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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


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 !

 

On The Road Aagin !

Hello again !  Here at Muddytrac Farm I’ve been very busy getting ready for the Christmas rush.  The ‘little people’ are putting in extra hours hardly stopping for a quick cuppa tea. Anyway, whilst there has been plenty of business at Muddytrac Farm I have been on tour across the water to Scotland and beyond.  It seems like only a blink of time since I caught the Stena HSS Belfast to Cairnryan boat. The ‘Stena Plus’ Lounge was great.  Nice comfy big seats,  fine tray bakes and splendid coffee. The Staff were really friendly and made me feel at home – albeit a home on water !  Sitting there, cruising along and reading the FT ( Financial Times ) – it was great.  After disembarkation I headed down the road where I stopped to get a quick picture of the boat.

Waving To The Boat

Waving To The Boat


After travelling for some time I decided to stop off for a quick cuppa tea at Gretna. You may recognise this very famous location. Fear not – I did not run off with a lady tractor to tie the knot ! Feeling a little nostalgic I put up one of my advertising boards to remind you all of the ‘Our Time Our Place’ campaign to boost Northern Ireland tourism in 2012 – I think it worked.

Stop Off At Gretna.


Stop Off At Gretna – Just For Tea !


I ‘forged’ on until I arrived at my final destination – The Rheged Centre at Penrith.

Cleverly Concealed - The Rheged Centre

Cleverly Concealed – The Rheged Centre


So what was I doing at The Rheged Centre ? Well – at the invitation of Peter and Sharon at  www.132farmingmodels.co.uk  I was attending  the Lakeland Model Farm and Construction Show with the Muddyfarm Models Stand.

Doing my bit for The Lakeland Show.

Doing my bit for The Lakeland Show.

I had a fab time and somehow even managed to get a quick film of my visit. You can see my film on the Muddyfarm Models Facebook page. Here are some images of the Muddyfarm Models stand at Lakeland Model  Farm and Construction Show.

Muddyfarm Models Stand

Muddyfarm Models

Muddyfarm Models

Muddyfarm Models


I had a great time at the Show. Lots of tractors and loads of model tractor enthusiasts. Peter and Sharon  organised a raffle, tombola and auction. These raised £930 for the charity CLIC SARGENT ….. well done ! Here are some more pictures from the Show.

Driving Along At The Show

Driving Along At The Show

Hard Work At the Yard

Hard Work At the Yard

Campaigning

Campaigning

Amazing - Classic Combines

Amazing – Classic Combines

Soaking Up The Atmosphere

Soaking Up The Atmosphere

 Superb Detail

Superb Detail


I really enjoyed myself at The Lakeland Show. However, I also felt a wee bit sad as I left some of my muddy friends behind. Three of the latest New Holland T7 315 tractors all nice and dirty went to new owners.

Dirtied New Holland T7 315

Dirtied New Holland T7 315

A tidy Valtra T series tractor and Triathlon Spreader loaded with manure

Tidy Valtra T Series Tractorr

Tidy Valtra T Series Tractor

and  a real red rocket Massey Ferguson 3080  also went to new owners.

Massey Ferguson 3080

Red Rocket Massey Ferguson 3080

All good machines and I’m sure they will be very happy on their new farms.


All to soon the Show was over. It was time to make the long journey home back to Muddytrac Farm in County Antrim.  I travelled back with happy memories of a great Show, lots of nice people  and with a sense of anticipation as soon it would be time for my ‘home show’ at Portrush. The Northern Ireland Farm Toy and Model Show is taking place at Magherabuoy House Hotel, Portrush on Friday 25th November. You can be sure I’ll be spreading the word.  Until my next post this is Jake the Tractor  ‘on the road again’ and keeping er lit !

On The Road Again

On The Road Again