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.