Farmers are a different breed.
During my life, I have met loads of farmers and have worked on several farms too – the one common denominator is that farmers are all the same. Is there a “farmers finishing school” somewhere that train them in funny ways as part of a final exam or something?
Why am I going on about this? Well this week we were working on an old farm house, which was sold off at some point and is not owned by the farmer anymore. I have met the two brother farmers a few months ago when I was doing a big hedge cutting job, and they were very pleasant and bemused by my hedge cutting platform as they had not seen this before – but very chatty etc.
This week we put up a new fence between the old farm house and the farm. We pitched up on Monday morning during the most horrendous rain seen for a long while and started to clear the old fence and trim the bushes to allow us free access for putting up the new fence. There were about 4 old fences behind the old panel fence we were replacing – all at different lines where various fences had been built over the years – we cleared them all to make sure the finished job looked great.
As we were doing this, both farmer brothers came and spoke to us, wanting to know what we were doing, how were we doing it, chatting about weather and farming and all sorts of stuff – very interested etc. We decided to call it a day for Monday as the rain got worse and we could not really do much more. They waved us off as we left.
Next morning, the weather held off so we attacked this job full swing, trying to make up the lost time. Again our farmer friends came over to see what were were doing and chat etc. The farmer brothers watched us mark out dig our first holes and set our marker posts. We then started on the panels – putting up 4 in relatively short time – with two teams digging holes and fixing posts etc you can really crack on.
Then the sting came. Brother 1 – the older one – drove slowly past and stopped. He wound down the window and shouted “You’re doing a great job boys – shame its all got to come down”.
I stood there laughing – a little nervously of course – then asked him why.
He got out of the land rover and came over. “That’s the wrong boarder line” was his comment.
I said that we had followed the line of the old panel fence, he agreed that we did, but said that the old fence was wrong too! He then showed us a tiny post almost buried by dirt 3 inches back from our line “That’s the boundary marker” he said. ” You will have to take it all down and move it” was the last comment as he walked off chuckling to himself. To make matters worse, the ground in question was a dumping area of god knows what – digging holes in this stuff was a nightmare!
Normally I am pretty laid back and calm, but the boys knew I was about to launch so scattered in all directions. It is very difficult to argue with somebody when you don’t know the facts – so we just took down the panels, managed to remove the posts – then set about re-digging the holes and starting again.
Why the farmer brothers didn’t say something when they stood and watched us I don’t know – that’s the mystery about farmers – they all do it!
About an hour later, Brother 2 drove past chuckling and asked how it was all going – how I remained polite and courteous is still a mystery to me (and the boys).
As it happened, this incident re-doubled our efforts and we managed to erect the complete fence in the afternoon (and evening!) and it looked fantastic.
I told our customer the story yesterday and we did laugh about it after the event.
He is just delighted to have one proper fence to keep out the crazy farmers!
Great excuse for no pictures – I have lent my camera to my mate Richard to take on holiday….