I've been thinking and drifting over the last week. My week on the farm gave me a little nudge. I really loved being in the middle of the countryside, with space all around, and no neighbours over the garden wall. Don't misunderstand me, I'm lucky to have lovely neighbours, but when you live in a terrace as I do, silence is sometimes hard to find.
The things I really miss are the peace and quiet, total darkness at night (not a streetlight in sight!) and nature and the farm animals right there outside the door. I could also walk from the farm up on to the moor, without seeing a soul, without needing the car. I loved that. I also loved the work that goes hand in hand with the animals. Of course, when you dip your toe into someone else's life, the grass is always greener. I'm not under any illusions that this is an easy life. But it did remind me that I have slowly become more sedentary than I care to admit, and it grates. Since I started blogging, I certainly spend many more hours hunched over the computer than is good for me. I need to change that before middle-age spread sets in!
The horses and ponies were all out at grass, so apart from checking them daily, topping up their water and giving them hay where necessary, I just had to keep an eye on them. I'm very comfortable around horses - I was lucky enough to have my own pony from the age of about ten, right through until I left home. My Mum was a passionate rider, so it was a given that my sisters and I would ride too (some more enthusiastically than others!). Our stables were half a mile from home, and I had to 'do' my pony morning and evening, rain or shine, every day. I used to go to the stables on my way to school, and end up with the faint whiff of manure lingering on my school uniform for the rest of the day. That conjures up a memory or two!
I was always wary of the geese - never turning my back on them, and only entering their pen with stick in hand. They always seemed rather threatening, and definitely worth respecting. The chickens and ducks were a breeze in comparison. And the eggs. Who can resist a clutch of fresh eggs?
Walter loved the freedom and all the space. He had his mate, Bluejay (above) to play endless games of chase and tumble with, and then there were the kittens, whom he was very wary of. He was appalled when one of them started playing with his tail! Several people commented in my last post on the little jack russell - she's called Slipper and is about twelve years old, and she has her own armchair for a bed.
If you'd like to read a little more about the farm, which is run along sustainable principles and is powered entirely by its own wind turbine, see here, where Lisa blogs occasionally. There's also a beautiful small eco-cottage, Nancy's House, available to rent, if you want a taste of the good life.
This week reminded me of my dream to live out of town, and that one day I will achieve this. I can't afford to move yet, but I will in the future. One day. It's good to have dreams. I also need to appreciate and make better use of what I already have. A little gratitude goes a long way.