Speed Bonnie Tractor !

Ahoy chums ! How’s it going with you ? This is your ‘wee friend’ Jake The Tractor.

Its me - Jake !

Its me – Jake !


I know it has been a wee while since I last wrote. Anyway I guess I had better let you know about my latest adventure.  No doubt you are familiar with the words  ‘Speed bonnie tractor like a bird on the wing, Onward the sailors cry’  from the very famous The Skye Boat Song.  I have known about this song from years ago when I was a very tiny tractor – so my inspiration comes from there and thanks are due to Mama Tractor for teaching me.

Anyway – I decided that I was overdue a trip to Bonnie Scotland.  I must admit to having enjoyed the Stena Line film about Linda. I decided that if Linda could do it – so could I ! This adventure is one for the guys of all ages.  It was a long drive to Belfast and I didn’t even have a ticket for the boat ! After scratching my cab roof for a while I came up with an ingenious plan. I knew of someone who could give me a lift and maybe get me on board the big Stena Line boat which sails between Belfast and Cairnryan.

The day of the ferry crossing arrived. I slipped into a rather large bag shortly before the bag owner picked it up and put it inside their car. Then we were off ! We  zoomed along the road to Belfast and I must say that, that new stretch of dualling on the A26  fair speeds up the drive to Belfast or to Portrush if you happen to be going the other way.

We parked up at Belfast Stena Line Terminal and soon a nice man in a yellow jacket waved us forward. At last – we were going on board. We edged slowly up the ramp and parked at the far end of the boat. There were cars and lorries and buses and motorbikes on board. However, I didn’t see any other tractors.

Not to worry. The bag I was in was lifted and carried on board. Up some steps we went. Soon we arrived in a big spacious lounge with comfy seats. Clearly the seats were very comfy as no sooner was I set down than  I heard the rumble rumble of man snoring. I decided it was time for an adventure ….

I'm Coming Out !

I’m Coming Out !


I could wait no longer. Slowly I crept out of the bag and  rolled across the lounge.  I darted between chairs and tables – no one saw me !  I had successfully slipped on board the Stena Line SuperFast VIII.  I looked around for a while and then I noticed a  friendly member of the crew whose name was Chris.

Meet Chris from Stena Line!

Meet Chris from Stena Line !

We struck up a rapport very quickly and soon were chatting away about trains and tractors – maybe not the usual sort of conversation you would have on a boat. Oh well there’s a first for everything.

Chris was really helpful and sorted me out with a nice cuppa tea and a massive muffin. Well I was a little bit peckish so I tucked in and before too long ….

Muffin gone !

Muffin gone !


Feeling energised I decided to ask Chris a wee question … would there be any chance of taking a turn up round the bridge and meeting the Captain ? “That’s an interesting idea” said Chris ” Leave it with me.”

"An interesting idea" says Chris.

“An interesting idea” says Chris.


Shortly afterwards Chris appeared back after having had a word with Margaret at Customer Services. “It looks like it is forward all tractors”  said Chris as he introduced me to his Stena Line colleague; Ryan.

Chris and Ryan with me.

Chris and Ryan with me.


We made our way upstairs to the bridge of the Stena Line SuperFast VIII. My first thoughts were ‘wow – this is just like the Starship Enterprise.‘ What an array of hitech  equipment  – it was way ahead of the old power shuttle for sure. I just happened to notice a rather fine cap sitting. Well what else would you expect me to do  ?

If the cap fits !

If the cap fits !


Now I know you may well be thinking to yourself  how very well I look with the Captain’s cap perched on my cab roof. It wasn’t a perfect fit by any means. For a time I felt that I was a great Admiral of the seas going forth where no tractor had gone before.  We are sailing, ruling the waves, master and commander. I was really enjoying this surreal drifting away experience when I was brought back to reality by the sound of laughter. Chris and his colleague Stuart ( or Stewart ) were having a fair old chuckle at the sight of me wearing the Captain’s cap.

You're having a laugh !

You’re having a laugh !


Honestly – they were laughing that hard that I started chuckling away myself.  With all the uproar on the bridge it came as no surprise when the Captain himself appeared. On no – we were in trouble !  However it turned out that I was worrying needlessly. It transpired that Captain Mike was very friendly and had a great sense of humour. The magic of the moment was duly recognised – could this be the first time ever that a tractor had been on the bridge of a Stena Line vessel or for that matter any boat at sea ?

My friend Captain Mike.

My friend Captain Mike.


What a time we had sharing stories and  songs. All too soon it was time for me to head on, but not before we got a fine group picture which is just below.

Smile you're on Stena Line Super Fast VIII

Smile you’re travelling on  Stena Line Super Fast VIII


As I mentioned earlier I was inspired by Linda’s journey with Stena Line. I decided to continue with my adventure. Next stop – the Shop. I had a fair old time at the Shop and yes  I did feel a Millions dollars as I cruised across the Chanel. The Shop is very much a Quality Street with a great selection of fragrances, sweet nibbles, magazines, books and gifts. No I didn’t buy a handbag as Linda had done.

IMG_1272 IMG_1271 IMG_1269 IMG_1268 IMG_1265 IMG_1264

Tractors enjoy shopping too !


After the shop I took a quick turn up to the Spa and  Stena Plus lounge which I highly recommend if you fancy indulging yourself a little bit more, of course you know…..  you’re worth it !

You're worth it !

You’re worth it


I decided to take a  time of contemplation out on deck to top up my tan. It was very much that sort of day when you get that cruise ship sort of feel.

Sunning myself.

Sunning myself.


Other people were out on deck as well enjoying the smooth sailing experience and soaking up the rays. It was as I was on deck that I bumped into Ryan from Southampton and Ian from Portsmouth. I told them something of my story and that they can also find me on Facebook at Muddyfarm Models. Can you guess which motorbikes they like ?

Husqvarna fans - Ryan and Ian

Husqvarna fans – Ryan and Ian


We were nearly at Cairnryan Port. My adventure on Stena Line SuperFast VIII was almost at an end.  As I stood there looking out across Lough Ryan I felt really happy at how all my expectations had been surpassed by Chris, Ryan, Stuart ( Stewart) and Captain Mike who had made my trip so special; and made a tiny tractor’s dream come true.  One final word before I go …. Linda eat your heart out ! Thanks to all at Stena Line for making Jake the Tractor a very happy tractor. If you want to feel like a very Speed Bonnie Tractor …. be sure to travel with Stena Line.

Jake Sails Stena Line

Jake Sails Stena Line


Which Way Now ?

Which way now ?  I’m just sitting here, perched on this rock and enjoying the views on the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland.   Sometimes along comes a nice sunny day, blue skies interspersed with white puffy clouds and its kind of easy just to slow down and take it easy.  Do you sit contentedly on your rock, pop on the shades and catch a few rays  and follow the words of  The Eagles ‘ Take it easy, take it easy. Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy’  Or do you get up and go and see where the road or track leads ?

Which Way Now ?

Which Way Now ?


I looked this way and that way….

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0200.

This way ….

This way, that way.

That way …..


Maybe it was the sound of the waves lapping up on to Runkerry Beach, perhaps it was the  sun glinting on my bonnet – I dunno.  All I know is I decided to make tracks along a  path.

The path forwards.

The path forwards.


I rumbled  along the gravel path which slowly descended alongside Bushfoot Golf Club and the famous River Bush. Up ahead  golden sands and dunes  carpeted with maram grass beckoned me on. Perhaps it was in a parallel reality that I imagined some golden  beach in the south of France that entranced and enticed me onwards, onwards drawing me ever forward like a modern day Lawrence of Arabia crying Aqaba, Aqaba ! Thankfully there was no one about when this re-enactment took place.  I know, I know – you can imagine this surreal vision of  a dirty little green tractor charging along a gravel path at full throttle shouting Aqaba Aqaba ! At this point  I did a bit of a spin swinging around 180 degrees.  There was the mouth of the River Bush and I realised just how  far I had already come.

Looking back.

Looking back.


I swung around, up ahead  stood a wooden bridge.  This sometimes happens in life – you come to a point where you must decide whether to turn back, or go on.  There was no going back. I must cross that bridge !

Cross that bridge !

Cross that bridge !


It was only a small bridge, however it was strong enough and I was brave enough to crawl across as lightly as I could. Down below the peaty brown waters of the Bush swirled  through on their way to the sea.

Swirling along.

Swirling along.


I pressed onwards. Up and over the golden sands and on to a wooden path fringing the meandering Bush. On my approach, golfers across the way hastily departed. All that remained was the wise old Bush offering peace to reflect a moment mirrored in time.  Isn’t it nice to pause for thought and reflection.

A moment in time.

A moment in time.


A wise old tractor used to say to me to ‘ houl back’  and keep looking ahead. I have to say that this was very sound advice. There is a lot to be said for not hurrying  and watching where you are going.  As one who has experience of putting their nose into a ditch I  heartily endorse that wisdom. Slow down, take your time and watch where you are going is good advice for tractor drivers and drivers of all ages.

Looking towards Runkerry.

Looking ahead.


Pressing on, taking our time and watching where we are going  can certainly help to get and keep us on track.  Here are the tracks which run from Bushmills to the Giants Causeway.   Please note that no trains were harmed in the making of this Blog. In fact there weren’t any trains running  when I came by this way. Sometimes all there is, is a straight grey path vanishing into the distance or a rusty set of rails bearing silent witness to friends from distant lands who have travelled  here.

Get on track.

Get on track.


Yesterday someone came along here,  today I travelled this path. Tomorrow it may be you who follow this route.  Whatever you do – houl back, take it easy. Pause and reflect.  Recharged – focus and press onwards.  I enjoyed my run out from Portballintrae towards Runkerry and The Giants Causeway. I know you would too.  Why don’t you make a point of visiting and experiencing the joys of this relaxing scenic way – soon.  Who knows I might even be there myself ! For now this is your friend ‘Jake the Tractor‘  wishing you well and hoping you know  which way now, wherever you are. Do remember to take a wee look in our Shop.

See you soon !

See you soon !

Christmas Has Gone – 2017 Here I Come !

Hello again friends.  I hope this finds you well and enjoying a rest over the Christmas season. Christmas 2016 has come and gone.  I can hardly believe that it was only a few weeks ago the cards were being written and sent, presents being bought, decorations and the Christmas tree put up.

Nice To See You.

Nice To See You.

How time flies when you are enjoying yourself.  Here at Muddytrac Farm the team at Muddyfarm Models have had a busy lead up to Christmas.  Dirtied New Holland tractors as well as Herron and NC tankers proved to be very popular.

Dirtied New Holland Tractor.

Dirtied New Holland Tractor.

Dirtied Herron Ferry Tankers.

Dirtied Herron Ferry Tankers.

Dirtied NC Tankers.

Dirtied NC Tankers.


I do love Christmas and seeing Santa just adds to the occasion.

It's Santa !

It’s Santa !


Of course there is always lots of other things going on as well. I had a wee run down to Jordanstown  one day to Al’s ‘old campus’ just below Knockagh.  Incidentally I have to say that if you have never been I would highly recommend you take a visit to Knockagh Monument. Take some time out, maybe take a picnic and soak up the stillness and serenity of this superb vantage point overlooking Belfast Lough.  See County Down stretch out and fade away into the distant Mournes. Watch the boats  sail into and out of Belfast.  Far  below watch as the ‘tiny’ Larne train darts back and forth midst the bustle of east Antrim life.

Well I didn’t want to hang around at Knockagh too long that day in case I got cold feet. Instead I went on to somewhere a little warmer – the ‘old campus.’  It has changed somewhat over the years;  though the long central spine walkway remains an ever present right of passage for those who dare to pass that way. In the great hall there was an expectant buzz as people thronged for a great occasion.  Mitre boards and gowns of multi coloured  splendour  descended and then amongst the procession – I saw him !  Bedecked in black and gold was none other than, not Santa – the Chancellor ! After a very fine address the Chancellor conferred awards. This is the Chancellor below – you may recognise him.

The Chancellor.

The Chancellor –  James Nesbitt.


After my trip to Jordanstown and seeing one ‘great man’ there was another ‘great man’ to wait for – Santa Claus.  Excitement built as Christmas drew ever closer. I wrote a note to Santa  and put it in the post.  Some liquid refreshment and a mince pie were left for Santa. A wee carrot or two were left for Rudolph and friends. Then I went off to bed. I must admit I could hardly sleep. Somehow I got over but not before I thought I heard the sound of reindeer hoofs pawing on the roof. I took a look out – but saw absolutely nothing.  Morning came and I rushed to see what Santa had left under the Christmas Tree.

Well I could hardly believe my eyes – what a surprise. Santa had really pulled out all the stops with some CLAAS  and very Deere gifts. Take a look at these pictures to see what Santa brought me.

Deere Me - What A Deere !

Deere Me – What A Deere !

Absolutely CLAAS !

Absolutely CLAAS !


I had a great time over Christmas and I hope that you did too.  Christmas can be a very expensive time  however some of the best gifts we can give and receive are free. I’d like to share a gift with you right now which is absolutely free and which you can give to anyone, anytime of year.  Try this and see for yourself.

Smiling

Smiling is infectious, you can catch it like the flu,

When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.

I walked around the corner and someone saw me grin,

When he smiled I realised I had passed it on to him.

I thought about the smile and then realised its’ worth,

A single smile like mine could travel round the earth.

So if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected,

Start an epidemic quick and get the World infected.

( Author Unknown)


Well now that Christmas is over we have had several new arrivals here at Muddytrac Farm.  Some ‘new’ New Holland Tractors and a Kverneland seed drill have just arrived in and soon will be heading off to new owners. This is them pictured below:

Kverneland Seed Drill.

Kverneland Seed Drill.

http://www.muddyfarmmodels.com/product_details.php?selID=KV02&selDEPT=13&selFORMAT=Clean

New Holland T6 180 Tractor.

New Holland T6 180 Tractor.

http://www.muddyfarmmodels.com/product_details.php?selID=NHT6%2002&selDEPT=7&selFORMAT=Clean

New Holland T6 180 Tractor and Loader.

New Holland T6 180 Tractor and Loader.

http://www.muddyfarmmodels.com/product_details.php?selID=NHT6%2004&selDEPT=7&selFORMAT=Clean

New Holland T7 315 Tractor.

New Holland T7 315 Tractor.

http://www.muddyfarmmodels.com/product_details.php?selID=NH%20T7%20315%2002&selDEPT=7&selFORMAT=Clean


Well that’s about all for now. Thanks for looking in and do get in touch.  For now this is your friend  ‘Jake the Tractor’ wishing you a very Happy and Successful 2017.

 Best Wishes for 2017 !

Best Wishes for 2017 !