Well, that was quite a Jubilee weekend! For once, the animals took second place to the village goings-on. Mind you, the various livestock did their best to keep their profile high – there is an astounding bombshell coming your way from the hen run when I have time to write it, for instance – but they couldn’t compete against the village Jubilee party.
This took place in Maurice’s farm, in a field recently vacated by his dairy herd (nice if you were wearing white strappy sandals and forgot in an excited moment to look where you were treading) and was a wonderfully celebratory occasion. Costumes varied from the total red, white and blue look to the ‘I’ve just stepped off my tractor and my old dad wore these same braces on Coronation Day’ look. Both were striking, in their own way.
All the food was provided by the villagers, and there was the usual dignified scramble to get at Rachael’s quiche (excellent) and avoid Mrs Addington’s Chestnut and Lentil Loaf (unbelievable). Fab salads and puds, the latter of which had chocolate and cream featuring heavily, because the village knows what it likes.
Then of course, this being Britain and a Bank Holiday, it rained and rapidly got extremely cold. Julia disappeared under several layers of cashmere poncho topped with Goretex and still managed to look elegant. Frank, who was working a heavy tweed look, was more or less untouched by the downpour. Water streamed off him as if he were a sea lion, and he assured me that he was as warm as an unsheared sheep inside his tweed cocoon. He would have worn exactly the same outfit if it had been a blazing hot day, and would have been equally unaffected by the heat. Marvellous fabric, tweed. Or possibly marvellous people, old countrymen. Or possibly both.
Despite the weather, a great time was had by all and the party continued until late under a canopy of umbrellas and sou’ westers. Some of us had to leave for evening milking, or to feed animals or children, and returned later. We felt damp, British, and patriotic, and admired the Queen and the Royal Party in their barge in the rain, more than words can say. It was all very bonding, certainly as a village and seems to be the country too. Huzzah! But I wish it would stop raining now…