Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Who’s afraid of tractors?

Our 1974 Leyland tractor with grass topper

Unloved but still running – our old tractor with grass topper(image thanks to June Byrne)

Two days in the saddle; well ok the tractor seat. Being bounced around, deafened and frustrated by bits falling off and mechanicals failing to work. I’m not a great fixer of engines and the internal fury of my 1974 Leyland tractor holds no particular excitement for me. I know that being male and doing farming (albeit part-time), I’m expected to be able to dismantle and reassemble any piece of agricultural equipment without a thought,  know what all the bits inside do and what each one’s called, as well as finishing the process with the whole thing working.

I live in fear of the tractor stopping. I’ve been nursing this one for a while and actually for a poor old thing that nobody loves, it’s done alright. I don’t love it by the way, just in case you were wondering. I have sworn at it today; plenty. It’s a loud machine. I hope the noise drowned my cursing. Ear defenders and iPod mean I believe no one can hear me scream, so if you were passing and heard my wails, forgive me.

There’s no need for details. It’s done now. The tractor’s back in the yard, drinking  brown ale, smoking Player’s Number 6 and watching the Sweeney. The cattle shed is as free of dung as it needs to be, ahead of the winter and quite a few acres of grass have had a badly needed cut. A result.

Now I can get back to dreaming about a firewood processor. Should this happen it will bring, inevitably, more machinery related anxiety with the added excitement of finger and arm amputation.

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