me. I do not feel that I need to eat certain foods on specific days. It’s more who I am with. Friends, such as the Green Fairies, really are the angels on the top of my ‘tree’. They turn up and give a hand; they seem to be the opposite of what often gets portrayed at this time of year. They aren’t dressed in red, looking overweight, sitting about asking my son if he has been good (apologies for coming across as a Scrooge but I want the Mini Crofter to know where his gifts have come from, to be thankful, and that not all gifts are material, let alone expensive). I have no issue with using our imagination; I just do not see why I need someone to dress up and pretend all presents come from him. One of the best gifts I am given, is people’s time. Just as I can work/labour/give time to look after our livestock, I look forward to the time of the Crofter being home (and sharing the work). I want the Mini and Micro Crofter to understand money can’t buy everything. In a similar light, I wish to help people understand why we spend time looking after livestock and how we can also enjoy the meat. So, this year I may be with friends and family on a certain day. Or I may not. Time will tell.