Major and Minor

were cart horses when I was a child in our village.  I’m not that old but when all the other farms had tractors the Tinkler sisters kept theirs just as it had always been.   They must have been in their eighties with buns, longish dresses and they wore pinnies most of the time.  It was one of the biggest farms in the district and I loved watching those horses work.  Their farm hand was called Tommy and he kept frogs in the bath of his farm cottage, bought 7 lots of fish and chips every week for his suppers and only washed his feet after hay timing to get rid of all the seeds which irritated him.  He always chatted to us kids when a big group of us walked back and forth to school.  There was an old lady who lived opposite him who was very old and stooped, she actually still wore a long dress and black shawl and picked dandelions every single day to eat.  She never spoke to us but half smiled, it was very difficult for her to move her head as it was permanently facing down.  They are cutting the grass here in this valley tonight as I write – two and three massive tractors side by side – so different – the Tinkler  sisters would be upset I suspect.  I played the harp at Ribchester last night and have only just realised I never even advertised it!   It sold out almost immediately.  I prepared the harp ‘Chorus’ polishing her till she shone and then she broke a string so last minute I loaded ‘Mystical’ into the car and did a quick dust with the inside of my dress before I started to play.

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A poem from my Husband

To my Wife
Your smile is radiant your heart is as warm as the sun
You fill me with joy and make me feel number 1
Your energy , your tenderness , your ingenious and your warm caress.
Your youthfulness, playfulness , to me you are simply the best.
The talent you possess the way you work things out with your cleverness .
To me you are my everything whatever life may bring
Scarlets ribbons emblazoned against a bright blue sky.
I think back to the time that we first met
And I smile as we shook hands how could I forget?
You took me home and loved me and you fed me too
You put me back together without using glue.
You filled my heart with love so earnest
And that spark of love became a raging furnace.
Before I met you I was broken unfixable and so I thought
But with your patience , a great love you taught
A love so special that I am so grateful for
I love each day more and more
I do not feel worthy of the love you give
You are so special and it is for you that I live.
We have been married 8 years now
Gosh the time has passed “Holy Cow”
As I take your hand in mine again today
I will think back to our wedding day
Where a garland of flowers filled you hair
And it was our special day and we did not have a care
I love you my mad harpist , joiner , farmer , friend
My love for you I could not pretend .
I love you freely , and you make me the happiest man ever
To me you are my everything whatever life might bring
Scarlet ribbons emblazoned on a bright blue sky.

The bar had an ‘honesty’ book

When I arrived all the staff were in panic – the chairs, covers and purple bows were all set up outside in the grounds of the ruined Abbey.   Of course it rained!   It was all hands on deck setting up the chairs inside and draping the covers and bows over bannisters to dry.  I took one look, ‘parked’ the harp up in an alcove, and set off to find the bar.  It was deserted, all but an ‘honesty’ book.   Having far too many strings and a strict music list I walked in and filled a pint-glass with water.  The bride was late (very late as it happens as her driver inadvertently drove into well known roadworks costing her half an hour).  Finally the room was ready, the bride arrived, calm and beautiful, and the sun shone brilliantly outside.  The ever popular, Dodge, hasn’t starred in this blog for a while but he gets a mention tonight.  He has pushed the fence over letting Donald and Daphne out again.  It took an hour and two packets of cakes to get the escapee ducks back into their pen last week.  The theory was to pen them up for the first few weeks to get them used to their new home and then try and let them out in the daytime.   They have now left their wooden duck house and decided to live under the tractor.

Well, this was a first for me

The scene was set – high up in the Dales, miles from anywhere, in a small orchard, the couple holding hands under an arch of roses – I was playing the theme from ‘Out of Africa’ and a bird flew past … the harp was covered from top to bottom!   I carried on playing but the guests were amused.  They decided to leave it be for good luck.   The drive up was amazing.   The slopes of the fells were blue with bluebells, the leaves weren’t out it was so high up and the bog cotton made the marshy valley bottoms white.   I passed an old caravan on the way to Appleby.   It was pulled by a matched pair of black feathered feet horses, an old lady bent over the traces being cheered on by her grandchildren at the side of the road.   Her face was old but the sparkling blue eyes that looked out were one and twenty.   Dodge hasn’t starred in the Blog this week as he is in his favourite field and behaving quite well.   He is fascinated with the new ducks, Donald and Daphne.  He spends hours with his head over their fence drinking from their pond instead of drinking from the trough at his side of the fence.