Each week the old byre door has burst open and another group of excited children have gathered together to celebrate another birthday. We have had Barbie, Justin Bieber and SpongeBob, with all of the traditional fayre of sandwiches, cakes, sausage rolls and crisps, together with pottery painting and party games. I often wonder what the farmers of yester year would make of it all as balloons and streamers are hung from the rafters of the old byre, and the island’s children gather to celebrate another birthday. At the weekend we had a cat themed party, complete with storytelling, before the youngsters each got to paint a pottery cat in their own individual creative style.
Last month the happy farmer’s sister was over visiting. The two of us sat in the pottery showroom eating our way through the various cakes on offer; we justified it as quality control. Over tea she entertained the visitors with stories of bygone days, recalling how her father used to keep a Jersey cow. He would milk the cow daily in the byre, where we now sat eating cakes; any unsuspecting visitors would get a squirt of milk, right in the eye, if his aim was on target, as he sat chuckling away to himself on the milking stool.
Years later when I first came to the farm, my father in law could often be seen pretending to busy himself at the farmhouse door, before squirting unsuspecting visitors with the hose at the standpipe, my father in law chuckling away. He graduated from the hose pipe onto water pistols, allowing him a greater aim from any part of the farm. A good sense of humour was an absolute must; any sign of anger would ensure a good old soaking every time, as this was the reaction he savoured the most. My poor brother in law’s wife got regularly drenched, as she failed to see the funny side, and my father in law would be bent double with laughter as she got more and more angry. I am sure that if my father in law were still around today he would be highly entertained by the parties in his old byre, and I am also know that he would be poised by the door, a huge grin on his face, with water pistol in hand!!
By far the most important birthdays on the farm happened the other week, when my youngest celebrated her third birthday and turned twelve, and on the same day, her Grandpa, my dad, celebrated his eighteenth birthday, wishing both of them a belated happy birthday from my blog, I was too busy celebrating by eating birthday cake with them to write that week.
Until next time….