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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.

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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


Glens Of Antrim Road Trip

I have been on the road once again. This time I went exploring the famous Glens of Antrim. It was a lovely sunny day and I started my trip at Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre at Portnagree House. There we had a meet and greet session and were introduced to our guide for the day – Liz Weir.

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Here I am with my wonderful guide for the day – Liz Weir who  informed and entertained all day long. Local information, history, myths and legends as well as poetry were all part of Liz’s repertoire.


After the Visitors Centre at the seafront in Ballycastle we made our way to an aptly named establishment. Here I took some time to relax and savour the delights at Thyme and Co. I had never been before – but I will be back. The scones were adorable and the staff gave us the warmest of Ballycastle welcomes. You should call in and see for yourself.

Liz Weir

 Here I am outside Thyme and Co.


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It wasn’t me – honest !

Scones As Big As A tractor !

Scones as big as a tractor !


All too soon it was time to head off on the next stage of my Glens of Antrim road trip. A leisurely drive was taken out the Antrim Coast Road passing through Ballyvoy, slipping past the vanishing lake of Loughareema, crossing the Glendun Viaduct before rolling down through Cushendall and on to our next stop at Glenariff Beach. Here we were met by the local Outdoor Recreation Officer who gave us an informative talk on outdoor opportunities in the Glens. A gentle stroll / drive along the beach was enhanced by the sunny shimmering stillness of the day. As the water lapped up onto the beach the sense of peace and tranquility  were encapsulated in a moment in time which will long be treasured. I would certainly encourage anyone who needs or would like to unwind from the dizzy hectic bustle of modern life to step into the Glen that is Glenariffe. You will of course deserve an ice cream, tea, coffee or some nice pastries and the very place is right there. The ladies at Waterfoot Community Cafe Project will give you a warm welcome.

Glenariffe

Glenariffe

Our Guide.

Outdoor Recreation Officer .

Our Party and Waterfoor Community Cafe

Our Party and Waterfoot Community Cafe.

Taking in some information about The Antrim Coast and Glens AONB

What a view !

What a view !


We drove back up the Antrim Coast Road to Cushendall where we dipped in for a bite of lunch at Harry’s Cushendall. This is a restaurant of some renown and people travel to enjoy the excellent local cuisine served there.  I must admit I partook of some rather fine local Salmon – wonderful ! I even managed to take a moment or two for a wee pic. The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens CouncilMura Hickey addressed us and appraised us of the exciting opportunities for business’s and visitors alike in the Glens Of Antrim.

Harrys - You Rock !

Harrys – You Rock !

Mayor Mura Hickey

Mayor Mura Hickey


With a scrumptious lunch devoured we set off for the magical Cushendun. When you pass along the Antrim Coast Road – do not miss Cushendun. I repeat – do not miss Cushendun. This is a true gem which you could very easily drive past as you travel north towards Ballycastle. Here you will find a place of unspoilt beauty, the Cushendun Caves as used in Game Of Thrones and the exquisite traditional pub – Mary McBrides.  We stopped for some time at Cushendun where another excellent local guide; Mark Rodgers of Dalriada Kingdom Tours took us on a journey in to the ancient past and  the Game of Thrones.  We also met another guide – Tommy Collins who is a local Blue Badge Guide. I think I may have inspired both Mark and Tommy. After that we headed over to Mary McBrides for some storytelling, traditional music and refreshment…

A Passage In Time.

A Passage In Time.

Let Me Out !

Let Me Out !

You're joking - the Tractor wants to be a tour guide ? ?

You’re joking – the Tractor wants to be a tour guide ? ?

No parts for a Tractor in Game of Thrones !

Any  parts for a Tractor in Game of Thrones  ?


Well and truly relaxed and inspired by the stories I took some more time out to savour the stillness at Cushendun. If you find it hard to relax – just copy me in the picture below.

I'm just chilling with the trees.

I’m just chilling with the trees.


My last port of call was to Watertop Farm where Paddy told us of the work at the Farm and the experiences which are to be had there by young and old alike.  I even took to a session of laser combat provided by Ardclinis. All too soon it was time to return to Ballycastle and on to the home trail to Muddytrac Farm. Be sure to visit the Glens of Antrim.  In July you might also like to visit the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club from 6th to 9th of July. This is Jake the Tractor wishing you well wherever you are.

All the best !

All the best !

Why Don’t You Visit Model Tractor Shows ?

Hello again ! Why don’t you visit Model Tractors Shows – they’re great. It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote a blog – I’ve been pretty busy.   I am just back from the Model Tractor Plant and Construction Show run by Meridienne Exhibitions at Warwickshire Exhibition Centre.  I sure had a great time. I met lots of  tractors fans of all ages and even had my picture taken with one or two. You can see some films of my visit on the Muddyfarm Models facebook page.   It was great to be at the Show and to introduce lots of  new tractor fans to our muddy models.  Whilst it was a happy occasion  – it was also a little bit sad as I had to say bye bye to quite a few of my muddy friends  including this big John Deere 9460R which has joined a fleet in Derbyshire.  I’m sure he will be a firm favourite.   I looked up to that big tractor – it was hard not to – he was ginormous !

Our Big John Deere

Our Big John Deere-.


Muddyfarm Models had a large stand filled with muddy and weathered models including tractors, tankers, implements, machinery and even weathered Kane Classic Trailers – some of which were loaded with silage ! ( not real silage of course ) They all went to new owners.  We even parted company with our dependable Joskin Modulo tanker which has gone to a new owner in Wales.

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Muddy Models Galore !

 

Muddy Models Galore !

New Releases: Weathered Kane Classic Trailers.


Of course there were masses of model tractors of all sizes and even real tractors including a mighty impressive Valtra. Here are some images of real tractors at the Show.

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Hard Worker !

Hard Worker !

Keeping Watch Over The Tractors !


In a world of their own were these exceedingly tiny tractors. I had to look really close to see them. The gentleman responsible had crafted superb replicas of real working tractors and machinery inserting them into an incredibly detailed miniature diorama that makes you feel you have stepped into the world of Gullivers Travels !

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 Tiny Dioramas Packed With Detail.

In A World Of Their Own


There were so many tractor, plant and construction models at the Show. Here are some images –  enjoy.

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Superb Dioramas


As well as the dioramas there were also displays including radio controlled vehicles and machinery.

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They Came From Wales !

 

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Amazing Massey Ferguson 240

 

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Magic Massey Ferguson 550.

 

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Simply Incredible !

 

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Radio Control.

Drag line Display.

Drag Line Display.

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John Deeres Taking A Break.


I had a great time at the Show and Ken from Wales very kindly spoke some of the Welsh language to me – you can see this on our facebook page.

What A Team !

What A Team !


Now I’m safely back home at Muddytrac Farm. The ‘little people‘ gave us a warm welcome. Today we have taken a well earned rest. Tomorrow it is back to work. I hope this blog has given you a little flavour about model tractor shows – we love them and are sure you will too. Take a look in magazines such as Model Farmer, Tractor and Machinery and Classic Tractor  to see information on more shows taking place. There are shows taking place throughout the World and if you look I’m sure you will find one not too far away from you. Why don’t you visit model tractor shows and discover an incredible group of very talented people. You may be surprised who you meet. You may even surprise yourself to find you have an undiscovered interest in the world of tiny and not so tiny tractors. So whether you are a little person or a bigger person go along and support your local model tractor shows and get on board  your very own journey of discovery. As Buzz Lightyear said; ‘To Infinity and beyond’  – I just say never mind infinity get up close and vrooom into the field of tiny tractors.   Of course in only a few weeks we will be holding our own Show at Portrush in Northern Ireland.

Show Dates

Catch up soon. Do get in touch, get involved, keep involved and enjoy the world of model tractors !  Best regards.  Your Friend,  ‘Jake The Tractor’

PS: Do take a look at our facebook and twitter pages.

Just JCB

It’s hard to believe that we are nearly at the end of January.  I have decided that perhaps a little bit of yellow would brighten things up.  Therefore for this blog I am featuring just JCB. Lots of pictures showing some of what the ‘the team’ here at Muddyfarm Models get up top. So without further ado here is a collection of both clean and ‘dirtied’ JCB models.  Please note that these are all toys which can be ordered off our website www.muddyfarmmodels.com. If they aren’t showing on the website and something interests you, just drop us a line to info@nationalminitrac.com We can also bring specific models to Shows for collection by arrangement hence saving you money on postage.

JCB Fastrac

JCB Fastrac

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Brand new JCBs


Of course our focus is on dirtying models so here’s a little taster.

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What you see here is not exhaustive – we do more JCBs as well including  JCB 3CX machines.  Thanks for looking in – hope you have enjoyed this JCB feature. Best Regards. Jake the Tractor.

 Jake the Tractor

Jake the Tractor

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 !

Like The Look of These ?

I wonder if you like the look of these ?  As we step out into 2017 I thought I would show you some of what we get up to here at Muddytrac Farm – ‘probably the World’s only muddy tractor factory.’ On the north coast of Ireland, where tales of the wee folk linger on, it’s best to keep your eyes peeled, as you never know just what you might see. For this is a landscape steeped in myth and magic – where nothing is ever quite what it seems, and where a simple country lane can often reveal something much more exciting…

A Simple Country Lane.


Indeed, if you were to wander down a certain secluded road, you might think nothing of any importance ever happened along it. Concealed along the way however, is a mysterious entranceway where two pillars guard a stony lane flanked by grassy tree-topped embankments. Through the trees, which whisper you onwards into this secret place, a couple of rusty farm buildings come into view – abandoned surely, as there’s no-one to be seen.

Rusty Old Sheds.

Rusty Old Sheds.


As the lane slopes down and twists and turns, the sharp-eyed walker will spot a yard to the right, with a track leading to a large rusty shed, while to the left is a smaller shed with low white walls. This is Muddytrac Farm.

Muddytrac Farm.


Manned by a busy team of little people, Muddytrac Farm is like a Santa’s grotto for tractors and machinery, which are delivered squeaky-clean by lorry every week, but leave nicely muddied. Thought to be the world’s only dedicated muddy tractor production facility, this is the north coast’s best-kept secret, for it’s here that the little people work their magic.  I wonder if you like the look of these ?

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Bobcats are taken for a test drive by some of the 'little people'

Conor Tanker

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No-one knows quite who these wee folk are, although it’s whispered they could well be descendants of those wily leprechauns who tricked old Darby O’Gill many moons ago. Here, on the Causeway Coast and Glens however, they work hard transforming any type of tractor that’s delivered down the lane.

Once out of the drying shed, the next part of their journey then begins, as the tractors are shipped across the world – to Europe and beyond – as well as throughout Ireland and the UK.

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Some people might stumble upon Muddytrac Farm and think that it’s just a disused yard, but for those of us with a sharp eye, well – we know better… That’s a quick snapshot of what the ‘little people’ here at Muddytrac Farm do. Of course I am also a product of Muddytrac Farm although I didn’t get sold off to anyone. Over some time I have enjoyed being ‘the face’ of Muddyfarm Models and spreading the word about Muddytrac Farm and  the Muddyfarm Models range. Did you like the look of these ? If so take a look on  www.muddyfarmmodels.com to see more of the current range of muddy, dirtied and weathered models available. All prices on the website whether for dirtied or clean models include free UK postage.  Chat soon – your friend  ‘Jake The Tractor’

Sowing the Seeds for Success in this New Year !

Have you started sowing the seeds for this new year ? I know that it is very easy not to bother doing anything. Pull the duvet up, turn over and go back to sleep – or in my case  stay close to the hay ! Dull grey days, dark nights, cold. It is very tempting to just put on the heat, park in a seat and engage with a TV, laptop, mobile phone or computer screen. Don’t do it ! Don’t surrender a whole new year to  the soft seated path to nowhere – you probably deserve better, a whole lot better. Time to shake rattle and roll into some directed activity. Get out of your tree, hit the ground and get going.

Get out of your tree !

Get out of your tree !


We are I guess creatures of habit and comfort is one of those habits. However, the guy who sat comfortably at the fire for a long time soon got cold as no one brought in any more fuel for the fire.  You gotta put fuel on your fire if you want a bit of heat. Here’s some thoughts to help us all focus on not sitting sedately as the year slides away.

Sow seeds.

Sow seeds.


You have to sow some seeds – the question is what seeds and what with ?  Well a good starting point is to take a ‘walk of decision.’  Of course it could as easily be a run, a cycle or a drive.  In essence you gotta step out of the usual box and move into free space – away from the impeding clutter of TV, laptop, computer, or mobile phone.  As you go you can ‘swing backwards and forwards’ in your mind.  ‘What have I not done  and what could I do ?’   Is there something you have seen or heard along life’s path up until now. Something that perhaps someone else has done ? Could the person with numerous decades on the clock who has taken up sky diving  be an inspiration – it’s never too late to find out.  What about that person who has cycled hundreds of miles, trekked across mountains or sailed vast oceans. These have all one thing in common – they didn’t do it from the comfort of an armchair, thumbing on their phone or staring hypnotically at a computer screen.


I am reminded of an excellent book  ‘Your Best Year Yet’ written by Jenny Dittzler.  This is a great aid and guide to help you set down some goals from small to large, from hobby or holidays to career or business.  Once you have taken that walk, cycle, run, drive or general timeout; it is time to write out some goals for your year ahead. Write these in a specific book or even a diary.  There is virtually no point in keeping the ideas in your head – they have to be sown.  By writing some goals down you are sowing your seed. It is very much in keeping with the idea of creating a building. The building starts as an idea, it gets written down, drawn, evaluated and eventually constructed.   Again the same holds true for creating cars, buses, boats, tractors or basically anything.

So you have the seeds of ideas and you have the method of applying the seeds – you are your very own seed drill. However there’s no point in the seed drill staying nice  and clean and shiny. It has to ‘get dirty’ and get active sowing the seeds like this busy seed drill  has done.

A Busy Seed Drill.

A Busy Seed Drill.


Set Some Goals.

You may set some different kinds of goals perhaps even like these general ones below.

1: Home. Are there jobs or projects you would like to do round your home ? Decorating, gardening etc

2: Family. Perhaps some family occasions which you could start to plan for now.

3: Travel / Holidays.  Is there somewhere you would really like to go to ?

4: Work or Business.  Do more, less or change direction.

5: Sport. Try out a new sport, join a club etc.

6: Hobbies. As big or as small as you choose. There are all sorts of hobbies and if you can’t choose one – create your own.

The ‘golden rule’ is of course,  give yourself credit when you have taken action and made progress with your goals.  See how you progress, be patient with yourself  and don’t be afraid to alter your goals – remember they are ‘your goals’

I’d be glad to hear how you get along, so do feel free to get in touch with me; ‘Jake the Tractor’ I wish you well as you plan, prepare and sow your seeds for 2017. Right now, I’m for ‘hitting the road.’

Hit The road Jake !

Hit The road Jake !


Like your own combination ? Email us at: info@nationalminitrac.com

Like your own combination ? Email us at: info@nationalminitrac.com

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 !

 

Jake the Tractor Takes ‘Grand Tour’ To No. 10 Downing Street !

A Grand Tour To No.10 Downing Street.

Can it really get any better than this ?  A grand tour to No. 10 Downing Street ? Sometimes it is hard to know where to begin. This year has been a real fired up, all systems go kind of adventure.  I have met so many people and got up to all kinds of things – it has been totally amazing.  Well as I trundled along on this amazing year I wasn’t quite prepared for what happened. Out of the blue,  I got a phone call from a lovely lady at Small Business Saturday UK asking if I might be interested in going along to a reception at No.10 Downing Street. Well you know me, I didn’t have to think twice ” Count me in ” I said.  I had hardly put the phone down when some of the ‘little people’ came over and asked what I looked so excited about. “Its a secret” I said “but I’ll tell you nearer the time.”  So things went on as usual. More loads of potatoes were brought into the Farm and I  quietly prepared for ‘the visit’

Another Day At Muddytrac Farm.

Another Day At Muddytrac Farm.


To Clean Or Not To Clean – That Is The Question.

Well I had a bit of a tricky decision to make – to clean or not to clean.  Given an occasion like this one would want to look and smell one’s best.  If I went nice and clean and polished up I would be just like a new tractor fresh out of the factory. However if I went in my usual look that would be representative of both the muddy tractors produced at Muddytrac Farm and myself. The decision was made – no need for the pressure washer after all.


I've Got The Look

I’ve Got The Look !


I need Help !

The more I thought about the visit to No.10 the more I realised – I need help !  So, I had a chat with some of the tractors around the Farm and before long I had  a few volunteers to go with me.  ‘Norman the New Holland’ was very keen to go. As London wasn’t a million miles from the New Holland factory at Basildon I agreed that a cousin of the tractors produced at Basildon might just be a nice touch.  A couple of David Browns, two snow tractors and a Herron ferry tanker made up the party.  We were all very excited the night before and could hardly sleep. Eventually after many a rendition of ‘The Wheels On The Tractor’  and ‘She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain’ we eventually drifted off to sleep.

Norman the New Holland

Norman the New Holland

David Brown Tractor

David Brown Tractor

Herron Ferry Tanker

Herron Ferry Tanker


The Big Day.

The ‘big day’ arrived. Off we went through the fog to Belfast International Airport. I don’t know how he managed it; but  Al the ‘factory manager’ somehow got us on board an Easyjet flight to Gatwick. I don’t know if they usually take tractors on  the plane.  Anyway, we had a nice flight and before long we were high above the sunny skies over the South of England watching as planes ahead descended and landed on the enormous runway at Gatwick Airport.  With disembarkation completed we made our way to the ‘shuttle’ and onward by Gatwick Express to Victoria Station. After enjoying a hot cup of tea and a sausage roll at Victoria I headed off in the direction of Buckingham Palace.  It was a cold morning but I kept up a brisk pace and soon arrived at ‘the Palace.’   I stopped for a while to get some pictures and spread the word about Small Business Saturday UK.

The Drive To Buckingham Palace

I Have Returned.

 

No Sitting Down On The Job.

 

I Want To Tell You About Small Business Saturday

I Want To Tell You About Small Business Saturday UK.


Westminster Here I Come.

With a tight schedule to keep I was soon on my way. Keeping the power on I soon arrived at my next stop – the Houses of Parliament, Westminster. With my board proudly displaying the Small Business Saturday UK message I stopped across the way from Big Ben. I included him in this picture as I thought you might like to see him.

Saying 'Hello' To Big Ben

Saying ‘Hello’ To Big Ben and one of the famous red London buses produced by WrightBus in Ballymena.


I’m Here !

No time to stop – Big Ben was ticking and I had no time for talking.  On I went until eventually I arrived at the entry to Downing Street.  On gaining admittance to the famous Street I was joined by others of the  Small Business 100 attending the reception.

Preparing To Enter 10 Downing Street

Preparing To Enter 10 Downing Street


Small Business 100 at Downing Street.

Inside No.10 I had an amazing adventure .  The surroundings were exquisite, the company marvellous and the reception – amazing. I was particularly pleased to meet  Small Business Minister  and Member of Parliament for Stourbridge; Margot James.  All too soon the blur of activity, conversations and photographs came to an end. I reflected on the memory of watching autumn leaves floating delicately  in the Downing Street gardens. We gathered at the front of No.10 for a final farewell group photograph of the Small Business Saturday UK ‘Small Business 100′ A snapshot in time of a memorable occasion when I, Jake the Tractor could very possibly have been ‘the first muddy tractor in Downing Street’  Here is a picture or two to finish off my very own ‘Grand Tour’

Me and Al at No.10 Downing Street.

Me and Al at No.10 Downing Street.

I Was Really There !

I Was Really There !


And So,  All Good Things Come To An End.

As I close;  I would like to say an ‘enormous thankyou to all at Small Business Saturday UK,  Margot James MP, UK Small Business Minister and our Hosts at No.10 Downing Street for a most fulfilling and enjoyable experience. And so this little muddy tractor and friends have left the stage. We have returned from whence we came – back to North Antrim and our ‘muddy tractor factory’ at Muddytrac Farm.  For now, this is your friend ‘Jake the Tractor’ “Thanks for looking in and do get in touch.”

Hunting For Tankers

Why is it that sometimes in life you go looking for something ?  You look here and there, high and low. However no matter where you look the thing you are looking for just won’t turn up.  Let me tell you what happened  recently.  It was a pleasant Autumn morning.

A New Day Dawns

A New Day Dawns

I started the day just like any other day – slowly.  As I eased  gently into the day  the morning sun crawled up over the hills; a golden orange glow greeting a clear blue sky.   The ‘little people’ were already up and going about their work.

Some of the 'little people'

Some of the ‘little people’


There was lots of activity. Some of the ‘little people’ were taking some Bobcat Skidsteers for a skid or two.

Bobcats are taken for a test drive by some of the 'little people'

Bobcats are taken for a test drive by some of the ‘little people’


Meanwhile  a  tractor towing a load of tiny potatoes drove through the yard.

Big load of tiny potatoes.

Big load of tiny potatoes.


It was then that I noticed a scent. It was a  strong distinct smell; there was something very  familiar about it. For a moment or two I wondered what the smell was. Well as surely as the sun climbed slowly in the morning sky it slowly dawned upon me what this smell was – slurry ! Yes slurry;  I knew that smell very well.  I decided to go and see some slurry tankers hard at work spreading slurry.  First I topped up my tank for the day and took a run round the yard at Muddytrac Farm. Then I waited at the top of the lane as our lorry brought a new load of tractors into Muddytrac Farm.

Tractors arrive at Muddytrac Farm.

Tractors arrive at Muddytrac Farm.



Off I went, I knew exactly what I was looking for; slurry tankers – just like the one in this picture.


Well what an adventure. I looked all around the area. I drove up more roads and lanes than I care to remember. There were no tankers at Portrush, Ballymoney or Bushmills. There were none at Ballybogey, Ballycastle or Cushendall. It was all too much – not a slurry tanker to be seen ! Then I saw a wee Same tractor staring into a field.  ‘Have you seen any slurry tankers I asked him’  But he just replied ‘Take it easy lad’ and continued staring into the field.  You know sometimes I worry about that tractor. Last time I went along that road he was doing the same thing – just standing there staring at the grass.

Same looks into a field.

Same looks into a field.


I decided to keep going. I went past  some local farmers working at the potatoes. There were no slurry tankers here so I kept driving along.

Harvesting Potatoes

Harvesting Potatoes.


By the time I had went past the Giants Causeway and the Dark Hedges I thought I would take a quick run around Torr Head. But all I found was the great scenery, birds flying high and sheep bleating at me from nearby fields.  It was all too much. My quest for slurry tankers had failed miserably – so much for following my nose ! I cruised along the Causeway Coastal Route and decided to drop in with a friend who lives near The Whiterocks.  There I could unwind and relax over a nice mug of tea.

View from Torr Head to Rathlin Island

View from Torr Head to Rathlin Island


At least it was a lovely sunny day. Before long I arrived at my friend’s lovely little thatched cottage near The Whiterocks.

 

My Friend at The Old Thatched Cottage

My Friend at The Old Thatched Cottage

Enjoying Some Slow Down Time.

Enjoying Some Slow Down Time.


Well I must say I really enjoyed my mug of tea. Down below we could see the golfers making their way round Calamity Corner at Royal Portrush Golf Club.  Soon I was finished up and went back outside where to my astonishment I saw all these dirty slurry tankers !  Wow – I could hardly believe my eyes. I had looked round half the country to find slurry tankers and here were a whole lot of them parked up and enjoying the sunshine close to The Old Thatched cottage !

Tankers Galore !

Slurry Tankers Galore !


After all my frantic chasing around without finding a single slurry tanker here were a whole lot of slurry tankers – amazing.

NC Tankers

NC Slurry Tankers

Abbey Tankers

Abbey Slurry Tankers

Conor Tanker

Conor Slurry Tanker

Herron Ferry Tankers

Herron Slurry Tankers


I guess it goes to show that sometimes in life it is very easy to flap around with all systems go. However if we sometimes slow down, take our time, enjoy a cup of tea and think about things a bit the answer may just come to us.  Much the same as happened me in my hunt for slurry tankers. If you would like to see more of the slurry tankers which the ‘little people’ at Muddytrac Farm produce then take a look at the link below. Thanks for stopping by and remember – to stay safe and take it easy out there – wherever you are. ‘Jake the Tractor’

http://www.muddyfarmmodels.com/dept_list.php?selDEPT=8&selFORMAT=Dirtied&selCAT=Tankers