A relaxing Christmas off the farm and a new friendship formed at the farm on the M62

Despite having countless sheep to feed, cows to bed down, dogs to walk and horses to muck out, we’ve enjoyed a relatively relaxing Christmas.

It has been a Christmas off the farm this year for Jill and her family

The mad panic to get the house decorated and ship shape in time for our annual party has not been missed! Neither has the overwhelming panic at the thought of preparing a sumptuous feast for my family. That pleasure fell on the shoulders of my eldest sister and her husband who live at Wold Farm at Driffield on the east coast. It’s not often we get time away, so just having to turn up and eat, was a request we managed without much effort.

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After an extra early start, presents were opened and animals fed. A quick run through the shower, the naughty Teckels rounded up and loaded into the pick-up and we were ready. We left behind a house full of shredded wrapping paper, chocolate selection packs and new toys. I felt sad to abandon our lovely warm and cosy home on Christmas day, turn all the twinkling lights off and let the fire die down. As I closed the door I could still hear John-William’s shrieks of excitement echoing from the walls. The last of the heifers had finally released her hostage, so we’d no excuse to not go and relax for the day. Of course the main topic of conversation around the table was farming. There are few similarities between our boggy, wind swept hill farm and their fertile arable farm. They are a world apart. However, the struggles are the same. The disappointments, frustrations and constant worries were discussed as were the highs and success stories before thoughts turned to more present opening. Our first suckler cows came from Wold Farm and Paul loves wandering around the cow sheds whenever we have the chance to visit. After over indulging on food and wine, a brisk walk across the Yorkshire Wolds was in order.

We received a heart warming phonecall over Christmas from the chap who had suffered a heart attack whilst out walking around Scammonden Reservoir. It was chilling to listen to him describe the events of that near fateful night. Thankfully, however, he is making a good recovery and counting down the days to when he’ll be back out on the hill with his dog. It was great to speak with him and we look forward to having him visit in the near future. They say every cloud has a silver lining, in this case a new friendship has been formed.

The break from school has been a well needed one for John-William. He has struggled to settle back into the routine and finds the confines of a classroom difficult to cope with. He skipped out of school on the last day, clutching a stash of cards in his hands. To discover a parcel full of chocolate addressed to him when he arrived home, made his day. A special thank you to the kind lady who sent them. Amidst the chaos and worry that has consumed this year, the divide amongst us has never been greater. So that small act of kindness meant alot!