Down on the Wicklow farm

Chris’s mum made the best lunch spread of sandwiches and home-made cakes.. voles not included.

They were freely available though scuttling around the farmyard.

Which is where Sean found a dead one and slipped it into Wee Jon’s doorstep sandwich.

Conscience got the better of him though and he called a halt before Jon caught rabies.

Coat of arms: Aberdeenshire

We were down on the Aberdeenshire farm, seven students with hefty overdrafts but summer time on our hands.

And a farmer who needed his hay brought in.

So English Chris and Big Finlay, the Hebridean, were out in the fields bringing in the hay.

Andy and myself (sometimes Toothy but never on a Sunday, he liked those off and Chris never sussed and still paid him) put them through the chute.

Andy, far left, Wee Jon middle, and Finlay, right

Pyscho bagged them when they came out of the machine and Sean sealed them before giving them to Wee Jon.

Who stacked them at the back of the shed.

Armoured man: History aplenty

Trouble was that he should have made a pyramid because the bags swell.

And put weight on the back of the wall.

So that one day Chris phoned to tell me that the shed had come down and he’d lost his harvest.

And us our jobs!

I wish Sean hadn’t stopped Jon eating the vole sandwich.

And I told Jon and his too good for him partner, Rachel, as much when he came to visit this year.

Stuff and nonsense of which brings me to an Agricultural Heritage Week in my adopted county of Wicklow.

We’ve been here a while now: Co. Wicklow

Coolakay, Enniskerry, is offering guided tours on Friday, August 23, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm with owner and agri historian Robert Roe, main pic.

Robert, a sheep farmer and master of the plough, will show off his tractors, Jeeps and farm machinery.

And give talks about Ireland’s rich agri heritage.

Coolakay House & Agricultural Heritage Centre is on Powerscourt Waterfall Road www.coolakayhouse.ie.

And read my love letter to Powerscourt Flowerscourt.

There is reduced entry of €2. No children without accompanying adults.

Also www.visitwicklow.ie.

And after you’ve finished reading Flowerscourt here’s my letter to my first love, Aberdeen A light in the north.

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