Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Chimaera Hunting.

Now that the rain has stopped for a few hours, the stillness of the summer air carries the incessant whine of tractors, desperately cutting the grass for winter silage. In the field behind my house, as darkness descends, spotlights illuminate the frantic activity. Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of machinery make the shaving of eighty acres look like light work. Young boys, (I'm told they must be at least sixteen but they look no more than fourteen), handle these monstrous Lambourghinis and John Deeres with a casual ease and a mobile phone glued to their ear. Long skid-marks on the village road attest to their casualness. It would be wrong to say that I've seen villagers diving for cover as they speed past but I suspect that that's only because no-one dares to leave the safety of their home when silaging starts.

Now, despite being a girl (well, maybe twenty years ago) I want a tractor. Maybe one day in the future I will buy one. It will be of different breeding to those giant monsters. Certainly from a different age and the numbers after the pound sign will bear no resemblance to the lottery winning figures required for today's equivalent. I'm already scanning the 'agricultural equipment' sales in the local paper and getting excited by ads for 'implement' sales. Yesterday I saw an ancient one being driven by an equally ancient farmer and I had to resist the urge to push him off and steal it. I should point out here that I've no idea how to drive one. The nearest thing was a traumatic dumper truck experience that I had when I was about seventeen. The steering wheel came off in my hands (apparently that's what they do) and there was a messy end involving a huge muck heap.
The truth is that I'm embarking on fulfilling my dream and somewhere in there, that will involve a tractor. I've always wanted to own a couple of acres of land. It was my dream, my goal and what I worked towards for umpty years. All was on track until 2008 when a debilitating spinal condition put paid to my ambitions and dreams. My plans for my three horses were abandoned and they, like me, were put out to grass. Any hopes of my own land were snuffed out. Things were a bit grim as I was unable to continue with my beloved nursing career or any of my favourite activities. However I don't do gloom and doom very well. I tried for a while but it was depressing. Why would anyone want that? So since then I've adapted to life in the slow lane with frequent unplanned stops on the hard shoulder. I've learned to look at things differently, and this enforced slowness has actually been a strange blessing. I have the time to really see the beauty of nature.Alongside my own photos, my photographer friend Bill Haley has kindly agreed to share some of his wonderful work that really captures the beauty of this area.

(Solway Sunset -Copyright Bill Haley Photography)

And I've also found the time to write. Two priceless gifts. Granted they came at a high price but I've always believed in the 'no such thing as a free lunch' concept.
My dearly beloveds have been heard to say that I have a stubborn streak. Obviously that's not true and I keep telling them it's determination but whatever it is, it has reared its head. I'm not prepared to give up on my dream without at least trying. The word chimaera springs to mind here. The dictionary describes two of its meanings as 'mythical beast' and 'wild, fanciful, unattainable dream'. I like that. After too long pondering I’ve made a decision. I'm going Chimaera hunting. Goodness knows where I'll end up or what I'll see along the way, but it's all going into this blog. You're welcome to tag along if you like.

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