This Saturday the kiddies and I went shoe shopping. New Year, new shoes and all that jazz. It made me think of something, so I wrote it down….

Great advice always seems to stick with you.

A bit of background 

While in the middle of a Tb test on farm, many moons ago a busy young farmer and myself where getting a group of cattle in. It was a cold wet, miserable day, heads were down and we were all business.

He stopped suddenly and shouted f**K it anyway. A much-worn pair of wellies gave up. A crack turned into a tear allowing a pool of cold water gather, in around his now wet spongy socks. It certainly wasn’t going to stop proceedings and he signaled to continue.

I did stop for a moment to remember a piece of knowledge imparted to me by a third-class primary teacher.

The advice 

Mr. Mangan peered over his glasses during class one day and said:

Boys and girls I will give you one bit of advice, always have a good pair of shoes and a good mattress because you will spend your life in both.

I’m sure he suggested changing them occasionally as well.

I don’t know why at such a young age I remember that, but it truly was a bit of wisdom. Maybe it was the simple logic of it all. Now every time I buy shoes I think about that advice.

A good discussion 

I stopped to tell the farmer this and question (with a degree of tact I may add), what’s all his rushing for if he couldn’t give himself a good pair of wellies as per Mr. Mangan’s advice?

Now some would make the presumption he could have been too mean. Yes, there are those amongst us who find it hard to part with a few shillings. Even on themselves.

This was not the case, that day I looked at somebody who hadn’t time to stop and think about his wellies. In other words, his wellies and maybe himself were at the bottom of the priority list. He was trying to grow his business, juggle and manage multiples. Some would call it a “rut” but it was his reality.

We began a discussion while finishing our work about “what’s it all for” if you can’t buy yourself a pair of wellies. I have to admit he didn’t immediately change his ways or anything, and perhaps all that happened was a bit of banter. However, I firmly believe it was no harm in trying.

Yourself first occasionally 

For the record as soon as I could afford one I have been sleeping on a good mattress and my shoes well a reasonable investment every 6 months.

So before the spring starts on Irish farms. If your wellies are worn, it is surely worth an investment in a good pair. There will be some long days ahead in them.

Maybe just maybe ask yourself occasionally “what’s it all for”, if you can’t sleep on a good mattress.

Simply put sometime it’s good to stop and put yourself first every so often

Happy safe farming this spring


Ps. This blog was not sponsored by a mattress or welly company.

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