I just adore this time of year, when the first rays of sun start to creep thorough those clouds, and there are usually a lot of clouds here, everyone just seems to be in such a better mood.
It’s like watching people waking from hibernation, from those long, cold, dark winter nights, the first few days of sunshine are so welcome. The air seems to smell nicer, everywhere looks beautiful and best of all those little lambs start hop, skip and jumping across the fields. You can not help but smile.
We now live in a town called Middleton-inTeesdale, we are so lucky to be surrounded by luscious green fields and stunning hills. It’s an ideal holiday location to just relax! We often can be found frequenting a small cafe in our town which offers outside dining in those rare moments of sunshine and to us there is nothing better than sitting outside here watching the world pass us by – it’s hard to believe we live here!
The teaser for me this time of year are those baby lambs, looking like very small Woolley jumpers with legs, skipping around the fields and giving me a tremendous urge to hop those walls and catch me a lamb to cuddle and love. For the fearless amongst us I wouldn’t recommend this as the farmers and the mother sheep are very protective of those little balls of wool and I recently discovered you can actually scare a sheep to death – not good……. Now my visions of skipping happily amongst the lambs don’t seem like such good plan….. I needed a plan B.
My very good friend Marie had the good fortune of marrying into a lovely family. Ian her husband is a farmer, his family have been farmers for years. The Brown family seemed like a perfect solution for “project lamb cuddle”. So off we went up to their farm near Reeth, feeling like we were traveling to mars in my imagination but in reality a 30 min car ride!
Now when my husband first moved with me up here he would often say,
“Yeah we live out in the sticks now!”
to our family and friends in Derby, but he had no clue what the sticks actually meant until we went to visit Marie and her family.
With nothing for miles near to their farm, not even actual real roads just dirt/stoney tracks – NOW WE ARE IN THE STICKS! – Amazing and beautiful but at the same time the perfect location in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse which we often plan for. Imagine if you will, Ace Ventura bouncing wildly around in that Jeep, singing chitty chitty bang bang ….. Only change Jim Carey to us and a Vauxhall combi van filled with ladders and tools sounding like it might fall to bits!! It’s the perfect image – We are really on an adventure!! All I could think was PLEASE NO ONE BE DRIVING THE OTHER WAY BECAUSE I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE WE WOULD GO!!!
The first wonderful sign of life we encounter was a tractor pulling a “muck spreader” for those of you who don’t know what that is …. Erm …. It spreads fertiliser over the fields so …..it’s filled with poop 🙂 …. Driving close behind with your windows down, not a good idea – que pinching our noses and feeling a little green!!! Bumpy road plus country smells = queasy Sharron and Ben!!
There is always a sense of “doing wrong” when approaching the farm as you have to cross cattle grids and drive down stone track roads, it feels like at any time someone could stop you with a shot-gun slung over his/her arm asking “what the bloody hell you are doing!!” Thankfully there were no angry farmers just very assertive sheep. Sheep that stand on the road side slowly chewing the grass, looking at you like “This is my road townie, I ain’t moving!”
Finally we arrived at our destination – with no help from a sat nav because let’s face it …. really what would be the point!?
It’s so peaceful on the farm, only animal noises breaking the silence – I love it here! Now as much as I have grown up in a farming community I have lived in the town so have zero experience with them, my husband is born and bred city boy so the most contact with wildlife would be a brave fox after some food from the bins, it’s as total new experience for us both.
We are greeted by David, Marie’s father in law who emerges from the barn, behind him I can hear the high pitch baaaa baaaa of the babies hidden within there! I am so excited!!
To be continued …….