Getting scrubbed up for the Scottish smallholder show

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Time for the annual day oot. Time to swap the dog-hair covered jeans for the pair without holes and stains.

You know, the pair that don’t stand up by themselves when you take them off because they’re caked in all sorts of stuff you’d rather not think about.

Time to cast off the cheapie wellies, look out that pair of muck boots/Hunters you’ve only worn twice and put away for ‘best’.

Brush the feathers out of your hair, find a jacket without any barbed-wire rips in it, and don’t forget to check the fingernails.

Dirty fingernails are only acceptable on a) children, and b) tramps. If you spend most days outside grubbing in tattie beds or mithering animals, dirty fingernails can often be overlooked.

But when you are about to go off the reservation, dirty fingernails must be addressed. No need to go mad, a quick scrub and sterilise will probably suffice. If you are a lay-dee, you don’t necessarily have to apply nail polish – unless you are proficient.

Nothing marks you out more as someone who ‘doesn’t get out much’ as nail polish that wanders off the nail and on to the finger.

Ditto for foundation applied to the face area only, giving you an orange lollipop-like effect. And char-grilled mascara. Lay-dees, if the last time you wore make-up was, ooh, 15 years ago on your wedding day, it’s time to throw that make-up away and stop using it. It is definitely past its sell-by and will lollipop and chargrill you.

For gennul-men, the following rules apply when leaving the homestead for the first time in a 12-month: a) trim all nasal and ear hair, and make sure those really long Dennis Healeys are cut level; b) use deodorant ... lots of deodorant; finally, c) flares and stone-washed denim are really not cool any more. Seriously. Finally, whatever sex you are, please remember to brush your hair. It does make a difference. Honestly.

So, fellow wannabe smallholder, are you fit for a Really Big Day Oot? Then here it is (hands on the table for a drum roll), now in it’s second year, the one and only ... Scottish Smallholder and Grower Festival.

A whole, entire day where you can wander about in a lovely bubble of smallholdery, spending time and money on stuff you like, instead of being dragged round the supermarket leaving a trail of mud, dog hair and straw. Bliss.

Some people drool at a tasting menu in a top restaurant. If you are a wannabe smallholder, like me, I bet this menu of the goodies on offer at the festival will have a similar effect.

The blurb says: ‘Organised by smallholders and growers, it is aimed at all those with an interest in sustainable living in its widest sense’.

There are stands, workshops, demos, and even competitions for anything from poultry to sheep, to the more unusual sausages and pig agility. I can only presume that if pigs are not agile enough, they will find themselves in the sausages.

For me, it will be like a day trip to the Mothership. See you there. I’ll be the one in ironed overalls and bobbly fleece. Nanu nanu.

z Scottish Smallholder and Grower Festival, Lanark Agricultural Centre, September 28.

Website: www.scottishsmall