• Charli


Just as I was about to turn into the gate after walking Jack on Monday evening, I became aware of a small lime green car that seemed to be tapping. I looked and recognised two first year pupils from school who are in several of the classes in which I support our ASN children. They smiled and waved vigorously, grinning broadly – always a bit of a thrill to see a teacher out of the school environment.

When I saw these same two boys in class on Tuesday they commented on how beautiful Jack was but also asked why did I have a scarf over my mouth. The answer is that the farmers are spreading muck on the fields surrounding North Berwick. No matter how many years I live in or near the countryside I will never get used to this repugnant smell.

I have a heightened sense of smell at the best of times and so I find the assault on my olfactory receptors incredibly offence. I was gagging by the time I got home and could still smell the muck seeping through cracks in window frames and keyholes.

He used to be a farmer and rather enjoys farmyard aromas – obviously feels at home – with vivid descriptions of collecting pig and cow slurry.

We will have to endure the pong for several days and each time I head out in the evening I will scowl and frown and retch. I understand the need to ensure that the soil is fertile but in this day and age of sanitation and anti-bacterialism, surely there must be a way of eradicating the stench from this process.

Mucky – a poem

Sludge and slick and brown and thick

muck on fields makes me sick.

The harvest ripens, the farmer’s pleased,

but what a foul way to treat the fields.

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