Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Farming rituals that involve muscles

Sunday evening in the winter is paper time for the boys. The mainland ferry brings the papers to the island late on Sunday afternoon and the happy farmer heads off to the village stores to buy his papers and invariably meets up with Farmer T and then they tend to pay a visit to the local hostelry for what is supposed to be a quick and light refreshment before heading home.
The ‘refreshment’ on a Sunday has become another deeply embedded weekly farming ritual which has quickly gained support from the Jura ferryman, the beady eyed woodcock, the roddy exterminator and a few other likely characters. Invariably the wives have now become integrated into the Sunday ritual too, but only in the form of having to ferry them to and from the paper round on Sundays. The ‘ritual’ generally involves a few pints, a few local characters and invariably forgetting to bring those papers home, although recently since the kids have started to add various necessities of the sweetie variety to his shopping list this service has somewhat improved, as while a bit of nagging from the wife puts him neither up nor down, sweets left behind opens up a whole new dimension when it comes to moans and groans.
Last Sunday the paper ritual was further enhanced when walking into the pub the happy farmer walked into the middle of a culinary experience. The ex local game keeper and a gathering of local characters were hosting a cooking competition of local produce. On the menu was beady eyed woodcock with his pheasants and venison, all smoked, grey lag from an upstanding character, to a general display of game and seafood from chefs, and dishes presented by an odd visitor. The judges consisted of a factor, an ex factor and a man who knows his lamb chop casseroles well. The competition was taken very seriously by both competitors and judges, with the happy farmer and Farmer T getting to sample each dish. A platter of muscles cooked in a thai sauce won first place. The happy farmer arrived home very full complete with recipes, papers and sweets....another farming ritual that involves 'muscles'
Until next time.....

12 comments:

Jan said...

Rural life at its best! Have a good Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful 2010. Jan

bayou said...

Great picture, great story, Posie! I love the names of all those caracters and can imagine how that cooking taste went. I am sure, you have more intense caracters over at your place than what we have here. Am still smiling.

Frances said...

Posie, I loved reading about this evolving ritual. Your words really took me on a journey.

Many thanks, and a very Happy Christmas to you and yours. xo

Tattie Weasle said...

Ah yes the local any good weekly ritual has to involve one of those! The Cookery competition sounds wonderful - I am very hungry! Have a wonderful Christmas!!!

mollygolver said...

Posie you're really making my mouth water. Cheers!

Posie said...

Jan - Happy Christmas to you too, have a lovely time.
Bayou - there are so many lovely characters here, and each adds their own special something to the island's rich tapestry.
Frances - Happy Christmas, I will look forward to reading all about it, so lovely to have you here x
Tattie Weasel - You have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends too

Chris Stovell said...

Wonderful to catch up with your blog and those glorious photos. Thanks for all your support this year. Merry Christmas!

Pondside said...

I will not be allowing The Great Dane to read this post. If he does so, I may find him encouraging the import of new customs!
Posie, I'm so glad you re-activated your blog this year. It's given me a lot of pleasure to read of life on your island. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

jane said...

I love your header pic of the hills and the moon and is that a shot of the Brent - they must make an awesome sight - and to hear their calling out to each other - the Sunday ritual sounds a grand idea and I am sure it is enjoyed by all concerned !

Fennie said...

That header pic is simply magnificent, Posie. Truly wonderful. I like this story, too, about local lore and customs. You seem to be a happy lot on your island, something that can't, unfortunately, be said for everyone in other places. Happy Christmas and New Year.

elizabethm said...

Sounds a great ritual Posie!

MILLY said...

Your island has such nice happy events, lovely to read about.
I was delighted to hear about the calender, well done you.
Best wishes for 2011.
millx