I hesitated to use this title.
The intention had been to call them, that is, the landowners something stronger. Yes, you know the word.
So, yes, why are they such bastards?
It is Friday morning.
The end of ‘holy week’
Pesach, Easter, and Ramadan have now just finished.
The Easter Eggs are eaten, the Matzah put away and the fasting over.
I am not working.
The rain had not yet started and despite my painful back (sacroiliitis, don’t ask) I thought, ‘Run, why not?’
It was two degrees when I started, four on my return.
I live in a small village in South Yorkshire.
Given the local geography, there are not that many running routes. I am bounded by major roads and motorways that limit where I can go. And so, I have a few routes – the reverse-extended water walk, the Fletch bums dogs route, the Dadsley farm way. Most are around six or seven Km. There is the longer Stainton over the top run, which is around 18km, I reserve that for my long Sundays.
I also have the pygmy goat run; this is between six and seven Km although if you include the farm at the end, it is closer to eight.
It was running through the farm that I encountered the bastard.
Approaching the road there is a sign, ‘access by permission only’. Which, to my mind generally refers to cars – ‘If you want to drive here, you had better ask my permission,’ kind of thing. I jogged on.
I had run this route a few times although usually in the evenings.
Today, as, yes, holy week and a day away from work, it was the morning. I could see some cars parked. And yes, a burly guy glaring at me with disgust. He started shouting. At first, I couldn’t hear (noise cancelling headphones / Blindboy Podcast), then, ‘This is private land, you can’t be here! Get off! Stop! (I didn’t stop running) Get the fuck out of here,’ he started towards me. I sped-up and ran off. He pursued, still bawling.
I don’t know what he wanted. Perhaps to dress me down and make me go back the way I had come (it was closer to the road for me to continue running than to turn back) and, so I ran.
You can see here; I increased my speed (from not very fast to a little quicker) consequently.
Along the road I had images of his pursuit.
I imagined (me) calling the police, ‘This guy just attacked me.’ I pictured a fight. I kept running. My back stopped aching.
I then thought about my blog, and here I am.
And, yes, this has happened more than once.
There is a field beside me, a five-minute walk, it isn’t used for anything other than grass for the cows (not grazing, chopped down and fed) – a couple of years ago, Anne and I were training Stella; an old guy in tractor drove-up, ‘This is private land, you will have to leave,’ ‘We aren’t doing any harm,’ we said, ‘You dog owners and your shitting dogs, it makes the cows sterile,’ he ranted and we left.
Again, there was no gate, just an open field. (There is a gate across the field now although it has been knocked over a couple of times, likely by other disgruntled dog trainers).
Another time, I was walking with Stella, around our local park, Langold. It was a sunny day. Just me, my dog, doing no harm to anyone.
‘This is my land, you will need to leave,’ complained the farmer, another old guy on tractor. Again, I wasn’t doing any harm, hadn’t broken through anywhere, climbed a fence or gate, just wandered.
I don’t get it.
Perhaps it is because I am Scottish.
In Scotland you can go where you like.
Sure, if you break-in to a house or garden, that is not acceptable, but wandering onto empty land, not doing any harm, what is the problem?
Maybe it’s because I am not a landowner.
Maybe landowners have a hard time.
The Earl of Scarborough lives near me. He and his family own lots of land. He has the same signs although they are written in such a way as to deter me from entering altogether. Also, he has a gamekeeper, with a gun.
When I was 13 or 14, I remember a farmer catching my brother and I stealing pecans. On that occasion, he shot at us, and, yes, I think he was justified although potential death was excessive; we lived in difficult times.
Around the same time, at school, a group of friends were beaten-up by a strawberry farmer; we had taken to raiding his field during break, grabbing the juicy red sweetness from under plastic tarpaulin.
I can’t imagine a similar situation in my world.
‘You don’t have an appointment, get the hell out of my clinic!’ I’m certain I wouldn’t resort to violence. I wouldn’t attack. And yet, these guys. Perhaps they are just bastards. Perhaps they lacked their mother’s love.
One less route to run.
It isn’t worth the hassle, the increased heart rate or anxiety.
I’ll continue to plod until I no doubt discover another field that is off my limits.
6 thoughts on “Why are male landowners in South Yorkshire such bastards? (Yes, this blog contains swear words. Don’t read if you are sensitive) (or a farmer).”
Yeah, bastards alright. And you are from Scotland, so this all seems extremely rude to you, because I learn from my daughter that the most friendly people in the world live in Liverpool and Scotland. She misses being called “love” by all and sundry on the road.
That aside, yeah, people can be pretty anal about their territory. In fact, in my dad’s house, a bunch of young chaps play cricket on the street and keep hitting the ball inside his house, and he gets so worked up that I think he’s going to get a heart attack. I always feel there’s no reason to get so hot-under-the-collar about something like that. The boys will come in, take their ball and leave..they are more interested in their game than your yard. Same difference – you are just jogging in their turf – what’s their problem.
Also, you said don’t ask, still I ask – why do you torture your back?
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Re the back… the output from running beats the input from back pain!
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Was remembering the pecan incident before I got to it in your take – another narrow escape!!
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Good old days. When we could run fast!
That’s farmers for you, Rod, they do this indiscriminately, glad you don’t take it personally.
Have a good swear!!
I was attacked similarly by a farmer walking my dog on a public footpath through his field, he shouted “ go on, you and your fucking dog” , could not reason with him so told him to f*** off back. they’re very isolated and murky some of these farmer folks. Hope this goes viral, would be very interesting.
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Thanks. I spent a while plotting my revenge before realising this blog would be a better way to frame the moment!