When first invited to visit Hearthill, I saw it in it’s worst light. It was one of those drab and dark days that only us Irish know how to do so well. So, weather wise, I was under no illusions. It was bleak and it looked lonely. What’s more, farming smells are even more pungent in bad weather and the dampness added little to my farmer’s efforts to coax me out of my comfortable city existence.
By this stage, however, I knew that I was going to spend my life with my lovely farmer. He had, after all told me at the end of our first date that he would think of me while milking the cows. I’ve realised since then that a dairy farmer couldn’t pay a girl a higher accolade. Dairy time equals thinking time.
On that faithful day, some ten years ago, I stood on the roadside of the farm and nodded, I might have uttered a ‘very nice’ not wanting to commit but knowing, as he did, that this was a deal breaker. The pessimist and city girl in me wanted to run back to my car and get back to ‘civilisation’ as fast as the wheels would carry me but the optimist and country girl in me decided to roll up her sleeves and imagine how our life would be. Thinking ‘right, how will I make the most of it, how will I design a life that works for us?’
Eventually, when the question arose, I chose my farmer. It didn’t take long for Hearthill to become home, it has been my consistent friend even on the days when I’ve felt worn by the challenge of this completely new life. It has played its’ part in helping me to make the best of the everyday, in gloomy days as well as glorious.