The rain battered on the roof of the truck as I hastily clambered inside,
heaving the door closed with a relieved sigh. The sturdy vehicle’s silver exterior is dull with green algae in places; much the same as house, buildings & indeed pretty much anything left even briefly static these days, with all the relentless moisture in the air. /@?
I eased the bulky vehicle out of its parking space by the Dairy Complex & grimly set forth up the driveway. The heavy rain had – yet again – tumbled another generous portion of the driveway’s fickle gravel surface down the hill; the wheels skidded & slid, trying to find purchase on the slippery slate beneath, deep ruts grooved all the way down the hill & occasional catchments of gravel adding extra frissance as the truck shuddered alarmingly each time it hit one.
I managed to bounce the truck up to the top gateway, breathing a resigned sigh as I tumbled out into the face of the driving rain to open it. The weekend’s usual workload will inevitably have to be put on hold as I desperately dig out the culverts at the roadside, trying to divert this seasonal tidal wave to flow elsewhere before the driveway becomes completely impassable to all but the most formidable vehicles. We are seriously considering scraping the gravel surface off altogether; anything has to be better than this constant misery.
En route to my weekly Welsh lesson the roads were slick with slippery wet leaves although the beech trees edging the valley were resplendant in their last vestiges of autumnal glory. The River Teifi, although still mercifully well contained within its banks, was sluggish & brown, turbulent eddies whirling spittles of foam on the surface of the muddy water.
With only four of us attending today’s lesson we were able to achieve a sartisfying amount of progress; however, sadly it would appear that the more technically difficult the language is proving the more people are giving up: subsequently we’ll probably have to ‘double up’ with another class, next term.
On arriving home I leafed through the mail, gloomy at the usual pile of bills, bills & more bills. But something caught my eye which was out of the ordianary – a small, pink envelope. “Surely not a Christmas card already,” I groaned, anticipating the hectic Festive Season ahead & knowing full well that despite my best intentions I’d end up frantically scribbling feliciations on cards & hastily wrapping gifts at the eleventh hour as usual – quite literally.
But on opening the envelope I discovered that it wasn’t a Christmas card I was holding, but a Thank You card. Unaware of any specific good deeds & mystified as to the reason I’d received it, I opened it. It was from one of our customers, who had travelled all the way from Bristol one weekend after reading about us in the Observer Magazine. Having an intolerance to dairy produce but being a great lover of ice cream, she’d missed out on this tasty treat for a fair few years & was very excited to learn that at long last she would be able to enjoy it again.
She & her partner had visited the farm & enjoyed a guided tour, learning more about the gelato, meeting the goats & particularly falling in love with the ever-affectionate Vine who insisted on posing for photos with them. Spoilt for choice with the range of flavours, they bought plenty of pots of gelato & happily headed homewards with them (although I gather that much of the gelato didn’t make it that far – being consumed en route!), promising to return at kidding time & urging me to get my Mail Order service up & running, as soon as possible. It was lovely to meet such a delightful couple & I’d felt really chuffed that at last, I’d achieved my goal – crafted something that brought a delighted smile to someone’s face.
I wasn’t expecting a lovely card, though; in which apart from expressing sheer delight at the ice cream she even asked if I’d be happy for her to approach specialist food shops in her native Bristol to see if they’d stock it. I was genuinely touched. I immediately emailed her by return, sending some photos of the goat kids to whet her appetite for March when we anticiapte the first kids will be born.
But I must say, this kind gesture of thanks really touched my heart – it truly made my day.