Love thy neighbour

With the Irish farmerette

I live a fairly isolated life in the spring. Calving season is so busy I tend to shun most social engagements as the stress of rushing to get somewhere outweighs the pleasure of an evening out. Although we live near many small towns, the positioning of the farm is fairly remote. It’s about 500 metres from the road and as it’s up a steep incline, we don’t get too many people dropping in. We planted more trees and hedging around the house and farmyard in the last ten years and almost without realising it, we have created a little cocoon. I love it. I can see for miles so I never feel lonely and yet enjoy perfect solitude.

Although we live too far from town to ever get a takeaway delivery, we are very lucky with local amenities: there’s an athletics club and running track two miles away (not that I frequent it), and within a mile are a church, two shops, a post office and a farm store. Despite this proximity to the local shops, I’ll do without something rather than make a special journey. As long as we have essentials like flour, milk and eggs, I can manage to create something for meals until I’m passing the shop on another errand and will pop in for a few groceries. As you might be guessing, I always end up having to do lots of different tasks when I eventually do go to town and end up racing around trying to fit everything in and inevitably forgetting something. I never go to town just to do a grocery shop or to buy clothes.

Love Thy Neighbour by @Irishfarmerette Click To Tweet

Last Saturday, I had to get bread, chocolate, petrol for the lawnmower and a few things from the farm store. Shopping that would normally take ten minutes. I was gone for over an hour. I met three farming neighbours in the feed merchants so we caught up on the successes and failures of the calving season, the breeding season and silage harvesting. One neighbour wants to buy two of our bull calves as future breeding bulls so I suppose I could claim I was also working. On going to the shop, I met two more neighbours I hadn’t seen in months and we exchanged updates on our children’s progress and other news.

I did exactly what my husband would have done. I came home and complained about being delayed – even though I had enjoyed the conversations.

The local shops and farm store provide many essentials but as a bonus, on this sunny Saturday (and it happens on lots of other days too), farmers metamorphosed from tired busy people to relaxed chatty individuals. It was just a pity we didn’t have the beautifully coloured wings of a butterfly to replace the chubby wobbly caterpillar bodies.

Farmland Magazine

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Lorna Sixsmith

Author of 'Would you marry a farmer?' and 'How to be a perfect farm wife' Lorna Sixsmith blogs at

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