It is quite amazing just how disabled you feel when the internet is gone. BT are doing some work up the road and as a result, we've been without internet for a day now. I've heard the ever insistent argument about social media and the internet making our lives more insular, to the extent that we are losing our ability to communicate with the people that surround us on a day to day basis, but I don't agree with that argument within the community that I live in. I can understand that happening more in cities and urban areas but hasn't that always been the case? Here in a small rural community, the art of smiling at people as you walk down the street or conversing with the lady who's taking your money in exchange for a newspaper is not lost.. In fact, it is very much alive and kicking, despite the amount of time we all find ourselves spending on the internet. It's when the internet is not working, that I have found quite disturbing. Living on a farm, just outside the village boundaries, on a week day when my husband is away on business, I find the internet a great friend. We have no telly, so anything we watch is on iPlayer, we have no landline telephone so the internet is all we have. We do have the pub, which, in my mind, is by far the superior way of social networking, but on a Tuesday night when all the world is preparing for their next working day, I don't have quite as many friends in it as I do on Facebook... Mind you, I think I have over 200 friends on Facebook which always amuses me a little. It bigs me up as far more popular than I actually am. Virtual friends - 200. Actual friends - 90? At a push! I always wonder who makes up the other 110 - and one day when I'm bored enough I'll troll through and have look to see who the hangers on are. Anyway, my point is, whether I like it or not, social media is a part of my social life. This maybe quite a sad statement, or it just maybe a way of life... I'm going for the latter. But it's the business side of the internet that is the most disturbing. I have a list of seven jobs that I must do that is impossible to do without the internet. Most of my core business is done via the internet and email.. without it I am stuffed. Park Mill Farm is set within a backdrop of 1940's life. Traditional ways of rearing our animals, a slice of the good life with growing our own veg and taking life slowly, however, all this is possible, only by having the world wide web to power it along. Without it, we would be knackered. Of course, with every cloud there is a silver lining! This particular ray of sunshine comes in the form of The Edge Cafe in Wotton who make delicious coffee and cake and have free WiFi! I know where I will be spending my afternoon!!
The farm has had a new recruit recently in the form of a 15 year old lad from the village called Angus. Angus is brilliant! He asked whether he could do an hour's volunteering a week for his duke of Edinburgh Award a couple of weeks ago and has been back practically every day ever since. We've given him the job of clearing the land around where the ducks and chickens used to be and he's taken to it with gusto. Yesterday, as it's half term, he spent the whole day here. In his breaks, he wonders around the farm discovering different parts of it. Anyway, I saw him yesterday walking across the lawn with only one welly on. 'Where's the other welly' I hollered from the back door. 'It's stuck!' yells Angus. He had wanted to see what was beyond the back orchard where we have been keeping the pigs over winter. It's an absolute quagmire in there and was so bad that it was quite a mission to move the pigs out and onto drier land. 'Hold on.' I shouted in a slightly patronising way. 'I'll come and get it out for you.' As I put my wellies on I muttered something under my breath like, 'I can't believe he's got his bloody welly stuck! Huh! Silly boy!' When I got there, this is how stuck his welly was!
Galliantly, I waded in and tried to pull the boot out..... you know what's coming next, don't you?! Yep! I got stuck. So there we were - flayling around in a sea of goo. I got Angus back in his welly and hobbled around to try and find something to dig him out.