Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

My future farming wardrobe.

When people get asked about their dream job it is doubtful that being a farmer would top the list of hopeful candidates. But running my own farm has always been the dream profession that sits lurking away in the dark recesses of my ill-informed brain. My friends would find this idea hilarious considering my complete ineptitude at fixing things. I myself find it hilarious; I could just imagine the scene – me, calling up some local handyman to come out and fix a blocked drain in the sheep dip.

In fact, just the other day I had a professional handyman come around to look at the wooden screen doors that lead onto our terrace. They are more or less rooted and need to be replaced, but the landlord keeps patching them up in the hopes that he won’t have to invest in some aluminum doors. The handyman was a little old Greek chap who has lived in Australia for over fifty years. We got on very well, even though he turned down my offer of a cup of my delicious coffee.

As he was leaving I pointed out to him the lock on the front gate. It was stuck inside itself and I assumed it needed repairing. He leaned down, had a brief look, and then with the most gentle of actions he touched the small button that released the lock back into its starting position.

I imagine that he’ll speak about that little episode for quite some time.

So the idea of me operating a farm is somewhat ridiculous. If I did possess the skills then I’d like to breed some sort of meat, something like pork or lamb, and I’d aim to make it the best in the area. Something like ex-Formula 1 racer Jody Scheckter does, although not on that scale and without all the wanky references to it being organic. Whenever I see the word organic on a label I now desist in its purchase, simply because I know that in general I am being conned.

If I was going to live the life of a farmer then I have a good selection of suitable attire all ready to go. I have a couple of pairs of very old corduroy trousers by Carhartt that would make excellent farming trousers. The white shirt that I wore to my wedding is still in excellent condition but it is a bit stained around the collar. It too would be a marvelous  addition to my future farming wardrobe. There are a few other old pieces of clothing as well that would be quite suitable; pullovers, cardigans, pants, even an old jacket or two. I would be the best dressed farmer in my corner of the paddocks.

Bill Martin was reminiscing over at Quadrant at how people these days don’t hold onto old pieces of clothing. Apparently clothing charities are so swamped that the majority of donated items get turned into rags. His piece reminded me of a scene from one of the Travis McGee books by John D. MacDonald, The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper, which I consider to be one of his best works.

Travis has broken into a house to learn as much as he can of the occupants. He is in the process of searching through the closet of an individual who will turn out to be a complete sociopath:

Taste, cost, and quality. Impersonal, remote, correct, and somehow sterile. Apparently no sentiment about an ancient sweater, crumpled old moccasins, baggy elderly slacks, or a gummy old bathrobe. When anything showed enough evident signs of wear, it was eliminated.

Including people, as it turned out.

As we are moving house I will soon have yet another opportunity to purge my closest of a multitude of items that I just do not wear anymore. But they have survived countless moves, and I am sure that they will also emerge intact from this one. For each of these pieces of clothing holds memories for me. They come from periods in my life that I have outgrown but the clothes remain to remind me of where I once was and how far I have come. They serve as useful lessons that strike me on occasion as I am reaching in my closet for a pair of socks.

I know when I pack them that I will hold some of them for a brief moment as I consider all the stories locked up in a few feet of cloth and yarn. There will come a day when they will be discarded, but not by me. It will be by someone who will have the unenviable task of sorting through my things when I am gone.

In the meantime they can sit there waiting, on the very off chance that I do one day learn how to fix a blocked drain or a gate lock, on my little farm of animals.


Dave Allen had it.


Mark Latham – public internet beggar.


  1. Ok, someone has to say it. Those cardigans have to go. Do not try to give them to anyone. Weep now then hold your peace. Accept reality. There is the civil war to be conducted, and this can not be won from the farm barn office.

  2. Dan Flynn

    I share your ineptitude for fixing things Adam, changing a light bulb is a big deal for me!

  3. I’ve had a small ranch for decades, by all that is holy don’t do it, your wife will hold it against you if she wasn’t raised to it.
    “Oh honey don’t kill little Bob he’s so cute. I remember him as that funny little calf frolicking in the pasture.”
    You named that steer Bob?
    After: “I don’t want to talk to you right now, you’re heartless.”
    It passes, but it’s tough sledding for a bit.

  4. Brandon

    With me its books! I still have the complete set of Das Kapital for crying out loud. I still remember the small antiquarian book shop in Saltaire, West Yorkshire, that I brought them from. I went back the following week and brought a book called “The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler ” – which was the better buy.

    They have survived my eventual rejection of Marxism, and its reinventions and six physical relocations. They are hanging on because of memories and a reverence for all books.

    Part of me wants to sell them to hapless SJWs to add to their student loans; part of me wants to have an official book burning party so the infection will not be spread to someone without my antibodies.

  5. I know what you’re thinking. You think that you can just keep the old Cardy that your mother knitted you, because it is beige, and you will just wear it around the house . It is not OK. Cardigans are not OK. While its true your beige cardigan is better than a maroon or green cardigan it is still a Cardy.
    Malcolm Turnbull has a cardigan for God’s sake.
    Cardigans are both politically and socially incorrect. Even just around the house. You think that no one will know, but you will know, your wife will know.
    Now you can do this thing . All cardigans to the gaarbage container now. No last peeking at them.
    You can do it Adam. You have support. We’ve got your back.

    • Adam

      Cardigans are politically incorrect? Even more reason to wear them then.

      Also, I don’t wear fucking home knitted cardigans or anything else for that matter. These are designer cardigans, I’ll have you know.

  6. Adam

    Allen, the good wife comes from hardy Dutch stock. She would probably be hardier than me.

    Brandon, yep, I’m the same with books as well. I have never thrown away a book and I have some truly awful examples in my library.

    • Ah, the Dutch. Such an amazing people. Their effect on western civilization from 1600 to 1800 is sorely under appreciated. One of my scientific heroes has always been Huygens

      • Brandon

        Not to mention the work house and the proto prison system with solitary confinement. A distinct improvement on transportation… I think Adam would agree…

  7. I practically grew up on a farm, at least I spent a lot of time as a teenager working on one. Yes, it makes you very practical and goal-driven, skills I kept and still apply now. I spent a couple of years stripping apart an old Land Rover, rebuilt the gearbox myself using the back of the vehicle as a workshop. For clothes it was an old pair of jeans and an army surplus shirt: army surplus gear shows up an awful lot on farms. In my case it was superior German army clothing: we had a German army tank range near where I grew up.

  8. Brandon,

    Why yes, I was totally unaware of any negative aspects of any given human culture on the planet, until of course you noted it.

  9. Brandon

    I was not clear that I was expressing admiration for the Dutch contemplative prison system albeit tied up with my sarcasm about transportation.

    I agree something iconic was going on in the Dutch renaissance, all of which is captured in “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp”.

    The art of the period is full of confidence, creativity, invention, introspection, without the Scandinavian inner turmoil and self doubt.

    The prison ideas were picked up in America hence the penitentiary system.

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