Friday, 12 October 2007

The Joys of the Countryside

I really need to move my desk. I sit with my back to the door, an open doorway which never feels empty. I can hear someone walking up the stairs. I can hear shuffling about in the room below. Someone keeps tapping on the wall near the blocked up fireplace and it is driving me mad. If they want my attention that much, I wish they would just turn off the computer. I think if I put my desk in the middle of the stock field I would get more peace. Just the commuters would be able to see me as they race up and down the train track, drinking coffee and sending texts.

I have so much to do. The list is growing rapidly as I think about something else to add before my mum arrives next week. The farmer and I are going away for a few days. My mum and her friend are coming up to stay in order to look after the farm and Amy, of course. I do hope they will not be terrorised by chains and aroma's as they try desperately to get through the list of things I will leave for them to do.

My mum and Antony are townie's through and through. They enjoy being in the country but always make it obvious that this life would never do as stimulation for their busy lives. Northumberland might well be on the moon, as my mum feels so far away from home when she is here that she needs to watch Coronation Street fanatically just to remember that Manchester really does exist. Antony is a builder. A very professional "jack of all trades" and in Antony's case, "master of them all." I save all the odd jobs for him to do when I know they will be visiting. For example, one of the toilet seats broke three weeks ago. We have all been balancing about in a desperate need to save a trundle up to the bathroom. I have bought a new seat but both the farmer and I are incapable of fitting it and so have left it in the box waiting for Antony to arrive next week. I usually walk around the house, making a list of things that Antony could do but this time I have kept it to just the toilet seat. His main job on the farm will be the sheep. Going round the fields twice a day on the quad bike to check all our stock are fit and well. None are lying up or have heads stuck through fences. He will most probably have the job of letting the hens out every morning and shutting them in each evening. Then there is the pony, she needs feeding at lunch time and she needs to be let out for grazing at five o'clock. And of course Molly and Sparky will need tending to. They have to be exercised, let onto the lawn, fed. Both my mum and Antony are used to looking after dogs so that should not be a problem. However, we also have a cat, Jess. I know cats are independent, but they also need looking after. Jess will only go to the farmer or me. She runs away from Amy and will probably not entertain mum or Antony. And as my mum admitted last time she was here that she had forgotten we have a cat I did wonder whether I might find Jess withering away in a barn somewhere upon our return.

Mum and Antony had planned days out during their time up here. There idea of getting Amy off to school then clearing off to somewhere in the Borders, even Edinburgh, was totally scrapped when I told them what their responsibilities would be during the five days of being in charge. It is not all walks in the countryside and picking brambles. It is jolly hard work. As they are going to find out next week. However, we are of course tremendously grateful for their help as there is no way a five day break would even be contemplated should they not have agreed to stay.

They sleep in the guest room. The one with the rocking horse. The one with the door which is closed by unseen hands. My mum has experienced the door closing by itself as I have many times. What she has not experienced however, is the rocking horse moving as spirit children play. That room has such a calm and gentle atmosphere. It is the perfect place to close your eyes and drift into a world of the unknown. Or in my mum's case, Northumberland.

Sparky was a very greedy puppy on Wednesday. She stole 5 Melton Mowbray pork pies off the kitchen table, ready for the farmer's lunch. I put her outside with the sick bucket. Molly was playing 'mum'.


  1. A break, 5 days away, fantastic. If only it was as easy as getting up and going. There is so much to organise and even more in your case, leaving the farm. I hope you have a great time. The closing door made my hairs stand on end, but I assume as you said it is peaceful and in no way creepy. Thank you for linking me I will do likewise. x

  2. Your house sounds really creepy, Crystal. Don't think I could stand living there....! I hope you have a fab time in Dunkeld - we had such a wonderful time there a few weeks ago. Don't worry about a thing while you are away - everyone, and everything, will be fine without you for a few days. Mootia x

  3. a) does your mom get freaked out when the door closes?

    b) are the spirit children giving her a break by not riding the rocking horse when she's around?

    c) FIVE pork pies??? how big are those pies, anyway? lucky dog.

  4. That sick bucket has been getting some use as of lately hasn't it?

    For us silly americans (me) what is a pork pie? Are they like pot pies?

  5. SEMum - I know, I can't wait! So much to do before going though, we will need the break that's for sure.

    Hannah - It isn't creepy, it's wonderful. Honest. In fact, I'm going to miss the old dears while I'm away!

    Laurie - questions, questions: a) It's only happened the once to my mum. She was a bit spooked but she went on to have a good night's sleep.
    b) I hope they do give her a break, they won't scare her anyway.
    c) They are about 5cm's in diameter. And very tasty.

    Dgibbs - You're not silly. A pork pie is a pie with pork in it...
    And the sick bucket is definitely getting some use!

  6. have a wonderful break Crystal. Take care and enjoy!

  7. Lucky you, have a good break! And don't worry about the farm, I'm sure Amy and the animals will be in good hands...

  8. Oh Crystal, I hope you have a really lovely break. It is super to be able to get away now and then. Enjoy yourselves!

  9. Have a lovely break. And DO NOT WORRY!
    I read the other day how one takes posession of an award. You very kindly gave me one a bit ago but now I can't remember which! Sorry!

  10. Sounds like your break will be wonderful. I bet your Mum and her partner have a fantastic time - hey, I'd come up and look after it all one year!! I'd even take on the rocking horse!

  11. I'd love to hear what your mom and Antony have to say about life on the farm after they've had a few days of it. I hope you have a wonderful time away.

  12. Your dogs are so cute! We consider moving to the country. We are in the city right now and I have about had it with the noise. Enjoy!

  13. I hope you have a good time away. I'm not sure I'd cope with the rocking horse though!

  14. Have a fantastic break Crystal, I'm sure it's much needed.

  15. Oh, good for you getting away. Sorry I'm so late. Are you going someplace fun, just the two of you?


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