‘Yes…I mean, what do you mean?’
‘Love interest, you need love interest. You know Jilly Cooper and, not that I like the woman, and…oh, you know …who is it? Who’s the other one?’
‘Don’t know. But what do you mean? Love interest? Where? What?’
‘On the blog…love interest, on the blog. That’s what you need!’
It was Philip, and we hadn’t spoken for ages. With the phone tucked between chin and shoulder I put the kettle on to make a cup of tea in preparation for a good natter.
Philip’s a pal, a good friend. We met several years ago over a box of my beef, got chatting and found we both had a passion for north Devon and the wonderful food produced here. We share common ground having run businesses related to food so swap ideas, stories and experiences. Philip and his wife Lisa moved to Shebbear about ten years ago and have twins, seven year old Oscar and Jessica. Philip now has a pie business.
One day, about a year ago, I had a fraught call from him asking me to set up a meeting that evening. ‘Why?’ I asked ‘I don’t have anything to meet about’. It transpired that he was desperately trying to dodge some house guests…so ‘Pie Night’ was born. An excuse for a small group of friends to get together in one another’s houses, ‘discuss’ controversial matters, act devil’s advocate and enjoy a jolly good meal. All participants contribute to the supper, Philip provides a new flavour of pie for the main course and the host house can invite a guest if they want to. It has since developed a slight mystique, cult status even. Which, of course, all ‘members’ encourage!
Anyhow to get back to the matter in hand…
‘Philip, I can’t just manufacture love interest. I’m not writing a novel, you know’
‘Well, what about the boys, neighbours, friends…’
‘Yes, and won’t they just love me!’
‘Oh well, it’s just a thought’
It got me thinking. Most things on the farm are raw, unadulterated sex, and lots of it. Everything is connected with procreation, breeding, birth and death. Not a huge amount of wooing, canoodling or gentle persuasion goes on. At the moment the cows are ‘cycling’ and being served by the bull (cows start oestrous approximately six weeks after calving and cycle every three weeks. Their gestation period is the same as humans, nine months). Yesterday there was an orgy. Several cows were in season. Excitement and sexual tension was palpable. Condensation rose and swirled in hot, damp, vaporous clouds as cows circled, pushed, heaved, shoved and jumped. The bull snorted explosive bursts of steam from his nostrils. Panting, his tongue lolled from the side of his mouth covered in dripping strings of saliva. Dark, oily patches of sweat flecked with foam gleamed on his hide. He was in a sexual frenzy and released great jets of semen over the cows, the field and us!
Not love interest no, but sex, in a pure form, most definitely.