None left, come back fourish, we'll have some more. Very odd. I left the bakery and entered the post office, no mail for us. I jumped in the Land Rover and it drove me home.
There were three buckets of plums on the kitchen table; I halved them and removed the stones and the bad fruit. I put three large pots on the stove and cooked jam. An hour later I ladled the hot goo into clean glass jars. I put labels with the date on all the jars and tested that the lids were tight. I carried them down to the cellar.
I remembered the bread rolls, time to try the bakery in the village again. I bought twelve rolls. Still odd. Back home I halved two rolls, buttered them and shoved thick slices of spam with home-made pickles into them – Dad's favourite.
I put the rolls in a bag with a Thermos flask of hot coffee, pulled my wellies on and walked across the fields. Time to think. Very strange about the bakery. They stop baking before noon and usually close at two or three when they're sold out. And why did I buy bread rolls? I usually buy three big loaves and halve them – one half for the bread bin and five in the freezer for the rest of the week. And why the hell am I the farmer's daughter?
I'm a commodities trader, early forties, I buy and sell grain. My office in Brussels is in the same street as the EU offices. At this time of the day I'm thinking about finishing the day's business and catching the train home. My wife picks me up at the station and takes me home. Dinner at eight – we have three children – the eldest, Mary, wants to start college next year.
So why the hell am I the farmer's daughter trudging across the fields in big rubber boots? I'm now a female in my late teens or early twenties. I know this, I went to the bathroom before leaving the farm. Each field has a name, Long Field is not a very imaginative name, but it is long. Dad was mending some fencing and was glad to see me.
But why now? About this time of the day Dad stops working outdoors and comes home to milk the cows. There's always more work, paper work and things to repair back home. Later I will make supper for the two of us and maybe we'll watch TV.
Dad munches the rolls and I walk back to milk the cows – I wonder when Dad will be back home.
Almost finished milking when somebody grasps me from behind. It's Jim, my boyfriend. He wants to do engineering at college next year. His mum and dad own the next farm down the valley, they want him to study agriculture, marry me and take over the two farms. My Dad wants this too.
I don't think that Jim wants to do agricultural engineering – there's going to be a big row over this soon. Jim is great, Jim is wonderful, he puts his large arms all round me, kisses me and makes me feel great.