Making it While the Sun Shines.
I genuinely feel like the Miller’s daughter in the story Rumpelstitskin.
I’ve a massive pile of cut hay on one side, and a long snaking hay rope on the other, which I’m looping together to form a structure.
I reckon I’ve made 70 metres of rope so far, with more to go. It’s a massive task, and the hay pile seems never to lessen. And now I know what a rope-maker’s blister is. The sound of hay swishing on the tarp as I twist it is mesmeric, the buzzing flies and yaffling woodpecker add to the feeling of a living fable.
The only advice ever (and frequently) given to me by my paternal grandmother was to “make hay while the sun shines”. She lived to be over a hundred, and outlived her farmer husband, my grandfather, by nearly 20 years; she had a lot of time for looking back.
I’m discovering what a fragile material hay is. It must be turned regularly to keep it dry or it very quickly starts to deteriorate. Even the dew is best kept off it. I don’t want spontaneous combustion happening in my pile of hay- it’s a hazard because of how quickly and vigorously the decomposition happens, creating really high temperatures. So I’m regularly doing the turning. While the sun shines.