In dulci jubilo
I could have called this post ‘where there’s muck there’s brass’ which, if you are British you will know instantly is an old saying from the North of England that means ‘where there’s sh*t, there’s money’. But given that many of my readers are not British and on account of the much more important fact that I wanted to give you all a bonus at the end for being SO patient with me as I clawed my way back from the arrid desert of a dastardly writer’s block, I have opted for the title above.
The image was taken in April when we were back in our beloved Cantal for a few days and took the opportunity for a longish hike which promised a waterfall.
Alert as ever, my bat-like hearing was teased by a low humming which rose steadily to a gutteral grumble and finally a spluttering roar as rounding a corner on the craggy track we were ambling along, I was confronted by this. A tractor with a tank on the back spraying cow dung on the field. Muck spreading in fact. Actually, I should say that our olfactory glands were alert to the identity of the machine long before we spied him.
I will forgive you for wondering what on earth this has to do with the weekly photo challenge this week titled Jublilant. Even for me, this might seem a stretch. But bear with, do. In France the farmers always look positivily euphoric when they get the opportunity to splash some dung about. They sit in the cabs of their tractors with beatific smiles seemingly wafted to an odorous corner of paradise. I have no explanation for this. Perhaps you can help me out? But I do promise you I have studied the phenomena and it is a truism. The grumpy growers I have seen in England scowling from their cockpit, nose invisibly pegged, mouth set in an inpenetrable line, eyes stony and unyielding are a world away from these merry manure slingers and even though my nose may be wrinkling decorously at the fetid stench they are generating, they always upgrade my mood as they lift a paw casually from the steering wheel, like John Wayne riding one handed across the range, and bestow upon their mildly stunned audience a raptuous and infectious grin.
PS: I promised you a bonus and a bonus you shall have. And an explanation. When I saw the title I closed my eyes and imagined myself for a moment on Christmas Eve, the wireless turned on as I potter through the preparations for the big feast the following day listening to The Choir of Kings College, Cambridge sing carols and hoping this will be one of them.
If you are of my vintage, you will remember that Mike Oldfield produced a thoroughly exhuberent instrumental version. Here are Pans People, dream date of every boy of my age and every girls aspiration joyously dancing on BBC Top of The Pops in 1975.
You might have a favourite, I love both and I particularly love that In Dulci Jublilo means ‘in sweet rejoicing’ which is exactly what I am doing since I purged my clogged creative channel.
I adore that smell, the scrapings from the cowshed. When the farmers here are squishing it onto the fields, I can stand and inhale the fragrance for ages. Somehow it seems so wholesome, and far preferable to chemical fertilisers.
It’s certainly wholesome and infinitely preferable to ANY chemical as a fertiliser 🙂
Osyth, so glad you are unclogged and this reminds me of a fellow blogger Andrea Watkins who told me she had to slog through a lot of much to find her husband. Lol I believe she is from the Appalachian Mountains area, but not sure. Your dung being slung was rather humorous, dear. <3
Glad you enjoyed it and thank you for being glad that I’m unbunged! I intend to walk the Appalachian trail … perhaps I’ll bump into Andrea!
Silly phone changed “muck” into much, as well as “Andra” into Andrea. The words inside of quotes are what I meant. 🙂
LOL, oh my goodness, I understand now! Starting out I was lost, but your words led me to my understanding. Glad your clogged creative channel has been purged my dear, you were deeply missed!
Hurrah – so pleased that you got it and very pleased to be back. Thank you for missing me 🙂
Always dear! Are you in Maine?
Going up there tomorrow through Wednesday …. Wierd Guy’s photo’s have made me impatient to get there!
I was beginning to think you had deblogged entirely
Wishful thinking? I do hope not!!
Me too. Sounds rather painful
It is almost physically painful when it happens, as it happens 🙁
First of all , glad you’re back 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thanks for the bonus ! Beautiful 🙂
As for Mike Oldfield I only remember a bit of “Tubular Bells” 😉
People over here , and maddeningly close to my nostrils (but I have a dog’s nose , so they might be quite far really) , do spray their fields with some kind of cow’s muck and I don’t really like it , and it stays on the air for days .
But I’m partial to dried horse’s manure , that’s a whole different kind of smell , and does wonders for roses I’m told. But I like horses you know , even their smell that clings to our riding clothes (well I haven’t been on one for quite awhile but I still remember)
Oh I am absolutely with you on the scent of horses – their coats, their sweat, their manure – love it all. But the cow poo on the field thing is not appealing to my snout! I’m glad to be back. I think a few have been suffering recently. Must be something in the air …. hold on – maybe it’s the cow dung!!! Hugs to you 🙂
Yes! it must have been it … crazy Spring .. El Niño …cow dung in the air 😉
As for the horses … <3
You have a spectacularly joyous, witty writing voice. I really enjoyed this–and learned a few things!
Stephanie, how kind of you to comment … I’m extremely flattered by your generous words 🙂 Glad also that you learned some things 😉 Have a lovely Sunday!
So glad you are back Osyth, I have been missing your wonderful words and the way you look, really look, at life. For every downhill moment there will be a gentle incline, and I hope yours continues for a very long, long time.
P.S loving the “jubilant” manure. Takes me back to my mornings of milking a cow.
Long may you ride, too! Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. I’m happy to have my nose above water again. I’d love to hear more about your milkmaid days btw 🙂
Ah, 🙂 I shall ponder a post then, maybe.
Glad you are unbunged…will not enquire into the means thereof…
You have made my day…I am now imagining Pans People performing ‘In Dulce Jubilo’ in King’s College Chapel….now that would loosen a few clerical collars…
How right you are about the beams of delight of the French muck spreading fraternity….including the son of a friend who took dad’s fully loaded and activated muck spreader through a neighbouring village. As the gendarmerie said, it was as well it was winter and people had their windows closed……
Duck slurry is something else…
Praise be to you! Your comment has made MY day! Goose poo is pretty ghastly too ….
My local farmer on the edge of The New Forest, always has time for a wave, and sometimes a chat when he’s spreading his muck
Generalisations are always dangerous – of course there are grumpalumps aplenty in France and decency is rife in England 🙂
🙂 I wouldn’t go that far
Nice post, by the way 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it …. I’d been meaning to use the picture for ages – it amused me 🙂
So glad the blockage has cleared, dear Osyth! And in a shameless bit of self-promotion, I think I have the explanation as to that secret smile on your farmer’s face: https://francesays.com/2013/07/12/le-coq-gaulois/
Oh I remember this post of yours … I loved it and yes, it is the answer to my question for sure 🙂
Well back with a bang! Gorgeous video from Kings, but did leave me feeling oddly Christmassy (is that a word?) in mid May. But not as odd as all the non Brits must be feeling watching Pan’s People……
I am not only suffering from post wedding prep / honeymoon writer’s block, but readers block also and I must confess that this is the first post that I have read for about 4 weeks.
Having a Pygmalion moment (as I guess you must be having many) where I do not know quite where I belong – My lovely new husband is at home in France and I, although loving spending time with family and friends and soaking up all the Liverpool cultural scene, am wondering ‘what the hell I’m doing here’ . I know this is a line from a song (was it by Bowie?)but my brain has seized up, so I am relying on you to help me out,
Much love Lindy xx
Oh I know just how you feel …. it will all be well but it is SO hard this double life we lead. Lovely to see you and I send you lots of love (MRS!!) x
Madame Viandier xxx
Love it …. Rather more elegant than my married name 😉 Xxx
Right mouthful for the poor Scouse Registrar though – do you Linda Ann Kelbrick take Marc (Mac) Roger (ro jhay) Michel (mee shel) Viandier (Vee on dee ay) apparantly he was practicing for 10 minutes before I arrived – then Marc (Mac) was so intent on what he had to say and not getting it wrong that he was looking at the man the whole time he said his vows for assurance, til I told him in French that he was about marry ‘monsieur’ which had the French guests laughing in the aisles…..
Blundell. As in Blundell Sands!!!! That registrar must have been sweating buckets on the pronunciation and possibility of taking M. Vee as his lawful
Panic over – brain just kicked in – Freak – Radiaohead (I saw Tom York writing music in The Rose Bakery in Montmartre a couple of years back – weak claim to fame…..)
Radiohead are Oxford boys and my eldest and her friends used to wander past Tom’s house as casually as they could just for a glimpse of him. Another time one of them came back and announced that Tom should not drink coffee because it clearly made him cross. I think he was actually just p**ed off with being bothered when out and about with his famly!
Ha ‘Creep’ even !!!
I knew what you meant 🙂 xx
I see a weird sort of “circle of life” here. We feed the cows, they feed the fields, we feed from the fields, and you feed our minds!
I love that! I feel quite wise for once 🙂
Hey there – I’m so pleased you’re back and sorry you’ve been having a hard time of it. Clearly tho’ you’re back on form and I loved your post…brought back a few farming memories. Pan’s People my brother used to drool over but the Mike Oldfield reference is new to me. Thanks for sharing.
Your creative channel is definitely unblocked Osyth, and all without surgery – marvellous. Wonderful to have you back and with such a jubilant post, which I will refer back to often just to listen to that gorgeous choir singing in King’s College chapel, one of the most inspiring and sublime places on earth. 🙂
So glad you enjoyed it, Andrew and it seems that a few days in Maine have improved the equilibré even more …. Kings is indeed sublime 🙂
Good to hear from you. That Pans People vid is priceless, isn’t it! Makes me feel (fairly) young again!!
Thank you, Posh …. I had to include the PP video …. I remember it like yesterday – how I wanted to BE them!
Welcome back…..I love your posts….In California the farmers call it the honey wagon…and the smell is anything but sweet….LOL love that your farmers get a kick out of spreading manure..LOL glad they have a some joy to there job….LOL I love the choir….close my eyes as I listened and swear I could smell Christmas dinner cooking….what wonderful memories…thanks for that….and good ole Tubular Bells….one of my favorites until they used it in The Exorcist… can’t listen to it anymore….sad……..talk with you soon….xxkat
Honey wagon it is forever more!!!! I have never and will never watch The Exorcist …. I don’t do horror films – it feels too masochistic to me to deliberately scare oneself so MO is safe in my care 🙂 xx
I was young and stupid…I was in high school, my then finace and parents wanted to see it….I spent the entire time with my eyes shut…smashed a packet of m&m’s without even knowing it. I do not allow horror shows in my house….LOL I don’t do thrillers, spooky or horror….now give me a good scifi, or comedy…even a western…..I couldn’t even watch the Twilight Zone and it was low key….LOL guess were non-horror sisters….kinda like the ring to that….LOL
I’m very happy to be your non-horror sister (and by the way, my daughters tease me terribly because I was even scared of Buffy!!)
I never watched that either….scare myself in the mirror sometimes…LOL
I walked into the wardrobe instead of the bathroom the other night and woke Two Brains with blood curdling screams as I was convinced there was something hiding in there. 😂😂😂
LOL ……I have stood over mine in the middle of the night and he woke up thinking there was a witch standing over him…he started pawing at me like I was going to hurt him….LOL I was checking on him one time when he was really sick….LOL
I really am sorry you frightened yourself walking into wardrobe, but that is frigging funny!😁
Hysterical tears did give way to hysterical laughter 😭😂
Ahh… I know. When something scares me that bad, I just want to hit it & kill it. I’ve ended the life of many unsuspecting objects.😊
Bye… Have a good day.
Wow I can just imagine you dear Fiona! You always give us such lively and interesting experiences! xxx
Glad you enjoyed it …. life is all there if we care to look as you well know 🙂 xxx
xoxo Excited to see your post dear
Hi there girl! Hope you’re ok. I love the John Wayne image, it made me burst out laughing! Here we get wine growers squirting sulphates on their vines with a scowl on their faces, a fag in their hands and their bums falling out of their trousers. I’d give anything for a shit shovelling, grinning Cantalien 🙂
My work here is done …. Cantal scores a hit with its John Wayne poo sprayers …. I’m good and always better for hearing from you who consistently bring a smile and haven’t failed with the sulphate bum-crack bearing, clope wielding winers! When I’m back you are welcome anytime you need a fix if a singing smiling farmer 🙂
As soon as I saw the photo, my heart sank with olfactory memories. The absolute worst is pig poo and heaven help you, if you have washing out. You need to wash it all over again. My family were farmers so I shouldn’t complain. My uncle used blood and bone on our suburban garden. Fabulous vegetables but I bet the neighbors didn’t like the smell. 🙂
My husband is a Scouse who left Liverpool to live in Leeds whilst he did his degrees and after that to Wells in Somerset to take up his first position. To this day he calls it stinky Somerset because his first digs were near a pig farm …. He also sports in his own words ‘a big hooter’ – he’s clearly scarred!!!!
LOL! I have never heard the phrase, ‘stinky Somerset’ – hilarious.
I love both versions. The inside of King’s College brought back fond memories of attending evensong when I was studying in Cambridge. I’m so happy that your drought is over. Also, what is a “boffin”? It was in one of the captions included in the Pans People video.As far as manure – last week I spread fresh alpaca poo on some of my gardens and I was smiling like a Frenchman!
Reblogged this on lynz real cooking.
I’ve seen Midwestern farmers get that same sparkle in their eyes while slinging dung.. As Play-doh is a child’s craft toy, manure is the farmer’s Play-dung 😉
😮 I have my own people ? And at least since 1975 ? I must say, my people are really talented and impressive 😄
My dear Osyth, only you could think of dung,
to make your writer’s block flung..
Ok, it’s bad poetry.. but you inspired it 😂
Pan, your inner poet is inspired! I love the idea of play-dung ….
My inner poet was inspired by poo.. Oh boy, wonder what that says about me ? 😮 On second thought.. I don’t want to know.. 😂
Regarding instrumental: The arrangements determine my likes and dislikes in music. Went to my first performance by a symphony orchestra when I was 16. S.F. SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, DAVIES HALL (UCD), DAVIS, CA. That was a discovery of a new world for me. I could feel the energy coming off of the orchestra rising through me.To this day, It will take me away from anything and everything. I have yet to hear the live performance of a choir. It’s on my list. Thank you for the post-
My mother in law always sang in a choir wherever she was living. She said that the extra oxygen you take in when singing triggered fresh endorphins and lifted body and spirit. When she died the crematorium was filled with the joyous sound of a Bach choral sung by her choir in Knightsbridge. Just listening lifted us all from somber to sweet as we said goodbye 🙂
That is so… loving and sweet, I’d be a mess.😢
We get some pretty rich country odours around here from time to time. One local farmer carts muck up our lane in the winter, leaving quite a lot of it behind him, and leaves it to mature nicely on his field. He then spreads it later on, usually when the wind is blowing in our direction. We were in Cantal for a few days last week on a whim, since the weather (unusually) promised to be good. But I guessed you weren’t there. I hope we might return in September – and hope equally that you might be there so we can finally get to meet!
They are certainly pretty free-hand with the muck! I’m glad you nipped up to Cantal to take advantage of the weather …. It hasn’t been great by all accounts. I was not there, you surmised correctly but do keep in touch about September which is possible
We were lucky when we were there – 2 days of warm sunshine. Perfect for walking. But it didn’t last.
You are so much fun! I was wondering have you were going to knit it all together! I think this photo challenge was kind of tricky, I haven’t even attempt to make an entry yet. God job!
Thank you …. It was a challenge precisely because I want to maintain integrity …. Sometimes it’s hard but this time I was able to maintain some humour and a sense of who I am … SO glad you liked it 🙂
That is challenging! Showing just a little ah ah, but not selling oneself lol.
I’m a bit late on this one, but love it – don’t like the smell though, at least in some parts of the UK where they do this!
So glad your creativity is flowing once more! It can be so frustrating when it’s not. Enjoyed your lovely post! 🙂
Thank you … It’s frustrating and painful but joyous when it chooses to return 🙂 dies one spread muck on your farm pray tell ….!!
I think we’ve had muck spread at one time or another. 😉
I’m perfectly sure of that fact 😀
A season for everything 😉 Glad you’re flowing again!
You writing sparkles. I had a friend in college who was obsessed by Tubular Bells so i skipped the Mike Oldfield clip. I have, however, always had a soft spot for that piece of music. A perfect choice.
I can FULLY understand that! Thank you for the gracious compliment …. you are very kind 🙂
Share and share alike!! Those smiley French farmers must be jubilant at the thought of their equally spaced sh*te spreading adding delights to strange walker’s by! 😉
Absolutely …. Such generosity of spirit!!! 😂😂😂