As the rain patters against my window, I think longingly of the summer just gone.

Last summer I got to drive the combine harvester.

Whilst the majority of people were either heading off to the beach with their friends, or lighting the BBQ and enjoying the warm sunshine, I was happily working away in the golden corn fields at home, for seven days a week from July to early September in our Claas Dominator 96, a model built in the 1970-80s.

This machine still works like a trooper. There are no electrics in this machine, which means everything is controlled by levers.

I had a wonderful mentor whose name was Kester, and has been driving this combine for almost as many years as it has been running – I knew I was in safe hands with all his years of experience he was passing down to me.

Farm machinery has evolved so much from these earlier models. We did have a more contemporary combine harvester working alongside me, or else we never would have finished the harvest in time. But it’s very useful to know where the big machinery started from.

Today you hear much discussion about ‘precision farming’ thanks to GPS technology, and the clever electronic systems in the tractor cabs, machinery has become more fuel and time efficient, and is able to map out each field providing a wealth of information the farmer has never before had access to.

Agriculture is rapidly moving forward where technology is concerned. Let’s just hope I can keep up with it all.