Mr. H came home with his memory slowly returning. He had however moved eight vertebrae and crushed three when he had his blood clot and he was very weak, in fact it was to be six months before he returned to anything like his normal strength. One morning he staggered to the door to answer a knock and was greeted by the milkman. ‘In village, they says you are dead, but I says you aren’t; now I can tell them I’ve seen you and, although you look dead, you isn’t’ and off he went to spread the word!
Summer arrived and we had to sort out some fat lambs to go for meat. By this time Mr. H was staggering around but not really able to do very much. Most of the time he was just propped on a bale giving me instructions. When the lorry arrived I had to load the lambs with the driver, Neal, who was really nice and very helpful. We never weaned our lambs as we found this caused them more distress, but took them straight from their mothers to the lorry. The ewes were all calling for their lambs, so by the time we had loaded the last one I was in floods of tears. Neal was upset at the state I was in and kept trying to comfort me by telling me that they had had a lovely life. ‘But Neal’ I wailed, ‘they are so little and their mothers are going to miss them dreadfully’. Needless to say I was never allowed to load lambs again and always got sent on some errand when the lorry was coming.
After Mr. H collapsed his driving licence had been taken away from him for two years. When he came home the doctor told him he could start driving on the farm again. I pointed out that the farm was probably far more dangerous than the roads, as most of our fields were very steep and Mr. H would be driving a tractor and could hardly move. Mr. H was not happy with me pointing this out but we had only been married for a little while and I was hoping to stay married a bit longer, and also we couldn’t afford life insurance.
A lot of our fields bordered the road so we quite often needed to go on the roads to get to the fields, so out of necessity I became chief tractor driver too. I use the term loosely. I had an HGV licence for driving horseboxes so I was used to driving a large vehicle, but, driving a lorry is easy as it is one unit, but a tractor and trailer is a completely different thing, as I soon found out. I would turn into a field with the tractor forgetting that the trailer would cut off the corner and whoops, there would go another gatepost!