T’was a delightfully sunny Sunday so with a ‘cobbled together’ picnic we made our way to the local Farming College Open Day. With five of us squashed into the old Volvo there were red faces all round and a cheery atmosphere as we gave ‘Lady Marmalade’ a proper-good-go with the windows down! It was a child’s painting kind of day; dazzling yellow sun; fat and round in a bright blue sky with chewy white clouds overseeing a vibrant carpet of green. Upon arriving a black cloud settled over the Volvo as we were forced to hand-over 10 quid to park. Still it quickly dispelled upon viewing a random Helicopter parked seemingly in the centre of the car-park. How much did he fucking pay I mused…? After offloading the Volvo; kids, Niece, Mother and the ‘leftovers’ picnic (always the best sort…) we made our way in the general direction of the ‘hullabaloo’. It was then that the 3 year old summed up farming. “It stinks!” And for a small child with limited life experience, no GCSE’s, UCAS points, still struggling with pen control and shitting in a nappy was both accurate and highly astute.
The first building we entered was horribly disappointing. Like a residential garage sale displaying your oldest and most stained shite they’d set up a ‘Scalextric’ in one corner, were asking 2 quid to throw a ball in a bucket or a quid for three deflated bean bags to throw at the smallest coconuts in the history of time (seriously; they were like hairy walnut’s.) 7 year old was immediately in ‘want’ territory but I was not for turning; other than on my heel and back into the fray. Unfortunately we walked almost smack into a cow; much to the 3 year olds horror. It wasn’t even a real one; you know four legs, hind quarters coated in faecal matter and massive tits. This was on two legs and bore only a passing resemblance to any member of the bovine family and it waved at us; really enthusiastically. Anyway we gave it a wide-berth and continued on our merry way in the direction of some smelly animals. Next on the agenda was a quid for a tablespoon of animal feed in a plastic cup; well there was really no getting out of that one. Not with a myriad of goats and their dainty offspring sniffing round the fencing like a drunken iteration of myself outside a Kebab shop before my taxi arrives. The 7 year old had a wonderful time ‘eeking’ out the goat granola serving it up ‘grain-by-grain’ whilst the 3 year old tossed it in one go managing to get an awful lot in her own hair and the rest in the hood of my coat.
I was then coerced into handing out yet more money to take the kids (mine not the goats; keep up) into a shed-like area hilariously called a ‘Petting Zoo’. Yeah; there were 4 rabbits and 1 fucking guinea pig in them sheds and a very knowledgeable and effeminate young man wearing a pair of sperm-killing black jeans. Apparently he’d be in there all day; but I suspect given the rising heat in that wooden box he may not have survived into the afternoon. Still next up were the ‘Mere Cat’s! I know! At a farm…! And those cute, little fuckers never fail to disappoint. Like sipping a latte in Greggs on a Saturday afternoon they played out exactly what you might view there. Nosiness, squabbling, light flirtation, preening, gang-culture and hanging around bearing a startled appearance. The kids were enchanted and I managed to enjoy over 3 minutes of complete relaxation whilst I’d wedged the 3 year old up against the railings. Next a toilet stop; hoorah!
Finding the toilets wasn’t easy. However true to form the biggest queue of the day after the ice-cream van was indeed the one to the bogs! Though we were in no mood for waiting and felt that Mother’s hand still being in a splint and a kid in nappies definitely qualified us to go in the disabled. So with five of us rammed in and no time for being shy, we each offloaded and gave our parasite-riddled hands a thorough wash and big squirt of anti-bac gel. We filtered out ten minutes later looking sheepish (pah; sheepish!!) as two wheelchair users waited patiently nursing a bulging catheter bag. Still it was sunny and warm and like a gift from God a ‘parpy’ refrain from a brass band filtered into my lug-holes on a balmy wind and with it I was off! Armed with the picnic and the fat hand of my toddler I marched towards it’s staccato trumping and we found ourselves in a charming little garden in front of a grand-ish (paintwork a little shoddy…) house and the source of the parping! Settling onto our coats we decanted the picnic and began munching. I’m not going to lie for over 2.5 minutes it was bliss. With a brassy rendition of ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams, a boiled egg in my hand and the sun on my face I was quite literally happy as a ‘pig in shit’ (loving the farm-related puns?). Though 3 year old had by now managed to coat her face, nearly completely in humus and appeared to be dipping her breadsticks into the ground itself. Still no matter; don’t make a fuss you irritated cowbag I told myself. So armed with a pack of wipes I brought back her natural complexion and settling back with a chicken thigh I chowed down happy once more.
However it was short lived as I found myself running up and down the bank after the 3 year old to the ‘Floral Dance’ whilst mentally checking my handbag for a pack of ‘Rennie’. Still we continued to graze for the duration of the band’s set as my face became more and more red and a patch of sweat appeared under each armpit (I was wearing a polo neck?? I know but it’s that funny time of year…). Finally we gathered ourselves together and headed off to the main farmyard. Here we saw mahoosive ‘Heffers’, cute calves, fluffy sheep, adorable lambs and a stable full of horses (one had only one eye….make up your own pun.). The kids were in their element with their “Helloooo…hey….hey….come here…look…look….hey…come here…hey…look…hey.”‘s which was not irritating in the slightest. No really…even though it was on an increasing scale until only the farm dog could hear it. A lot of hay was being tossed around needlessly and several very worried looking sheep looked ready to take the 3 year old out as she enthusiastically ‘petted’ their new born offspring. Eventually she had to be removed from the area as she attempted to climb into a pen of lambs to feed them ‘Palma Violet’s’ which she’d previously just been tossing from the side. After a further toilet stop and manic hand washing it was time to head home. But not before I had to stand for 20 minutes championing the 7 year old from the ground as she attempted the climbing wall. Seriously I nearly lost a retina to the sun and have suffered from a painful neck ever since. Still she made it to the top and it appeared to seal the deal on the ‘best day ever’ so worth the fiver I tossed nonchalantly in the direction of the bloke who appeared in charge…
All in all…a super Sunday!