I hope that people, when they sat down to enjoy their Christmas dinner spared a thought for those who put it there - Jill Thorp

Yorkshire Post columnist Jill Thorp who lives at the farm between the lanes on the M62.
Yorkshire Post columnist Jill Thorp who lives at the farm between the lanes on the M62.
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Various winter bugs, flu-like symptoms and the remnants of chicken pox still linger on in our house. None of us feel the best.

When you’re on a farm and have livestock counting on you, whether you’re firing on all cylinders or not, a day on the sick is out of the question.

We’ve both trudged on and when the farrier came out to trim some of the outside mares, it took all of my energy to catch them. I stood wearily holding each one as their hooves were trimmed and filed back into shape, willing the day to pass so I could collapse in bed.

The frantic rush was on to get the last of the Christmas presents. Despite making a good start in November I was still short. The thought of heading into town filled me with dread.

The road rage in the car parks and the hoards of people did nothing to boost my dwindling festive spirit. Despite attempting to shop locally, the internet is a much less stressful place to secure the remaining gifts.

A couple with a new enterprise turning heads - welcome to the Horny Cow.
Pretty much the whole herd staggered, drunk and disorderly around the yard - Julian Norton

I discovered that I needed to be more imaginative with my choice of hiding places for future Christmas presents. Apparently, it’s not just six-year-olds that go snooping in our house, which is odd as I was under the impression that Scrooge had zero interest in Christmas. After several close calls, all presents were moved to a secure location!

The house is still surprisingly tidy. The countless tractors, trailers and other farm implements still remain in various cupboards and toy boxes around the house. It amazes me that a family of three, four if you include the short, long dog, can accumulate so much clutter. We don’t seem to own much yet every square inch of our home is jammed with stuff.

It made a refreshing change to not trip over a Bruder toy or stub my toe on piles of abandoned train track. Of course, when Christmas Day came, the carpet yet again vanished under a sea of discarded wrapping paper and toys.

The waterlogged ground is turning into quite a serious problem for us now. Our reliably dry land is now succumbing to the onslaught of rain leaving us frantically moving sheep from field to field. The search for grazing is becoming desperate, our options fast running out. The weather is such a crucial factor in farming success or failure. A harsh prolonged winter can soon spill over to spring, with devastating consequences at lambing time.

Dry summers with soaring temperatures, quickly kill off grass leaving farmers short on winter forage. As we struggle on in the mud, my sympathy goes out to the arable farmers who have been unable to get on to their land to sow any crops. The weather has such a huge knock-on effect for so many and sadly for some can signal the beginning of the end.

I hope that people up and down the country when they sat down to enjoy their Christmas dinner, they spared a thought for the ones who put it there.