Sunday, 27 February 2011

A constant in someone else's life...farms, veggie patches, chickens and Hugh Fernley Whittingstall...

We’ve been watching The People’s Supermarket and finally my husband admitted that he would not be doing the veggie patch this year.
This is a huge pronouncement. I am not surprised as he works harder than ever now. But I was interested in why he felt he could no longer do it. “I’m tired,” he said. I looked at him. “Ferry isn’t here. It’s just not the same without him.”
I miss Ferry too.
Ferry came to us aged 13 and started off giving us a hand in the garden and the veggie patch and over the years he became, well a son for want of a better description. Crikey! I was often accused of being his mother. At first I was bewildered. I mean at 35 how could I possibly be his mother? Then it dawned on me it was perfectly feasible I am 21 years his senior. In fact his mother was only 20 when she had his elder brother and 23 when she had him, so it was more than feasible. Couple his dark good looks and my Welsh ancestry and it was more than likely. And although I was not his mother there was a strong maternal streak in my view of him over the years.
God how I miss him.
I am thrilled that he is enjoying his life and doing something he loves but I miss him. I miss him eating me out of house and home. I miss his goofy grin. I miss discussing chickens with him; their merits and problems. I miss his enthusiasm for the garden, conservation and wildlife in general and what we do here at the Farm.
I have no idea what he thinks of us, does he miss us at all? Probably not, and I realise that it will be the same when my sons leave here and go off on their own adventures.
But back to Ferry. I think we were a kind of refuge, a place where he was no one’s son, no one’s problem but we looked after him all the same. We took him through his GCSE’s, his A levels and his Degree course. We listened to his changing ambitions, his everything so to speak. We saw him through his first love and what seems like countless girls friends since. We were the people he could talk to when he could not talk to his parents. We were mates but older mates whom he could bounce ideas off and not be patronised. We listened and tried so very hard not to force the issue, not to say "Well I think this or that," and oh how I’ve had to bite my tongue a thousand times over and remind myself I am NOT his mother.
Suffice to say I love Ferry and I miss him and I wish with all my heart that he was here. That we could freeze time for one more summer so that we could have him here with us always.
And as I type this the keyboard blurs and tears trickle down my face. I try to breathe, as I know so well that time cannot stay still. Oh God! How I miss him.
Memories crowd my mind. I remember getting cross with him for not working hard enough and stomping outside to work along with him to increase his productivity. I feel he must of dreaded me working alongside for I was far harder than Dear Charlie ever was. I remember one hot sunny day talking of first dates and boy and girl stuff, Christ I laughed as we pulled up weeds. Ferry hated weeding, Christ! I hate weeding but it is something we do every year. God thinking about it, I remember the times I would get so cross with both Ferry and Charlie for not weeding. In fact it was laughable the things they did not to weed. Deciding it would be a good idea to paint the barn ( it took them 12 weeks), deciding it would be great if they moved all the logs (this took 2 weeks), deciding that they could trim the hedge manually!
I remember this wonderful boy getting paralytic the evening before The Boy’s christening and our friends’ having to run him home to pour him out of the car and leave him in his mother’s doorstep. How she could possibly have left him in our care I don’t know!
The times we cooked in the kitchen! God only knows what concoctions we dreamt up with him chutneys and jams, and our now famous Road Kill Pie and god only knows what else!Eating and  Drinking and encouraging him to do the same – Good God! What were we thinking? This beautiful boy, this wonderful young man! Christ only knows what our influence on him has been. Pray it wasn't all bad...
I’d like to think we have inspired a love of food, well maybe that should be a mutual love of Hugh Fernley Wittingstall. Grief! Come on folks our lives, as well as Ferry’s, revolves round the Word According To Hugh.
I love Ferry's passion about the countryside, the fact that I went from teaching to being taught.
Oh and I worry about him even though it is not my place to worry. My touch of the reins has to be light, oh so light. For I have no ties of blood that bind. He has to want to contact us, he has to want to see us and all we can do is be there forever waiting, forever not showing how much we feel in case we frighten him. Oh how lucky we were that he came wanting to fish at Rookyard all those years ago…
And the veggie patch, well I cannot possibly give it up for what if Ferry were to call round? He’d be so bewildered and sad if we did not have one. For we are the Farm, we are a constant in his life and if we were to fail just because he wasn’t there well it would not be right would it? It would be a betrayal of everything that the Farm is, a constant in someone else’s life…

12 comments:

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

This post radiates such love and affection for a young man, it really touched me. I'm sure he has become the man he is now because of the warm love of you and your husband. He was lucky to have you in his life.

Tattie Weasle said...

Trish - I think we are the lucky ones!

mrsnesbitt said...

Hugh - the best of them all! Others try to do similar but nobody does it like Hugh. We BOTH Love & WATCH ALL his programmes - and yes he has influenced our life!

legend in his own lunchtime said...

I'm sure he misses you all too. How could he not?

CherishedByMe said...

Oh I can see why you miss him, you've made me miss him and I have never met him!

Michelloui | The American Resident said...

Wow, Ferry was certainly lucky to have had you in his life as well it sounds like!

Lou said...

Lovely post.... I need a Ferry here!

BTW! You're a winner over on my site...

Tattie Weasle said...

Mrsnesbitt - our world would be poorer without Hugh!
legend - when he thinks about it maybe but life sounds way too exciting to miss us! (I keep tabs on him via facebook!)
Cherished by me - that is one of hte nicest things anyone has said. Thank you!
Michelloui - I'd like to think so!
Lou - everyone needs a Ferry!

Spencer Park said...

It sounds like you had a fab relationship with Ferry. I am sure that he holds you in equal high regard!

Tattie Weasle said...

Spencer Park - I certainly hope so!

muummmmeeeeee...... said...

I don't know what sounds lovelier...Ferry or life on your farm...a close call I think!

Posie said...

Ferry sounds like a very special character, I loved reading your blog about him and I am sure he would be touched by it. Lovely for him that you miss him and yes get planting those veggies as he will definitely be back to visit at some point!

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