It has occurred to me, that whilst the need for the blog and the incidence of having anything worthwhile to say on farm life has lessened as we settled into day to day life and an annual cyclical rhythm of the seasons, now, at the start of our journey of exiting the farm the exact same cathartic reasons for beginning it, once again exist.
Yep, that's right... we're off. Not immediately, but the farm has been sold and so the process of readjustment to another completely different life begins. I am sure this won't come as 'news' to a few of you as the lady in the Shell petrol station in Wotton knew we'd sold the farm and I didn't even realise she knew where I lived!
Over the last three months there have been a hugger mugger of thoughts and emotions cramming my head, all jostling for some attention. They have been as contrasting and as juxtaposed than anything I have ever experienced (my friend Emma can back me on this, poor girl); from grief and sadness; anger and resentment to ecstatic and excited. Depending on where and when you find me there could be any one of those emotions dominating my head which is probably why I am at my most lonely too (Emma lives too far away).... but more on that later.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I love it here. I truly believe that this 20 acres is the most magical, warm, beautiful 20 acres in all of Gloucestershire. Our experiences here have been bountiful and amazing and range from fantastic parties to timid trolls; fun friends and fraught farrowing. If I had my time again I wouldn't change a thing.... well... maybe one or two things, but would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I only hope that I've managed to trap some of those fantastic memories within this blog so that I may, in the future, read back and remember this amazing time. I hope I remember how little we knew when we first arrived and acknowledge how far we've come. I hope I remember how friggin' cold it was and be able to look back and laugh - just the way I promised myself I would when we sat in the sitting room in bobble hats, gloves and big, thick coats. I hope I never forget how privileged I was to watch my piglets farrow or to lie in the butter cups looking up at a perfect blue sky or to witness the hundreds of stunning sunsets over the village from the Cow Shed. All of these things I never want to forget and every memory, whether good or bad, has shaped our incredible journey here.
So, if you love it so much, why are you leaving? I hear you ask. The reasons are many and probably far too personal and political to detail here, but suffice to say I am a true believer of never actually owning a building but of rather being a custodian of it, nurturing it for future generations. When we came here there was nothing but a derelict, overgrown huddle of buildings in amongst a thicket of Ash trees and brambles. What I hope is that we have breathed life into the farm and given it a future it might otherwise not have had. I am sure that there are a thousand other people out there that could have done a better job of it than us and that who probably would have been better placed to do it than us, but at the time - and the silence and lack of arm movement in that auction room when we brought it was living proof - nobody wanted the job except us. Six and a half years later and we've taken it as far as we can. Financially and emotionally, we are spent. If we are true custodians of this place then we must step aside and let someone else, with fresh drive (and a buoyant bank balance) take it to its next level, whatever that maybe.
We've had an absolute blast and made some friends along the way (although we've lost some too) and although I don't doubt that we will be forgotten before we've hit the village boundary, I hope the farm remembers us as time goes by.
Over the next few months as we start to sort through all our stuff and watch the changing of the seasons as we slowly pack up, I'll write on this blog from time to time, planning and plotting our future while saying a very painful goodbye to our past.
I write for me. I find it one of the most releasing things to do when everything is at sea around me. I try to write honestly without hiding from the more prying emotions... I guess what I'm trying to do is apologise in advance for anything that may follow..... I don't mean to offend.