Today I truly surpassed myself.
Picking up Esme from her second party of the weekend, I was sounding off to a good friend about how I had had my one and only free hour of the weekend disrupted. “But”, she offered positively, “you did at least get a couple of hours to yourself at the hairdressers on Friday”. Yes this was true but then as I looked at myself in the car mirror, I realised I hadn’t had time to wash my newly coiffured hair since, my jeans were caked in lamb milk and my top, also highly stained, was inside out. To any outsider catching a glimpse of me, complete with dull, spotty face and dark bags under my eyes, they may be mistaken to think I was a new mum, clambouring for some sense of reality after weeks of sleepless nights.
But no, the reality is I am just trying to achieve the same as everyone else – balance. And this week, I have had that really tested to the limits.
Following our failure to produce any lambs, and therefore beginning the year with less ewes than we started with, we had rather given up hope of any fluffy bundles skipping around our field. So when our friend asked if we fancied having any orphans he couldn’t foster on, we jumped at the chance. However we hadn’t exactly thought it through…..
In two weeks time it is our 1st wedding anniversary. This time 12 months ago we were getting ready for what turned out to be the most amazing day. We did it here on the farm. The sun shone. The local beer and homemade gin flowed and I married my best friend. Of course it would then stand to reason that we would want to celebrate in style and so without thought we booked the obligatory night away and lined up the grandparents to babysit.
And then the lambs arrived. And all of a sudden our life has been thrown into a whirlwind of powdered milk and bottle feeds, constant washing up and rushing to get everything done in 4 hour stints. Oh, and not to mention also running my marketing agency in a week where my time was already monopolised by lots of long, complicated conference calls requiring me to be on my ‘A-game’! That idea of balance soon got thrown out with the lambs leftover milk!
And then it hit us. How can we go away with 3 week old lambs at home? Oh and what about the chicks that are due to hatch that weekend? I must admit I had a bit of a strop which was followed by some serious soul searching. After all, I’ve been working flat out – surely I deserved a break? Is this what life is going to be like now? Are we always going to be tied to the farm and is this what I really want?
But then Robin pointed something out to me. In 20 years time, we will have long forgotten what we did on our anniversary, what we ate, where we stayed but the memories of our first ever lambs, on a farm which we are building together, despite adversary and illness, will be with us for a lifetime. This is the life I want and despite my grumbles I am the happiest I’ve ever been. So, as much as I hate to admit it, my husband is right. Just don’t tell him I said that.