Friday, 13 April 2007


It’s with mixed feelings that I enter into spring. I saw the most beautifully plowed field the other day, I guess I see beautiful fields everyday but this one was especially poignant for me because it was drilled for planting and going up and down the exact furrows was a tractor with a planter on the back with two ladies methodically placing the tiny plants into the soil as it toiled along the row. The sun was shining and there was a slight breeze and along they went and I could see them chattering and throwing their heads back with laughter. And for a moment I was transported back to another time, another field, a different space altogether. And it was me on the back gently pulling the batches of raspberry cane apart, teasing the roots from the hard soil and as the earth opened up under the strong metal blade laying the roots ever ever so carefully lengthways before a split second later the earth folded finally over the top. And each one was planted with love and with the hope that it would grow beautifully under my care. Occasionally I would look up and catch a quick glance at His Lordships back sitting upright on the tractor but he was busy concentrating on ploughing a straight line. He would sometimes shout some encouragement and I would shriek loudly when my hands fumbled and he would stop and we would laugh as I had to clamber off and retrace my steps and plant up by hand and stomp in the soil with my feet.

I guess I liked the methodical rhythm of it all, I guess I enjoyed the solitude in a peculiar way and the immense satisfaction of working on the land.

Its not that I mind too much, really and truly I try not to complain, I try not to look back, but once you have worked the land, once you have felt the earth and the warmth of the soil on your finger tips its very difficult to get quite so enthused about folding fluffy towels even though they are in a Chateau.

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