A whole year has passed since we made our move to our hill farm in the North Lancashire countryside and what a year it has been. We have experienced tremendous highs – shearing our own sheep, growing our own food, seeing chicks hatch from eggs, incredibly busy periods for the business – and also unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, some lows – foxes taking our lovely young ducks, my studio blowing down in gale force winds, stock (as in wool) being damaged, incredibly busy periods for the business (Bizarrely both a high and a low as those busy periods have proved hard to deal with to be honest).
Sometimes it has felt like taking one step forward then two steps back but there hasn’t been a single moment when I haven’t been glad we took the plunge and made the move. When I view our initial two year plan I almost laugh out loud at our optimism and naivety and we are only now at the beginning of our second year really beginning to address the plan at all. But when I wake up of a morning and look out of my window at the fields, at the weather, at the wildlife, at our home, I cannot help but be happy. Yes the amount of work we have to do is frankly, insurmountable, and we have next to no free time and I can’t remember the last time I wore nail varnish, and the books I am reading are all about sheep illnesses or the correct grass seed to use but I have never been more content in my life.
When people visit the farm or even just drop off a parcel, they stop half way down the drive and stare into the distance. Without exception they are filled with awe and tell us they could remain in the same spot all day just absorbing the scene. And after a year this is still how it makes me feel. It often overwhelms me completely and I feel moved to tears. I have butterflies in my stomach as I let nature seep through my skin and into my being. I am still struggling to channel these feelings and use them creatively but that will come.
A good friend pointed out how much my colour choices in my work had been affected by our location. She is right and yet I hadn’t even noticed. Maybe this is how it will happen. I won’t see the changes in me, I won’t know the impact but others will. And that’s fine.
So for now,