Who’re You Picking Up?!

So it’s been a long enough time since my last blog that it’s now got a little bit awkward and I figured it was time enough I just bit the bullet and got back into it, but I just couldn’t think of what to write…

Then thanks to the joys of “bumpkin language” once again providing a suitable sized opportunity for misinterpretation, I found the inspiration once more.

Stuck waiting round the coffee machine in the office, I decided to break that typical awkward silence with one of my less familiar colleagues and we defaulted to the usual back up convo of weekend plans.

Forgetting I was talking to an utter townie who has little to no background knowledge of my lifestyle, when he asked “what are you up to then?” I simply said, “oh just the usual now it’s winter, picking up on Saturday and mucking out the pig on Sunday.”

Queue the bemused look illuminate his face as he tried to work out a diplomatic way of asking if I was either into casual swinging or openly cheating on my husband…”Erm, aren’t you married?” He asked.

“Yeah but we don’t always spend the whole weekend together and he’s working both days anyway”, I said, blissfully unaware of the even larger hole I was digging myself.

“Riiiight, ok. I mean it’s great that you have such an open relationship, but that’s not the conventional type of activity I’d expected from a farmers wife, I have to say.”

Now queue the bemused look slowly creep over my face. “What on earth are you going on about?!” The penny suddenly dropped…”ohhhh you thought I meant picking up men!! Good god no, I’m not a tramp!”

My colleague looked visibly relieved that I hadn’t just massively over-shared to break an awkward coffee silence with a guy I barely knew. But the bemusement quickly appeared again, “so, sorry, but what do you mean then?”

Suddenly I found myself having to break down the set up of a day’s pheasant shooting and then got into the equally awkward conversation about what I have to do with the birds that are still alive when Trigger brings them back to me after picking them up.

He looked so appalled at the thought of me bopping a half dead pheasant on the head that, quite frankly, I’d rather have continued the conversation about extra-marital coital activities! At least he’d have stopped staring at me as if I was a murderous lunatic that he needed to hide both sharp and blunt objects from immediately.

I admit, only 3 years ago I myself balked at the idea of “people shooting something in the face for fun”, but it’s been an engrained part of culture in the farming community for over a hundred years, forming and renewing friendships that have been neglected over a busy summer & harvest and traditionally supplying them with a source of food over the leaner months, and learning more about it has given me a better understanding.

I like to uphold this tradition of using the birds for consumption as my attempt to justify the sport to myself (still unsure how successful this ploy is) and will always make sure to take home any birds my husband shoots, offering them to friends and colleagues who wouldn’t necessarily otherwise have access to eating pheasant.

So basically, what I’m getting at is, unless you want to be fed game bird and possibly chow down on a piece of lead, I’d advise not coming round to mine for dinner from now until about April…but if you don’t mind giving yourself an expensive dentist bill then come on over, there’s plenty to go round!

Until next time…

Bumpkin Language

Yes. It is a real thing, and nearly 4 years down the line I still haven’t got a sodding clue what they’re saying a solid 60% of the time.

Here’s a list of words we city folk can relate to:

  • Cocktails
  • Dim Sum
  • Krispy Kreme
  • Night Tube
  • Oyster Card

I’m telling you now, say the word Dim Sum to a farmer and they’ll throw you a look with the blankest expression you have ever witnessed. Start talking to them about night tubes and they think you’re on about some new toy from Anne Summers…

I s**t you not, when Gareth came to London 5 years ago for my birthday (before we got together) and a friend of mine, Fiona asked him if he had an Oyster Card, his reply was “what’s one of them?” *facepalm*

I then found out earlier this year that my husband had never tried a Krispy Kreme until I bought him one in March (!) and even then he said they weren’t better than Greggs doughnuts. WTF?!? My first thought was genuinely, “Oh God. WHAT HAVE I MARRIED?!?”

In contrast, here is a list of words that bumpkins understand, particularly the Wiltshire ilk:

  • Hunt Ball
  • Somewhen
  • Tractor
  • Cheese Festival

Somewhen?!? THAT’S NOT EVEN A WORD!!!!

I was literally reeling with a mixture of confusion, horror and disgust when Gareth first used this term. It properly threw me, I legitimately did not have a scooby-doo what the man was on about.

Let me put it into context for you…

Gareth: “we’ll go to there somewhen”

Me: “wait, what? That makes no sense we’ll go there somewhere? What does that even mean?”

Gareth: “No, somewhen

Me: “I’m sorry. What? Some…when??”

Gareth: “Yes”

Me: “When??”

Gareth: “Yes”

Me: “So you mean like, ‘at some point’?”

Gareth: “Yes. How is this so difficult to understand??”

Me: “Because it’s not a word! Why would you say that?? Why wouldn’t you just say ‘at some point?’

Gareth: “Why not?”

Me: “Because ‘at some point’ makes sense!!!! Somewhen most definitely does not make sense, it is a totally made up, non-word!!!!!!”

Turns out, according to Wiltshire bumpkins it is definitely a word, equally so is ‘anywhen’…don’t even get me started on that one. Fuming.

Likewise, according to bumpkins, their idea of a good day out is a cheese festival. Yes, that’s right, a whole festival dedicated to cheese. Not a little artisan market down the side of London Bridge (aka Borough Market to the non-Londoners who haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about) but a full-blown festival in a field, all about cheese.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some cheese, but a whole day. In a field. Looking at cheese? That’s a bit much. But don’t panic, I soon found out when I was dragged there last year that there are also cow and sheep judging competitions, tractors on display and farm machinery to buy…calm the f**k down people!! Fun day out my arse. These people need to get themselves down to Covent Garden on a Saturday.

Honestly, never has my unrelatable life been more apparent than when I’m sat at a hunt or farmer’s ball and have nothing in common with the people either side of me, or in the office when I start suggesting to them that apparently ‘somewhen’ is a word. I’m a nomad in either situation!

So I find myself misunderstood by a significant proportion of people I happen to spend my life with. Which is not a circumstance I ever thought I would find myself in given my extremely articulate and overly verbal life! Hence the point of this blog I guess…?

Don’t worry too much about me at those balls though, I just start talking about night tubes and enjoy the looks of horror stricken confusion on their faces…

Until next time!

Holy Mother of God, What is this Weather?

Ok so, in short, a brief look across the newspapers and whiff of my farmer’s wife armpits confirms that the world is melting and I am sweating more than I have ever swat in my entire life.

To put this into context, I am literally the coldest woman on the planet. I’ll give you an example – we went on honeymoon to the Maldives last November, and whilst everyone else was sat in the shade at midday, I went swimming in the lagoon. And when it dropped to a balmy 30 degrees in the evening, Ice Queen here was sat in a sodding cardi.

So it really does take a lot to make me hot, and thank god because – by the by – a sweaty upper lip is not a look I sport well.

But I mean, come on now, this is getting a tad ridiculous. My ginger brother hasn’t seen the light of day for a solid month, birds around the farm are randomly bursting into flame and if I see one more topless pastey-white British guy with his gut hanging out, I will not be responsible for my actions.

I know that farmers were praying for a drier couple of months after a horrifically wet winter and a pretty boggy start to spring, but this is taking the proverbial.

And if you think the general British public are a hard bunch to please with the weather, try being married to a farmer…if it rains, it’s too wet. If it’s sunny, it’s too dry…and don’t get me started on frost or snow. Honestly, they are never happy, so you can imagine the delight I am experiencing at the moment!

I really don’t want to conform to typical British stereotypy, but I am literally days away from having an actual full-blown meltdown (excuse the pun!) about this heat. The under-boob sweat is very real, and don’t get me started on the thigh chaffage.

But at least now being a cross-breed (lets be honest, a mongrel) of bumpkin and city-girl, there are some advantages. I no longer have to stare into the sweaty pit of a commuter which is at perfect eye-line or smell the waft of businessman BO drifting across my nostrils on the tube out of London. Small graces!

Except now I get the dust of combine harvesting literally a day after I washed my nice white car and my farmhouse is clearly the place where flies go to die. And where did all these damn spiders come from?!

So, in the interest of public safety, I am giving you fair warning that if this weather doesn’t sort it’s s**t out in the next week, then I am going to be adopting any measure necessary to ensure a successful rain dance, and no one wants to see that. Believe me.

Until next time! (Unless I happen to spontaneously combust beforehand)

City Girl Meets Country Boy

So it dawned on me that, having given you the background info on myself, I really didn’t do the whole “how I met my husband” thing any justice whatsoever.

I was at Badminton Horse Trials (an equestrian event in Gloucestershire) and I was standing in a bar marquee when a proper checked shirt-wearing bumpkin spilt his pint over my new white espadrilles. Smooth move sunshine! *facepalm*

Drunken bumpkin then attempted to offer to buy me a drink to apologise, where upon (being previously aforementioned self-respecting city girl) I informed him that I could buy my own drinks thank you very much. To which his reply was “fine, you can buy me one whilst you’re at it!”

So, naturally, being the feminist and stubborn cow that I am, I now had to prove my point/independence and actually ended up buying the inebriated oaf a drink.

But the story doesn’t end there. We most certainly did not then launch into a whirlwind romance and live happily ever after. I think we managed three dates before deciding there was no spark actually, but we did strike up a firm friendship instead.

Fast forward three years and espadrille-gate had long been forgotten. I’d just gone through a messy breakup and Gareth made a “friendly” visit down to London for a day so I could show him the sights. I was blissfully unaware of his hidden agenda, as apparently – unbeknownst to me – he had decided that the spark was now firmly there!

Little selfie on the London Eye

At the time, I was living with my parents and I can recall, clear as day, my mum saying to me after he left, “if that’s not what you’re looking for, I don’t know what is!”

“Eww no mum. He’s just a friend, he smokes, he lives too far away, it’d never work, he’s a bumpkin!!!” And so the excuses rolled on…

After numerous failed attempts made by Gareth to convince me we should go on a date, that November he informed me that I owed him a favour “as a friend” and needed to accompany him to a christening in Devon where he was going to be Godfather. I begrudgingly accepted.

To give you a better understanding, this meant leaving my house at sparrows fart a.m after a night on the razz in town, and driving 4 hours to spend time with utter strangers whilst surrounded by babies. FYI – I am most definitely NOT a baby person. I don’t “do” kids at all, in fact.

So there I am, stood at the back of this church, on my todd, when it struck me that I was in a place I would willingly pay a vast amount of money to avoid when hungover, for a guy who is supposedly just a friend and, “oh wow, he actually looks really hot in a suit”.

And I s**t you not, at that exact moment the sun shone through a stained glass window directly onto Gareth and it dawned on me…”ahhh crap. I think I’ve missed something here!”

Queue the awkward car journey back together where I am frantically trying to work out how to tell him I was wrong about us, without actually admitting I was wrong – every woman’s worse nightmare – and the rest, as they say, is history.

Skip ahead just 13 months and we’re living together, engaged and planning a wedding for 18 months’ time. “It’d never work” indeed. Pah! Mummy always knows best…

And they lived happily ever after…

Until next time!