“Dad just seen on YouTube that when we see Kiss the support act is a Professional Performance Painter. Bet you haven’t seen many of those.”

No not something Yorkshire is really blessed with.

I bet he will paint the band. Bit of a missed opportunity really. In 45 minutes he could finish off my bedroom.”

Ok it potentially wasn’t the greatest painting job ever. Yes a little rough round the edges and the wrong colour. But apart from that it was alright. As my Dad would say – a man on a galloping horse couldn’t tell it was a bad job.

If the Performance Painter can’t do the show maybe you could step in. You could become a Professional Performance Baker. I use the Professional name very loosely. They would need a team of firefighters on stage just in case.”

Maybe I could be a Professional Performance Hairdresser and I could get stuck into your hair. Today it resembles a hay bale.

I walk by that hail bale in the photograph virtually every day. One side of the path has two lines of bales neatly lined up. On the other side of the path just this one rather lonely bale. I would like to know its story – why is it apart from the others. Maybe one day I will bump into the farmer. Anyway it’s a fine bale and I give it a friendly pat on every pass.

A few yards further along the path I bumped into a woman coming the other way. Apart from my son it was the first friendly face to face conversation I have had in a long while. Unusually I wasn’t lost for words or tongue tied. It was nice to chat and have a smile. It’s been a long time. Just like the bale. Been isolated for months. Bit frayed round the edges. Soggy in the middle.

Maybe that’s it. I could become a Professional Performance Hay Bale. Certainly a niche.

71 thoughts on “By itself

  1. How do you know it was just a hay bale? Perhaps it was something else, a magic hay bale, watching with hidden eyes your daily treks… and finally sending you someone to chat with and smile at….

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You sure your son is only 12? That’s some seriously advanced sense of humour he has there!

    I’d go with the hairstylist thingy – use your ‘hail’ bail as inspiration! Considering what i’ve seen as modern fashion in haircuts you could become a superstar trend-setter. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You gotta love hay bales that become talking points. Most paint jobs are never noticed after initial inspection is over. I never seem to notice ceiling cobwebs until they start dangling in my face prompting the fanatic flipping of a duster, usually resulting in more face assaults of the sticky kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sitting here flipping between Wimbledon and the England – New Zealand game from Durham and all i can see is sunshine and blue skies!!??

    Is that 2 days in a row you’ve had sunshine now??? 🌄

    By the way – the temp in London is a warm 21 forecast – we had 22 today, blue skies, no wind. Gee Winter’s a bummer, hay? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love it. Whenever I see hay bales I always think of my Mum at the cottage window watching the ‘doughnut machine’ as she called it. Maybe this one was put to one side as it was a different size, or perhaps allocated to an individual for collection.
    Glad you had some adult conversation today. I started one up in the supermarket with an elderly gentleman shopping on his own. He said it was nice to chat to a woman as they talked about more than cars or football. He missed a lady’s company since his wife passed away over 8 years ago after 50 years together. He has good neighbours but says he gets lonely. I’ll probably bump into him again as he lives about half a mile down the road from us.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’ve actually done that to a complete stranger in a shop. It was National Hug Day and this old boy (about 80) was looking quite sad, so I just went up and hugged him, hastily explaining why in case he thought I was going to mug him for his crumpets.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Mugging for crumpets…that would make a cool name for a UK band. My American counterparts would scratch their heads.

        Sweet of you to hug and calm his fear of crumpet theft.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Love the hay bale photo. Growing up we just used the rectangular box type with twine holding them together. These are much handsomer! The line about the galloping horse is great!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Read your post out loud to Tember this morning and he howled at your son’s responses. He thought they were hilarious. The conversation that you had sounded lovely and very good for your spirits. Son here is on his two months school holidays and must be up for his dad to pick him up by 7 a.m. every day. (Not much of a holiday but I get a kick out of it lol) Have a great day and hugs to you and your son.


      1. Well we did have Jeffrey Dahmer in Milwaukee–he’s a notable cannibal (no joke!). We also had Ed Gein in Plainfield–he’s a notable grave robber, murderer, and decorating his house with stuff made from human skin (also no joke!). Wisconsin really does breed its own kind of crazy…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m pretty sure they’re so memorable because a) Gein was just this quiet, sad man in a tiny town. Plainfield has hardly changed. It’s just a small farming community where everyone knows everyone (they hope). Dahmer was somehow eating people and keeping body parts in his apartment, meaning he wasn’t exactly isolated. Granted there’s more traits to them than that, but the fact they were in plain sight, living so obviously amongst others, is something that still scares the bejeezus out of people.


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