Sunday evening in the winter is paper time for the boys. The mainland ferry brings the papers to the island late on Sunday afternoon and the happy farmer heads off to the village stores to buy his papers and invariably meets up with Farmer T and then they tend to pay a visit to the local hostelry for what is supposed to be a quick and light refreshment before heading home.
The ‘refreshment’ on a Sunday has become another deeply embedded weekly farming ritual which has quickly gained support from the Jura ferryman, the beady eyed woodcock, the roddy exterminator and a few other likely characters. Invariably the wives have now become integrated into the Sunday ritual too, but only in the form of having to ferry them to and from the paper round on Sundays. The ‘ritual’ generally involves a few pints, a few local characters and invariably forgetting to bring those papers home, although recently since the kids have started to add various necessities of the sweetie variety to his shopping list this service has somewhat improved, as while a bit of nagging from the wife puts him neither up nor down, sweets left behind opens up a whole new dimension when it comes to moans and groans.
Last Sunday the paper ritual was further enhanced when walking into the pub the happy farmer walked into the middle of a culinary experience. The ex local game keeper and a gathering of local characters were hosting a cooking competition of local produce. On the menu was beady eyed woodcock with his pheasants and venison, all smoked, grey lag from an upstanding character, to a general display of game and seafood from chefs, and dishes presented by an odd visitor. The judges consisted of a factor, an ex factor and a man who knows his lamb chop casseroles well. The competition was taken very seriously by both competitors and judges, with the happy farmer and Farmer T getting to sample each dish. A platter of muscles cooked in a thai sauce won first place. The happy farmer arrived home very full complete with recipes, papers and sweets....another farming ritual that involves 'muscles'
Until next time.....