The Ploughing Match
11 October 2017
Jan and I set off a few weekends ago with the car full of unfinished woven coffin, coffee and tea (of course!) and lots of leaflets. We were going to the annual Faringdon and Filkins Ploughing Match which is a great event in the local agricultural calendar and which we have been attending as a family ever since I moved here thirty years ago. We have entered the ploughing competitions, our grain and homemade cakes and children’s art. Some years have been more successful than others but it is always fun and a great chance to catch up with our neighbours.
I remember the first time I went I could not believe how many people were dressed in green and brown. I had just moved from Hackney where things were much more lively in terms of colour. The event now attracts people outside the farming community too and we wanted to see if anyone would be interested in taking to us. Would everyone give us a wide berth?
We found we were in conversation nearly the whole time, answering questions, hearing people’s experiences and letting the children have a go at willow weaving. One man told us all about weaving hurdles into the banks of the Avon to stop it flooding. Every five years up and down driving stakes into the mud and weaving in the willow. So many fascinating stories, some battling with our gazebo and a few ferret races later we had had a very enjoyable day and felt it was definitely worthwhile being there. Lots of people said they had seen our sign driving past but not ever actually come to visit and meeting us decided them to come and have a look. All part of making death just an ordinary part of life.