A heartfelt appeal to Santa for just one more stopover

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Dear Santa,

“It seems to be no time at all since I was writing to you and yet when I checked my old diaries, I now realise that we haven’t been in touch for the best part of 50 years, but I didn’t want to bother you in the meantime as I know that you prioritise the children, when it comes to giving out presents. Santy though, just maybe this year, you might consider the trials and tribulations of a grumpy old man who’s fallen on hard times.

“Well, now that I’ve broken the ice, I’m back again to you this year, and even if my letter is a bit on the late side, there’s just one little item that you might consider dropping off to me. I’m happy enough with the car that I have at present, but I’m afraid the old Massey Ferguson 690 is getting a bit battered, and I’m sure you know that the cabs on those models are ‘red rotten’.

“I am thinking of getting it fixed up in the New Year as there’s little prospect of any new model arriving, but wouldn’t it be great Santy, if you could just make a one-off exception, to your ‘children’s only rule’, and deliver one of those gleaming new Masseys with a 2018 reg. plate.

“I know that I am pushing the boat out a bit now, but while you’re at it, you might throw in a front-loader, as I currently have one on the old 690, and a friend of mine always says that a tractor without a front-loader is ‘only half a tractor’.

“You were very good to me Santy about 50 years ago when I ‘snuck up’ in the middle of the night and thought that you had forgotten about me, when I saw nothing but bare hobs on either side of the Stanley range.

“My mother though tore down the stairs after me and hunted me back to bed at a rate of knots, before telling me that you had got stalled in traffic somewhere around the Arctic Circle and that it would be near morning-time before you’d be calling.

“I fell asleep again and even kept the eyes closed after the sun had peeped out from behind the corner of Knockroe Hill to give you a bit of extra time to make the delivery. But you were a loyal ‘ould sod’ and when my mother came into my bedroom to deliver the news that you had arrived, I knew that I should never have doubted you at all.

“The high-powered water pistol, the football and that big box of Colleen sweets were greatly appreciated and I vowed on the spot that I would never again go sneaking down in the middle of the night, to check to see if you had called.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.