FARMING MATTERS: Seeing a different lifestyle by the seaside

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We had four days away from the farm recently, took a short trip down to Dorset and like most farmers, my husband found the passing fields the most fascinating aspect of the trip as he commented on the progress of harvest in the West Country and the number and breed of cows we saw.

At home our lives are filled with the usual rural paraphernalia, tractors, muck, animals, farming folk. So it was fun to be part of a very different kind of world for a while.

We were staying by the seaside and witnessed a very different lifestyle where the sea takes centre stage in every aspect of life from the fishermen who make their living on it, to the tourists and locals who use it for recreation. While we were there a speed boat competition was taking place over two days, and we watched incredibly talented people manoeuvre their sleek machines at high speed around a course of obstacles.

Leaving the farm for even a few days always involves a huge amount of preparation and angst, organising cover and ensuring everything will run smoothly.

But it does give an opportunity to see how things are done in different parts of the country and in the tiny little lanes of the area where we were staying we passed several dairy farms where the locals are clearly used to the twice daily movement of the cows from their fields to the dairy for milking.

I also had an opportunity to test out a few skills I will need for later this summer when I take part in an events course involving shooting and archery. This is for a feature I will be writing for my leisure and entertainment pages.

I’m happy to report that although I missed the actual target (!!!) I apparently achieved ‘good grouping’ with the air rifle and I did manage a bull’s eye with the archery. Not that I am ever likely to take up either sport on a regular basis, but it was fun on holiday.

And fortunately when we returned home, all was well thanks to those who kindly looked after the place in our absence.