At the village Senior Citizens’ lunch* today we were discussing holiday destinations and the rival charms and delights of Flamingoland (no, me neither) and Diggerland. It reminded me that on my way back from my epic cycle ride on Thursday, I passed a young lad of about 11 tooling around a field on a small tractor with an expression of complete and utter contentment on his face – happier even than a dog on the back of a quad bike, which is really very happy indeed. Farming these days seems to be nothing but toil and sorrow, whether you’re digging your sheep out of ten foot snowdrifts or watching your wheat crop rot in the fields. Yet, for a small outlay in machinery and diesel, a field or two, and presumably several squillion pounds in liability insurance, ‘Tractorland’ would take in money hand over fist, from small boys and, indeed (I speak from direct experience), much larger boys too. It’s an idea whose time has surely come.
*I imagine that there are villages where this would be an event where the senior citizens are given lunch by their well-meaning juniors in order to get them out of the house, but you have to remember that this is a parish where the oldest inhabitant (a sprightly 93) regularly sweeps the board at the annual village show. So the lunch is cooked and served by the senior citizens to all comers for charity, and very good it is too.