The Reluctant Farmer | Valentine Special

Part 4 of my Irish Country Living series.

After a winter of near hibernation on the farm, it is with great relief that the chief farmer welcomes Spring.

Time does not sit easy in his hands and he is only delighted to see the ‘stretch in the evenings’ which allow him more time outside doing whatever jobs need to be done.
The 1st of Feburary marks the beginning of the farm year and those plans hatched over the long winter months start getting put into place.
It is then of great inconvenience to be expected to interrupt these plans for a dinner à deux just because Hallmark decreed it…or so I’m told.
Emerging, after many years, from the fog of small babies I decided to revisit the idea of a romantic meal for two for Valentines day.
 It didn’t go according to plan.
After a great game of ‘ who can jump 384 times on the trampoline’ the kids were well set for an early bedtime. Step 1 of my plan complete I got on with making dinner. 
There were candles lit, and there wasn’t even a power outage-pulling out all the stops.
Now I just needed himself to arrive, and arrive he did…
..complete with the overwhelming ( and not in a good way) aroma of alpaca poo and our bachelor neighbour who had been helping him collect it.
Hmmm, not quite the plan.
I heard himself ask our neighbour if he’d like to stay for dinner, ‘G’wan so’ came the reply.
A rather sheepish husband entered the kitchen with a ‘what else could I do’ face, as I frantically tried to blow out some candles and divide a dinner for two into a dinner for three.
We sat and chatted, we shared good food, good company and good wine. It wasn’t the evening I’d planned but it was, nonetheless, a great night.
At the end of the night our neighbour remarked that we were awful grand having such a nice meal on a weeknight.
My husband laughed and told him it was Valentine’s night.
‘Valentine’ he exclaimed, “I’d say he wasn’t much of a farmer. Sure what farmer would plan a night off in the middle of the lambing and calving season”
He was probably right, Valentine’s night wasn’t planned with farmers in mind.
Next year I’m having it in November…the 14th of November sounds good to me.
I’d ask if anyone will join me but we’ve done the dinner à trois so I’m sticking with just the two of us next time.
Romantic Alpaca Facts: When a male is introduced to a female, the female will sit to be covered if she is not pregnant . If she is pregnant she will spit in his face and refuse to sit…romantic or what!
Five days after the initial cover the male is reintroduced, even at this early stage the female will know she is pregnant…this is endearingly known as the ‘spit off’.

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