FARMING MATTERS: Preparing for the day of farm sale

After years of attending other farm sales we faced the awful prospect of hosting our own recently.

But we knew the day was coming. After all, the farm is now sold, the suckler herd left us in early summer and now all that was left was to dispose of the deadstock - vehicles, machinery, tools and sundry items.

For non farming folk reading this, think of a great big car boot sale or garage sale but this is all from one farm.

My husband has been preparing for it for weeks, but now the time came for more assistance. I had been working ahead at my own job here at Johnston Press for a couple of weeks in order to be able to take a week off work. And our son also booked a week of holiday.

So in the days leading up the sale, which was held on a Thursday, we were all out there on the farm going through decades of things in the yards, barns, workshop, dairy and tractor shed.

It was exhausting, physically and emotionally, for all os us and a big change from my usual job of sitting at a desk in front of a computer. It was good to get away from such a sedentary existence and get out into the fresh air with no sitting down whatsoever.

The guys attended to the jobs involving the vehicles and machinery and positioned them all out in the field, while I concentrated on clearing the space above the dairy and farmshop, and the shed where all the antique tools and spare parts were kept.

There was a lot of sorting, cleaning and traipsing backwards and forwards in order to lay the items out in the covered yard where they were itemised and numbered by Billy and Lyn from Thame Market.

But it was also a great opportunity to clear out a few household and garden items.

At the end of every day I was utterly filthy, covered in dirt, dust and cobwebs and often smelling of cat - as the area I was clearing above the farm shop is where the cats like to sleep.

Invited lots were also allowed at the sale, so by the night before the sale, other farmers from around the area had been over to deliver various items for display in the field or yard.

Next week I’ll tell you what happened on the actual day of the sale.