Thursday, 30 May 2013

How we lived in the Old House

How we lived in the Old House

Insulation's none existent, big jumper you must ware,
Half timbered single brick, few inches plaster of horse hair,
Frosty weather glistens inside, a fridge you could compare,
Roof half filled with starling's nests, built up over the years.

Kitchens the warmest place, coal fire in big old range,
Heats the oven and boils, the kettle on the chimney crane,
Boils the taters and stew, toast the bread on a fork,
From the ceiling hangs a cloths drier, lifts and lowers on cord.

Bedroom bove the kitchen, only room upstairs warm,
Usually the kids have this room, that is always the norm,
Other rooms are chilled and cold, cool in summer though,
This is how we lived them days, kids now will never know.

Old iron bedstead webbed with steel, straw mattress on the top,
Then feather mattress covered with a white sheet she'd pop,
Mother made a groove up this, dropped us into bed,
A sheet two blankets and eiderdown, feather pillow lay ya head.

Best front room not often used, too posh to use every day,
Used over Christmas and party's, best crockery out on display,
Fathers roll top desk in there, his bills and letters wait to pay,
Always locked cus of cash in their, he always had last say.

Now heating was a big open fire, ingle nook chimney above,
Logs as long as ya can lift, one end on the fire to shove,
The bigger the fire, bigger the draught across the floor,
The heat goes up the chimney, fresh air comes in under the door. 
(in the form of draught)

A cellar beneath front room, brick steps leading down,
Couple of vents to the garden, the mesh with weeds overgrown,
Air circulation its not good, and musty damp and wet,
Timber in the floor above, gone weak and springy pose a threat.

A room with settlass all way round, there to salt the pig,
Been used now twice a year, doesn't look so big,
Salt has drawn up the brickwork, all through to outside
Bricks are flaking and rotting, replace section of bricks decide.

Mother kept a big tin bath, hung on a nail outside back door,
Brought it in to the hearth, filled with kettle and big jug she pour,
Youngest first then nother kettle, warm it agen for the second,
Cold night our steaming little bodies, hot crisp towel it beckoned.

So we kids lived in the big kitchen, our bedroom top of back stairs,
Long old sofa under the window, father had his own armchair,
Big old peg rug in front of the fire, we played and sat on that,
Large old radio in the window, then hurray first tele in front we sat.

Countryman  (Owd Fred)

Old houses mended,
Cost little less than new before they're ended.
Colley Cibber (1671-1757)


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Memories of Olden Days

Memories of Olden Days

Memories of olden days, back then when I were a lad,
Of things we did and said and learnt, copied from me dad,
Of learning how to talk and walk, and manners got to learn,
Tell the truth and honest be, and respect you've got to earn.

Never cheek your elders, and address them with respect,
Speak only when you're spoken to, and answer them direct,
Muttering and Laughing, in your hand it is the worst,
Hold it back don't let it out, even if you fit to burst.

He taught us how to use his tools, and how to work real hard,
How to earn an honest crust, in the workshop cross the yard,
To make things useful on the farm, repair them if they broke,
Keep the place all tidy, he was a very fussy bloke.

He taught us how to plant the seeds, in garden and the fields,
And as they grow look after them, to grow and give good yields
Harvest time to bring it in, and store for winter use,
To feed the family, feed the stock, to run out's no excuse.

To rear the calves and pigs and hens, and feed them every day,
Milk the cows and collect the eggs, and sell without delay,
Pigs to take to bacon weight, and sows to get in pig,
And start the job all over again, it's always been that way.

Thinking back orr seventy years, the basic things the same,
Treat others how, you would like, others to treat you the aim,
Manners make'eth man were told, its only yourself to blame,
Rules of life are rules to keep, it's always been the same.

Owd Fred

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Farm jobs you would not believe take place

Farm jobs you would not believe take place, or Jack of all trades master of none

On the farm you build up skills far beyond what you can imagine a farmer would normally be expected to do.
Living out in the country you tend to become an emergency doctor (to stem a vigorous flow of blood), nurse (patch it up), vet surgeon (castrate, dehorn inject), executioner (occasionally a animal or bird needs to be put down), undertaker (and buried), on occasions pathologist (why it died), investigator (what caused it), policeman (who caused it), poacher (if you can’t beat them join them) , curator (show folk what we do), escapologist (get out of a hole that you've just jumped in, to escape a creditor or the taxman), and environmental wildlife conservationist (drive round the peewit nests instead of driving over them) and many more peripheral jobs that crop up when there’s no one else about to help.  
I know I jest about some of the jobs we do and how we do them, but they all crop up at some time or other, and you deal with them how you know best, its all about survival, and helping others.
 Do unto them as you would like them to do for you.

They love to hide away to calve, this was taken spring 2011


 The Work it Wonna goo Away


When ya know youve got to work, and it wunna go away,
Put ya back into ya work, and ya hope its gonna pay,
You’re are the owner and the boss, and the only worker too,
The hours dunna matter, cuz ya work the night right through.

Ya worry bout the bills, and wonder how ya gonna pay,
The bills that come so regular, n’ put them out the way,
Till ya sell and get some money, it’s so hard to save at all,
As if a hole in ya pocket, n’ its empty every time I call.


Ya look back upon ya dreams, of how it all should have been
To build up on the business, and the forecast now unseen,
Expansion every year, and just getting in your stride,
N’ the tax man catches up with you, skins you of your hide.


Owd Fred


I don't want to achieve immortality through my work,  I want to achieve it by not dying
Woody Allen  (1935)