Any of you ever egg sucked? Like, made a hole in an egg shell and sucked the innards out of it? No? Good. Don’t ever do it.
We’ve arrived at Farm Number 3. And it’s different…. I’ll tell ya why, but first, I’m gonna tell you about some other things that I’ve been up to.
Our last night at Lucy’s farm was spent on the beautifully upholstered and not mouldy in any way at all, mattresses of Bruce. After 2 weeks in semi-comfortable, if only single beds, at Aveyron Retreat, it was back to an hour and a half’s solid sleeping before waking up 38 times during the night in our External Temperature Mocking, 4 wheeled Housing Utilising, Nutella Wielding, Mascu-Warrior of a Motor home. Wasn’t all that really. Rather have slept up a horses arse.
But, it had to be gotten used to and as the sun shone on the day of our departure, I couldn’t grumble at having a worse nights’ sleep than an insomniac Princess with a pea under her 94 Silent Night mattresses. So, it was back onto the road, under the sound driving skills of ‘mon ami’. Well, sort of sound. I mean, if sound is driving into someone’s building and almost taking the roof off as you wave Adios, then I guess that’s kinda sound. I don’t think it’s a good way to pull out of a person’s farm who has fed and housed you and only let you work 20 hours a week at her amazing rural retreat, to start a 7 hour road trip, but hey, that’s just me! However, the next 7 hours flew by and within no time we were in Perpignan, South East France and heading towards a few days on the beach, in the lush Mediterranean sunshine….. and a force 9 gale. But hey, you can’t have it all right; I mean you wouldn’t expect it to be really hot in South of France, on the Med, would ya? Of course the winds gonna blow and be a MASSIVE PAIN IN THE ARSE… Good job before we got there, we went out in Perpignan for a Satdee night on the Razzle McDaz, huh? It felt pretty weird sleeping on a residential street after farmland paradise but it had to be done and so did going out and getting massively Joe Mangled, so we did, although it took us 2 hours of walking the streets before we found a bar, which probably explains the 8 Pastis we necked before finding a shit club. But check this out for a fortunate turn of events. Me and the Dual Eyed Cyclops were queuing to get into the only club in town and obviously upon hearing our awful French accents, the bouncer decided not to let us in. Though, he didn’t tell us this, he just thought it’d be ace to keep us standing at the front for aeons whilst letting anyone not English strut straight in. So after 4 hours of standing there, I asked him if we were getting in and he said ‘Non’. Not much detective work went on before I put 2 and 2 together and came up with a Fat French Git. So we asked if it was cos we were from a country that built its pride and power on raping and pillaging defenceless nations and he gave a Gallic shrug, which I assumed meant yes, and that was that. But then, as we prepared to depart, something stirred the Bulldog spirit in my loins and I called the fat git a racist. And lo and behold, as we slunk off, dejected, pissed and basically hating everything and everyone French, he called us back and let us in. CHECK THAT!!! A morally conscious bouncer, realising his discriminate ways and immediately retrieving some form of ethics from his massively hate filled bonce! We were so relieved, we even thanked him on the way out. Which probably sounded something like ‘Shlankoo Meeeaayte’, owing to how many triple shots of ghastly flavoured rum I’d had thrown at me by my cohort. And usually, after such a ridiculous session, I’d go home and climb into bed, wondering whether the good lord would see fit to let me pass out before a bile cocktail in the form of day-glo kebab meat would present itself, but, on this particular evening, I decided to go for a walk to clear the booze from my brain. Thus, I woke up several hours later outside the front door of a church, with a massive brainache and no idea who I was, let alone why I was looking up at Gods’ newly erected double-glazed French windows. I guess I thought it was as safe a place as any to collapse and get some shut eye before a Sunday morning throng of Gallic Mass Murderers rejoiced their garlic breath to the heavens! Needless to say, the stumble back to Bruce took some time, seeing as I had no idea where I or He was! It was a pretty epic hangover…
Which made me realise something (Surprise Surprise, its Cilla ‘ere). I have become so damned healthy since farming, what with eating right royal tucker of vegetarian stylees an’ all that, that any alcohol that passes my lips strips all moisture from my brain and leaves me feeling like a right bastard the next a.m. I’m actually considering never going out on a bender ever again. And the other night, at the new Slavery Centre, we all had a right jolly party (actually, it was crapola personified, but it was an excuse to down massive quantities of rubbish beer) and the next day, after carrying it on in Bruce ’til the sun came up with a couple of fellow ‘Last Ones Standing’, I thought my brain was trying to escape my skull by growing 48x’s its usual size and talking my guts into joining the mutiny! Hung-over? More like Hung, Drawn and Quartered…….over. So I’m straight up feeling that my boozy binge nights are over. Made me realise the terrible stuff all that alkeyhole must be doing in that there body to make you feel so pants. So, apart from the odd glass of Rouge, an Aperitif and maybe a Cointreu here and there, in my current mind set, and this isn’t some kind of legally-binding statement by the way, but seriously, I think I’m done with it all………!
Anyways, from Perpignon, we decided that, as we had a few days to kill before the credits of ‘Modern Day Slavery III – A New Kind of Slavery’ rolled, it was to the beach at Argeles Sur Mer that we headed, for some sun, sea and sardines from Lidl for dinner every night. And a pretty li’l place be it. Apart from on Bank Holiday Weekend in France, when all the pikeys come out to pick pocket the rich, unassuming folk!! Nah, it was alright, a big market, selling loadsa crap. Unfortunately, bit like most markets, these days. But after Sunday, it was pleasant, the sun shone, men played Boulles and the March Wind decided to hang around for an extra month and destroy all hopes one may have had of retaining 20-20 vision for the next few years as the sand, not for the first time this year, peppered mine eyesballs so that I saw everything like a wasp might, whilst looking through a tea bag at a pair of fish nets. But I managed to swim in the Med everyday, albeit for about 30 seconds at a time as boy, il fait froid! The Pyrenees, the Worlds oldest mountain range I was told, although I think the Himalayas may have something to say about that one, starts its life in the Med, a few hundred metres from Argeles, which is an amazing sight cos you see it rise from the sea and spread into the distance to the South, and as there is a marina in Argeles, you see the tops disappear into the clouds through a sea of masts. During sunset, it was a pretty amazing sight, especially as the highest mountain in the Pyrenees, (?) is also in sight, with its snow capped summit. Another truly memorable sight the World gives us for free and that I will never forget. When the clouds shield the mountain tops, that are fully laden with vegetation, its like a scene from Jurassic Park, proper ‘ansome! And just to top off this li’l stay, there was a beach-side exhibition by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, he of ‘Earth from the Air’ fame, a grand exhibition for those not accustomed. Anyway, his new one, another great photographic treat, shows various ‘creatures’ whose Lives and habitats we are destroying, as well as lots of wee facts about how crap we are and how much we clearly hate the planet we call home. Very visually impressive, if nothing massively new and the facts I felt like I’d heard many times previous, but worth a ganders nonetheless.
Books? Well, as I’ve been working all the hours the good lord sends, I’ve been a li’l confined to how much I can read, but as mentioned previously, The One Straw Revolution by M Fakuoka is a must for anyone who cares about what morsels they put inside themselves as well as introducing you to a new way of farming, or even small scale crop growing (although I’m not sure how easy it’d be to transfer the philosophy to a concrete back yard in Gwent). This book really struck a chord with me and I urge anyone to read it, farmer or 37th floor high rise dweller, just because it will urge you to reconsider putting all the cancer causing crap that you put into your bodies that disguises itself as food. I also read some of a book on Permaculture, the next big thing in garden, farm or general landscape planning, although its not new, its been around since the dawn that time forgot, we just sneered at it a few decades ago when we thought chemicals were ace and nature was a Steps Tribute Band. For those that don’t know, Permaculture, in a very short summation, is the harmonious integration between land and people. Its broken down into 4 components, these being Site, Energy, Abstract and Social, and if you want a better description, look it up cos this is already turning into a theses and its probably home time for you soon as I’m sure you’ve been reading since that 4th coffee that was meant to get you ’til lunch, this morning. Still, if you haven’t been sacked or at least given a warning, a small ‘thanks’ for getting you through another whack day at the office will suffice. And also, I read a li’l of a book called ‘Humanure’, about composting your own faeces and using it to grow your crops with. Sounds nasty, but is massively eye opening and once again, its completely fucked how we have become so far removed from something that we produce daily and that could help us fertilize our land and put food in peoples mouths. All you need is a 5 gallon drum, a toilet a few yards above it and some sawdust to kill the smell and hey presto, your food may taste like shit but it’ll be reet proper grand for ya! The author has been composting his and his family’s bowel burgers for 22 years and using it to grow carrots and whatnot and he’s alright so it must work. Seriously, any house I ever buy is gonna have one installed. It also cuts down on the need for sewage treatment. Did you know that the water in your toilet bowl is actually drinking water? What a waste, huh? All those without proper drinking water round the world and we use ours for putting crap into so it can have the crap taken out at a treatment plant and put back into our taps, bogs, etc. We truly are the most disgusting species that ever breathed our planets oxygen. Plus, the amount of Chlorine that it takes to kill all that bacteria at the treatment plant is not a natural substance and therefore is poisoning our planet at the same time. Get some sawdust and crap in a bucket, folks.
And the last novel I put down my eye holes and into my sub-conscious was a li’l beauty by that cheeky Brazilian chappy Paolo Coelho called ‘By the River Piedra I Knelt Down and Wept’. Its about that massively huge pain in the arse emotion we so masochistically spend our whole lives looking for only for it to one day reach into our chests and extract itself, in an eye burningly painful manner; L O V E. And its also about the possibility of the Virgin Mary being God or something but that bit was slightly lost on my Dawkins-esc brain! It was actually a pretty standard story dresses up to look like a dressed up-standard story but anything about love these days strikes a chord with me for some reason so I suggest you check it out, even as just to use as a yardstick for how you feel about your loved one (resulting divorces/extra-marital affairs/domestic violence resulting in the reading of such material is something I take no responsibility for, although in a court of law I’d surely be found guilty and hung by the heart strings!)
So, we’re at the new farm. And hells bells, if its not full of the craziest horse’s in the form of other WWOOFers, then I don’t know where is! As my esteemed colleague has so nail on the head-ingly put it, we’ve landed in Care Bear World. Its like these people are afraid of themselves. Either that or they’re FULLY MENTAL!!!! Or I have a constant bogey on my cheek and they’re all embarrassed to look at me. But I don’t think its that. Seriously tho, its got me to thinking that although WWOOF is a great organisation that gives you opportunities to experience new ways of living and to learn some very valuable new skills, some of the people that go to work on these farms do seem that society is a bit much for them to cope with and so they head to these places to escape life’s, sometimes necessary, evils. AND THEY’VE ALL COME HERE AT THE SAME TIME!!! However, also joining us on our first day were a couple in the form of Greg and Astrid and boy, are these two in Love or what? Its so beautiful to see, I want some!! And they’re cool as two liquid nitrogen-ised cucumbers. So, our stay wont be too bad if we can kick it with them for a while and they’re leaving at about the same time as us, so we’ve struck gold.
Its another small holding, rather than a farm, which I think suits us a lot more cos there’s a huge diversity of work to be done. For example, this week, my Garden Design and Building skills have come in mahoosively handy, as I designed and built a li’l retreat garden, using my brain and hands. It looks ace too, as you’ll see from the photo’s I’ll try and upload on here one day. Plus, me and the human lifting machine are in the process of building a huge dry stone wall. We have heaps of fun searching the surrounding area for boulders, rolling them up hills and down rushing Glens, wetting ourselves at how slave-like this work really is. I’m gonna ask for some shackles and chains tomorrow, get in the spirit an’ all that.
But the food is excellent, veggie as always, cooked by a New Yorkian chef, no less, but he’s away soon so we’ll all take turns and the fear of God is in the BFG!!!
The surrounding area is amazing, the most beautiful I’ve encountered whilst WWOOFing yet and I helped out at a local market the other day too, setting up and…… sitting there doing nothing for hours cos I wasn’t allowed to sell anything cos the Care Bear Leader said so. Take it from me, she needed the help of a course sounding mockney. Timid? As a mute mouse. Anyway, there’s loadsa land here and stuff, a river running through the whole place and some more animals. So, its Hi-Di-Hi from me, I’ll write you soon, I promise. And send all birthday wishes telepathically or by phone at a number I’ll give you soon.
Oh, one more thing, met Jazzman Gerald at the last farm, owner of Jazzman Records, one of my favourite music sites on the web. He’s thoroughly decent but his website is better!!! Check it out, http://www.jazzmanrecords.co.uk