21 March 2012

Early childhood doubts about becoming a farmer?

Thanks to my late mother's cine camera, I was able to splice together some clips of life on the farm in the early 1950s for my older brother's 70th birthday party last weekend - which I used to tell a story of why he grew up to become a farmer and I didn't.

Scene (1): Harvest, where both of us appear to be working quite hard.

Scene (2): Me on a trolley helping (or pretending to help) him to feed the pigs.

Scene (3): Skating, with one brother falling flat on his face.

Scenes (4-5): Action replays of the above (in case it happened so quickly that you missed it).

Scene (6): Our first combined harvester (in the days when there were no health & safety concerns about children riding on farm machinery).

Scene (7): Another combined harvester and some fatherly coaching on modern farming.

Scene (8): Older brother working hard, while I lean on a fork wondering whether this is the job for me...

Scene (9): Still photo of farming brothers from the nineteenth century. This was used by our grandfather (on the left) to boast to his grandchildren that his worn-out brush demonstrated what a hard worker he was compared with his idle older brother, whose brush was hardly worn. As a younger sibling, however, I've always been unconvinced by this. After all, is it really any surprise that the older brother has bagged the new brush for himself and left the younger one to make do with one that had seen better days?