06 Nov The Girl in The Green Tractor
Can you believe its November already?! I know I definitely can’t. What a busy month it’s been! Jumping from the long days of harvest straight into the deep end of tupping, and not to mention getting back to baking and getting ready for christmas! I have no idea how you crazy wives with little ones do it.
Tupping time means many things; sorting/moving hundreds of sheep, shopping for a new man for your ewes (if only it was as easy as that in real life right?) or what about that fantastic feeling when you get to let the tups out! For me, it also means I get LOADS of date nights/days … to the mart. Hey, I get a meal and dress up smart so that counts right?? I suppose the tups aren’t the only ones getting all the action. There’s one thing you can say about our flock; we seem to like liquorice allsorts. You can look around the pen and see a rainbow of colours of swales, cheviots, herdwicks, texels, rough fells and dales, just to name few! But it means we can experiment and I can hands down say I’d rather keep it mixed and interesting. And you certainly won’t see just 6 plain Texel tups for these girls, that’s for sure!
I was recently asked “what is it like to live on a farm” and just thought our lives that we sometimes take for granted are so alien to many; just as alien the centre of Newcastle is to me! So it had me thinking, which josh says I do too much of! What is it really like? What would others not know?
1- Not all farmers are haggard, old men with beards down to their belly. I’ve met many and there’s nothing wrong with that, but the face of agriculture is changing. I’m meeting more and more people every day; a woman my age that drives the combine and practically runs the family farm, a young man that had to take over the business after his dad fell ill without help and if I ever turned around and told people I danced before farming they’d laugh! We’ve built breeding ewes up to 320 and land to 300 acres in two years with no farm to be passed down, so my point is there’s people with all sorts of backgrounds, ages and genders who are all more than capable! Although, if any of you ladies were at Bentham tup sale and saw the older man walking around topless, I must admit it’s not the type of different I meant! But hey, if he’s proud of that bod why hide it!
2- Getting stuck behind a tractor or in my case between cows getting moved for milking is a more common excuse for being late than the normal “stuck in traffic.” Or how about getting somewhere and having to leave to calve a cow or something is out on the road, you’ve all been there I imagine! Just recently I had to cancel going out with friends after getting ready and then needed to calve a cow. But I tell you what …. At least I would have looked damn good doing it! Most glamorous farmer around, but maybe I didn’t look too glam afterwards!
3- Baling twine fixes just about everything- a belt or gate you name it!
4- We seem to seriously hate cyclists, at times my townie friends shift slightly away from me when I’m driving andin my mad woman rage! “Just a bike” – they need to try getting stuck behind them for miles in a tractor. And to top it off, excuse me if I don’t want to stare at a middle aged man’s backside in lycra that’s far too tight for miles! Unless that man is George Clooney, I am not going to enjoy that ride!
5- My clean and a friends clean will be very different. When you have however many pairs of wellies, waterproofs and overalls coming through the house you eventually learn it is literally IMPOSSIBLE to keep it spotless. And all the little lambs that end up in my hallway or next to the oven, why even bother?? Especially last year when we realised the boxes they were in were too short and they could jump out; running after lambs in the house the next morning was interesting to say the least! Mind if im honest they’re probably cleaner than the other half. I could just swap the cute lambs for the smelly man…
6- Can you remember the first time your friend found out farmers have to stick their hand up the other end of a cow/sheep. That look of disbelief and disgust, but to you it’s just normal. If we’re being honest I actually love it, especially on a cold day, great to warm up your hands but maybe not when you’re trying to eat your dinner. I can remember the first time I stuck my arm up a cowsbackside at scanning and can honestly say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done! Yep someone’s fondest memory was probably a trip to somewhere exotic and mines sticking my hand up a cows arse, what is wrong with me?! I know it’s strange but when you feel that little calve kick back; it is surreal and secretly makes me abroody mess, for a split second! Shhh, don’t tell josh!
7- It is insanely hard to stay in a town after living in the middle of nowhere. Just the light off the street lights or the cars going past whilst going to sleep is strange to us, yet we can somehow sleep through that one annoying cow bellowing on!
What a crazy different life we have but I wouldn’t change it! Another bunch of crazy ladies I’ve been introduced to recently, are “The Country Girls UK.” If you’re a keen shooter or would like to get your foot in the door, it’s a great place to meet like-minded girls and get into the sport. So far, in one month, the girls have organised a shoot day, nights out,a huge whatsapp group chat, a cock book (trust me it’s not as dirty as it sounds) and clay shooting days with girls local to them and they didn’t even know it! So go check out the country girls UK on Instagram to get involved.
The Girl in the Green Tractor