It happened when I was drifting off to sleep on my 05:26 commuter train to London. If you are- or have ever been- a commuter to London you will know well and understand the struggle that public transport brings to your daily life and how the travel gods are all powerful in deciding your fate. Sometimes they will be kind and you will breeze onto your on time train with ease and be home in a timely fashion….. other days they are cruel and wicked, causing not only a signal failure but also a broken down train with a strike thrown in for good measure and you’ll be lucky to make it home at all!
Overall, the average commuter has to make THAT choice: stay away from London and settle for average pay with average benefits but have a door to door commute of about 5 minutes, or do the commute to the money and promotions but half your life expectancy with a long and stressful journey to and from work.
It’s a tricky one. It’s the one I made. You see I’m training to be a nurse and instead of training locally, I decided the education offered in some of the countries leading hospitals (in London) would look killer on my CV when it came to qualifying and getting a job locally. And it will, it’s just surviving the training, which thankfully will be all done and dusted in July next year (nearly there girl, nearly there).
So back to my idea….
Sitting on that train, watching the fields slowly turn into villages, towns and eventually cities made me realise, I’m lucky. Really lucky. Some people commute from their small town house, maybe even their little village house. But me? I commute from a farm out in the middle of nowhere. My nearest neighbours wouldn’t be able to see me walking round my house stark naked even with a telescope (I hope!). My nearest shop is a good 10 minutes away by car and the town centre is so far away I rarely bother.
I live in a place where privacy is a given, silence is the norm and peace is all around. It’s also a place where nobody would hear me scream, but that kinda spoils the image I’m going for!
I’m lucky enough to see (and normal partake if uni work isn’t too bad) the first lambs of the year, the first crop begin to germinate and (hopefully!) grow, the seasons changes in the many trees surrounding my house, the sun cast shadows in our fields that we overlook, the roaring sound of the combine kicking up dust as it thunders past. I get to enjoy those freezing cold walks over solid mud to find out where that sodding lamb has gone, the wet and windy struggle to retrieve fire wood from the pile, the blazing hot sun burning my (I’ll be honest) pale and freckly shoulders during shearing season, the hours spent in the tractor with my boyfriend going up and down, up and down a field and the evenings spent stacking the bales in the barn. I get to experience all of this yearly and I know others either don’t know or don’t understand the sheer hard work, sweat, blood (there is no escaping blood in my world!), stress and determination that comes from running a farm. I didn’t, I grew up in a town. It’s only from moving in with my farmer boyfriend 5 years ago that I now have a better idea of how and why our food goes from running around a field (sorry vegan/veggie friends!) to packed at Tesco.
It is so important that people see and understand this side of our society. Farming was once the most important and most employed profession in the world, that’s easy to forget when you have your London commuter head on. Farming is what we were and it is fast becoming a dying profession, this can’t happen.
So my idea, is to share it with you. I’m not a farmer I just put up with one (ha!), but maybe this will allow me to present it in a way that is both understandable and enjoyable. I will tell you what the farm does from season to season in a growing and harvesting sense (both livestock and arable). And I will share with you the delights and hardships that come from living on a farm.
I hope you enjoy and I hope you learn something new every time I post. Starting with:
Ever wondered what the tags are for on the ears of livestock? One ear has the number of the farm the animal was born at, the other has the number of the animal- it’s ‘name’. You have to order these in for every animal you have. During lambing season some farms near ours can lamb 3000- that is a lot of ear tags and they’ve all got to find their way onto the ears of lambs when they are big enough!!