Harvest time

Beware if you are driving in our narrow leafy lanes in Devon - around any corner you can be confronted by an enormous machine which would look more at home on the set of a Star Wars film - the combine harvesters are on the move .The corn has dutifully ripened to its rich golden brown and the farmers are anxious to get the harvest in .These giants of mechanical engineering are gobbling up field after field from early in the morning through to turquoise twilight and then with headlights blazing like great malignant eyes they carry on their relentless efforts throughout the night .Where once the corn stood whispering in the breeze now regimented lines of straw await the baler .

Down the road from our house is one such field which curves lazily over the side of the hill . I wheeled V down to watch the harvest being brought in . As we watched from the gate we were joined by Mr.Vittals -- A local Devonian who grows vegetables for a living . He has an alarmingly ruddy complexion , hair which looks suspiciously like straw and which sticks out whichever what way - I don't think I have ever seen him in twenty-five years out of his wellington boots winter or summer- I suspect he was born in them - he is very organic .

"Aaaaarrhh " he greeted us ' Aaaah" we replied . "Youz be watching " "yes "we said .

'Youz wait till heez gets near t'middle then youzl see they young cornrarebits come scurrying confused like as they no knowledge of edges " Loosely translated this means" wait till the harvester gets near the middle of the field then the young rabbits that were born in the middle of the field will come running out and not understand where to go as they don't know about hedges "

And it happened exactly as he said it would - lots of young rabbits chasing round in circles almost bumping into each other as they sought sanctuary from the giant monster devouring their home .

"tis always zame every year""yes "we agreed , knowledgeably." Aaaaaarrrh"he said and departed on his equally organic bicycle .We returned to watch the final swathes of corn disappear into the mouth of the harvester and I couldn't help but think back to my childhood days .Opposite our house was a field much like this one and every year the reaper (not the grim one ) would be pulled along by an ancient diesel spluttering tractor . And the straw would be left in sheaves which we children would build into stooks which looked like miniature straw wigwams . Many a camp was made ! A few weeks later the stooks would be collected and loaded onto wagons and taken to the bottom of the field where the haystack would be built ( another source of camps and straw slides when the farmer had gone ) - it was all a very prickly business but such fun. It seems sad that my grandchildren have never seen a haystack let alone played in one . Still that is progress- well I suppose it is - I sometimes wonder .

23 Replies

  • GeorgePa is back. Hurray!!! Beautiful as normal George.

    How are you doing? I know life is tough at the moment. But YOU have an outlet. You must send out some articles to be printed. How about what it's really like to be a Carer? You could become a shining light for all Carers, by your writing. And release a load of stress!!! First stop PSPA magazine!

    Come on George, this is something you can do, it will help you. Get the right article printed in the right place, you could change all our worlds!!! Please!!!!!

    Lots of love


  • George I agree with Heady, love your post, you make me feel like I am there with you. Please think about it George.

    Love Yvonne x

  • Hey did I not tell him to become a published author....not only could he turn a buck or a euro, he could help those who cannot articulate their feelings. He is the speaker of us all.

    Is there really a PSPA magazine? That might do me better than US (as in the goings on of Hollywood people !),a mag I could not care less about; though my mother in law is convinced it would be good for me to know who's wearing what.......If it aint rubber gloves or newly spewed food I'm probably not gonna wear it anyway....

    Listen to Heady Georgepa


  • Yes there is a psp magazine due to our magazine being stuck to another person's magazine when posted it was delivered to dibber who lives close to me. (Her mum has got psp) and she personally deliverd ours so she could introduce herself and let me know i was not alone in the village.

    Not only but also a picture of our wedding was in 5he last edition (famous at last). Janexx

  • I've just looked at the PSP magazine again Jane. You are famous! It is a lovely photo.


  • Thank you xx

  • I'm writing to a celebrity....do tell , what were you wearing (please refer to my above post)....



  • There is a picture of the wedding on a post from me titled wedding. If you click on my Monica it will take you to all the posts that i have done. Also you can go on the psp website go to hopes travels and we are there not only but also a picture is on the psp facebook page. Our quite no fuss wedding whent far and wide. Janexx

  • Spot on Heady, who needs Hardy when we have George, my love and admiration to you all xxx


  • That was wonderful! Thank you, Georgepa, for sharing. It was very relaxing.

  • The combines have reached our part of Turkey, hired out per field. However, even in my village, and more and more as you head into central/eastern Turkey you can still see men scything crops and the women follow with their bill hooks catching the bits missed by the scythes. Naturally crops which have been cut by hand are then stacked into stooks as you described. It is nice to still be able to see this kind of harvesting taking place.

  • Turkey, as in the country? forgive my ignorance


  • Thank you Georgepa for bringing back childhood memories. I read your post to Colin and asked him if he played in corn fields when he was a boy and his thumb went up. Where have the years gone? Like everyone else here, I love the way you write, the vivid descriptions, the humour, the way you manage to take us on the journey with you.

    I hope you and V have a good weekend.


  • have you always written or has it happened since being faced with these dreadful conditions . ..

  • good question.

  • Have a think about it . Lol.

  • No I haven't , except the odd letter to the newspapers . I start getting V ready for bed at about 9pm and she is usually in by about 10 so it's then I sit and have a bit of time to myself -so I enjoy just scribbling a few things down . Whilst washing her I daydream a little about what I might want to write which sometimes results in me forgetting what I am doing and doing it all in "the wrong order " OCD talking ! But really they are just meandering thoughts and as I have said before if other people enjoy reading them and it takes their mind off their current situation well that's good and I am happy.It gives me something to think about other than washing , dressing cleaning up ,meals being on tap 24/7 etc etc all the things that we all have to do and some of the responses are lovely . I went off into another country with Pattz description of the men in Turkey cutting the corn by hand . So there we are - I will bumble on and if people like to read it well that's fine all round .


  • carry on what you are doing Georgepa , mMaybe you could do with about CVs .. I tell people I now have a CV as long as two arms . Ali do everything for John His nails , cut his hair . Entertain him . well I get him to sing along with as an exercise . along with everything else that he needs .

  • We met some of those monsters on the lanes of Cornwall, nightmare reversing about half a mile back to the nearest passing place. That was when Ben was driving, had it been me driving I think we may still be stuck on the lane as reversing is not my strength. Glad you had a lovely time reminiscing about simpler and less difficult days. Xx

  • Likewise Katie. Walls just suddenly jump out and hit me. Or somebody puts a very large flower pot, right where I want to put the car!!!!

    Lots of love



  • We were awake in the dead of night, and I read your post to my sweetie. He remembers haying time as you do. We slid back to sleep on the hay mow. Thank you. Your writing is a gift to us.

  • I am so pleased it brought back some happy memories . Sometimes it seems that's all we have .


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