Thursday, 23 October 2014

Imagine If You Had To Doff Your Cap And Pull Your Forelock

Did you watch: "You Just Can't Get The Staff," the other night on Channel Four?  It's about landed gentry interviewing staff for different roles on their estates.  You may want to be a butler, gardener, nanny or even somebody who cleans the brasses and ancient medieval armour and weapons.  There was one lad who would have got paid five hundred quid a week for gardening.  But he said he objected to hunting!  FIVE HUNDRED QUID!  I would have fought a lion for so much money!  May be not,

I love watching and reading about the old walled vegetable gardens and even visiting some big houses here in Ireland.  Before the the world wars.  These estates employed numerous members of staff.  No doubt before the welfare state provided social housing and unions fought for proper wages.  I am not saying all staff were exploited and I am sure there would be some very kind, Christian, Matriarchal and Patriarchal landowners who looked after their staff.

Any road.  The world changed and a lot of landowners today are rich on paper (sounds like us smallholders) and poor in pocket and they can't afford to maintain their estates properly, because of death duties and people expecting not to work for a pittance.

Wouldn't it be good to have the boot on the other foot?  What would you do if you won the lottery?  I would like another farm/castle, probably in Herefordshire with a herd of red Hereford cows, a flat in a city with public transport and a holiday home in Portugal and I would collect some more vintage tractors.  I don't want much do I?  What would you like?


  1. I'd stay put. Not tell anyone and buy land around me (and maybe the semi we're attached to). Then I'd tty to help people out and change their lives without them realising it was me!

  2. The five hundred pounds a week gardening job wage would do me Kev. That's 26000 Pounds a year. It sounds like a kings ransom.

  3. We would stay put as well but have a 'old red brick' wall erected all around the veg and fruit garden so we have our own walled garden.
    Have a covered walk way to the tunnel, ( I get fed up working when I'm wet) and have solar panels and a wind turbine installed so we are self sufficient in power as well as water.

  4. The walled kitchen garden sounds wonderful Anne. You would be raising the micro-climate temperature, protecting your crops from the elements and you (or the council) wouldn't have to cut any hedges.

    You could have more tunnels, solar and wind power and perhaps employ a gardener or two. Wish I could employ somebody who would do some gardening work for me.

  5. I don't know Dave. We don't need much here to keep us happy; I like Sky TV and P likes a tractor or two and a bit of work to keep the wolf from the door. I wouldn't want a holiday home anywhere because I like to go to different places when I am off on my travels, freedom on the road and all that. I don't think we would do anything different to what we do now. I might buy an Aga because I haven't got one here.

  6. When I win the Lotto and not if - ok :) I shall buy an island or even half of one as per Mermaid Estate + Half of Ilaundrane Island just off Sneem in Co. Kerry.
    Peace and quiet with only sea birds and fish for company.

  7. I have always wanted a small walled garden...with a small green wooden door
    It's not much to ask eh?
    Oh Dave
    I also want 500,000 pounds too

  8. It sounds like you're happy and content, Rachel. There are a lot of different places I wish to visit and there are quite a few rock band that I still haven't seen, especially in Canada and North America. Thanks!

  9. I hope you you get your island on the ring of Kerry, Heron. It sounds like paradise.

  10. Your small walled garden with the shaking stevens "green door" sounds wonderful, John. 500,000 pounds would be good, wouldn't it?

  11. We would stay here and continue on with what we are doing, and how we are living. Maybe someone to help out occasionally, that would be nice. No travelling on expensive hols though, but I would like a sunbed so I can laze in the sun for five minutes in between doing other things!

  12. Sadly there's always been inequality in this world, and probably always will be.

    I've never bought a lottery ticket, so I'll never win it. Although it would be nice to be relieved of any financial worries, I fail to comprehend the desire to have such vast amounts of money that it ceases to mean anything. I think money is a means to an end, not an end in itself; I've never really understood the desire to have more money than everybody else, I don't want to be the richest man in the graveyard. I often wonder if the people who spend all their waking hours in the pursuit of money can achieve any sort of contentment, however much they have, they seem to want more.

    Maybe I'm lucky, my tastes don't run to the exotic and expensive, "enough's as good as a feast" as the saying goes.

    I really wouldn't know what to do with a big lottery win, except build a specially adapted house for my wheelchair-bound wife somewhere with nice views of the sea and the countryside, no amount of money can buy your health.

  13. Sounds like you are really happy where you live, Vera. Yes it would be good to get help around the smallholding. Thanks!

  14. Hi Cumbrian. They say here: "your health is your wealth." It's very true. It's easy to think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and forget to count our blessings.

    Thanks for your comment!


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