Above photo by Elisha Clarke of some of our cute cattle.
This is a subject that from time to time plays on my mind and I know as I write it I will possibly have a hit put on me for not standing by my fellow females. I was born and raised on a farm and from a very early age I was never made feel I couldn’t do anything on the farm I wanted to do, I was never told I should stay inside or that a farm wasn’t really a place for a girl/woman. I went everywhere with my dad from sheep sales to shows and never did I feel I was somewhere I shouldn’t have been. As I got older more and more responsibility was given to me and I was left at times to deal with vets or cattle dealers and what I said to them stood and I was always backed by my Dad. I grew up knowing that I was equal to any man if I so chose to do a certain job from driving a tractor to lambing ewes and all the men I dealt with treated me the same.
I now live with a house of men and I still feel I am treated as an equal, I am not given any special treatment because I am female and am expected to muck in when needed as is everyone else. I am treated with the same respect as the men in the house by anyone who visits and if I happen to meet someone who is old school, and they are a few I make sure they get a little education about women on a farm before I am done with them. Now this is where I think other females are falling down and they are just feeding into the old views of females on farms, I don’t think they are helping change age old views of females on farms. The other day I saw a post on Facebook about men complaining about why do women get cheaper car insurance than men and why have they got their own company who only insure women? this person asked was this not defeating the whole drive for women to be equal? that having groups that were just for females was keeping them isolated , which I am in total agreement with.
I think in farming this isn’t any different ( sorry women ) it is great to have groups where women can meet and socialise, this I agree with but I think to be seen as an equal we need to just mix with the men to be honest, why do we need to meet as a group to talk about what we do for farming or how we are not treated equal at home/ in our community when we should actually be getting out there and going on the same farm walks as the men, going to the same conferences as the men and to local discussion groups so to be honest we become part of the furniture and no one looks twice at us.
There is an old saying in the farming community that women are only good for stopping a gap, taking down tag numbers or doing the paperwork and that is not going to change unless we show just how important those little jobs are to the running of the farm. If we didn’t stop a gap when we are asked the stock would not go where they were supposed to so our input is just as important as the person herding the stock from behind, it’s pretty hard to read tag numbers and write them down at the same time and I am sure no one wants to do paperwork after a long day outside so if we can do it then that frees up time for other jobs, so it’s time for us to show that all those tiny jobs, the ones that have been a laugh over the years are just as important to the running of the farm and should not be a joke and going to all female group meetings is not going to change how we are treated and I am pretty sure if the male farming community started their own men only groups their would be up roar.
I feel as a female in farming us women are our own worst enemy, we love to complain about not being treated equal but to be honest we don’t do much about it and I don’t think female only groups will change how we are seen but will only serve to keep us separate. The best way to change how we are treated is to start at home with your own farmer/ farmers and then start to work outside of that and eventually you will be treated no different to anyone else. We are the only people who can change how we are treated and being involved is the only way to do that, if it’s from keeping the house running, bills paid and a clean supply of work clothes to stopping gaps or milking or tag reading each is just as important to how everything else runs and a progressive farm is going to be the one where it works as a team.
So where are you going to start ?
Ok so we have reached September the relaxed summer vibes are over and it’s time to get a little routine back up and running. I was fully convinced I had written a July year in books post but as I look back I see I didn’t which to be honest is probably just as well because I basically took nearly the whole summer off from doing nearly everything including reading. Now that September has arrived that’s going to change and with the dark evenings getting closer we all need some good books to read.
My book choice for September is The Cows by Dawn O’ Porter, I have just started it and so far I am really enjoying it. When I had Snapchat I used to love watching her Snaps, she is very funny so when I saw this book I had to give it a go. The other thing that drew me to this book was the name, living on a farm sure I couldn’t but get it ( so far there has been no mention of actual four legged cows in the book) .
So far this year I have read eight books which might be a new record for me but doing this #theyearinbooks has really pushed me to read loads. Let me know in the comments below what you are reading at the moment? and If you would like to read more about The Year In Books project head over the Laura’s Blog to read all about how she started it and follow the hashtag on Instagram and twitter to see what everyone else is reading but be warned doing this has really grown my to read pile of books !
Happy reading for September.
My summer childhood memories are some of the best I have of my whole childhood the only thing that might beat them is the horses. My summers started about May when I started to pray the last few days of school away and head to my Grandparents house for the summer, the whole summer, I very seldom ever went home and at the end of the summer I never wanted to go home but that’s another story. The excitement of the last day of school, knowing that possibly that evening or at the latest the next morning I was heading to Courtown for at least two months.
The time was spend swimming everyday twice a day no matter what the weather, playing for hours on the beach with the constant stream of cousins that also came to visit. We spend it getting ready for the kids/teenage disco that was on every week, spending all our money on sweets and bars of Chocolate, having adventures, having many summer crushes and just being kids and teenagers. There was no technology to distract us from our own imaginations, the freedom to come and go as we pleased even with no phones to keep track of us. We went outside in the mornings, managed to be home on time for lunch and dinner, no one ever got lost or into trouble. We were free to be kids, free to explore and free to make friends.
This weekend got me thinking about my summers after I meet some of the many kids/teenagers we spent our summers with for the first time in 25yrs. It got me thinking about my own kids summers, how 25yrs can go by in a flash and how times have changed now for kids.
We used to just sit and talk for hours, kids wouldn’t be able to do that now. We were happy if our Gran gave us enough money to go to the shop in the local caravan park so we could get a bar of chocolate, Mars bars were my weakness. We were happy with swimming everyday and getting the Tv only in the afternoons or evenings. Kids now, even my own kids couldn’t cope with a summer like that they would be bored and have withdrawl symptoms from all the technology they need now. Where has kids getting bored and having to find ways to keep themselves happy gone? My Grandad used to have a saying that drove me mad every time he said it ” only boring people get bored ” , this is what you would hear if anyone said they were bored and now I am older I see he was right. Kids are missing out now on summers like we had, a chance to make amazing memories, a chance to be bored and having to make your own fun so you aren’t bored and the chance to really take in the world around them. I worry that when our kids get to my age they won’t be able to cope with a time when they might not have all the distractions they have now.
I am 39yrs old now and every summer I miss my childhood summers, there are times I wish I was 14 again and for just one day could go back to that time of freedom and fun. A time when the biggest problem we had was if it was a wet day and everyday was an adventure. I haven’t been back to see our old beach or where we used to hangout in years but I will have to take a trip soon and maybe bring Sid minus any technology,let him have a fun day on the beach just me, him and his imagination maybe we would even get a Mars bar at the end.
What were your summers like? what do you miss the most about them ?
- There is no place like home.
- That all those little things that bug you about your home can start to be sorted when you don’t have to go to work 5 days a week.
- That it was very hard to work 34 days straight with only an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon off.
- That you will work harder at home and do longer hours but it’s so nice.
- That M&S do the most comfy bras I have ever worn.
- That I miss blogging everyday and might just start again next week
What have you learned this week ?
We have made up me and my body after my last test results arrived today and I got the all clear. Now possibly after all the sweets and crisps I have eaten over the last week or so my body might fall out with me this time round. It’s really been one of those years where the universe just tries its best to piss you off at every turn.
The reason I started this month long blog challenge was to distract myself from all the different scans and stuff I had to get through and it really worked. I had always had an understanding with my body that we would be good to each other but it really pushed me this year but now its all good, I can go back to moaning about the odd snotty nose or sore throat every now and then and I will promise to go easy on my body in return which is a fair deal I think?.
We have also nearly reached the end of our month together, can you believe it? This is the second last one and we only missed two days out of the whole month which for me is pretty amazing and I have been thinking about how much I will blog for July. It possibly won’t be everyday, maybe three or four times a week every week, what do you think? or what would you like to see?
To celebrate my being in love again with my body I am off to eat more chocolate and I will see you all tomorrow for the last post of June all about how I found it.
“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos” – L.R Knost.
We have come to the end of another Montessori school year, another group of kids and parents have passed through my room, all I can think this evening after our graduation is where did the year go. We started the year together full of tears and fun and we ended our year after learning so much from each other. There is never a class that I don’t learn something from and this year was no different. I have over the years been very, very lucky with both the kids and parents I have had the pleasure to come through my class and it is as hard to say goodbye to my parents as it is to the kids on their last day ( which is Tuesday for me) . There will be some very lucky primary teachers getting my little people in September, while I will be getting the next little bundles to spend the year with again learning loads together and having lots of fun.
I can say that I truly love being a Montessori teacher, I love seeing the kids bloom and grow into independent, interested and caring people with a love of learning in all its forms. So for our last few days we will have lots of fun, sweets and look forward to the next kids and parents I will welcome into my class in September.
“ The best thing about being a Teacher is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is it matters everyday” – Todd Whitaker.
My day starts at 6.15am.
First job of the morning is to let out some of the liveries and then feed everyone in the stables.
7am is breakfast for everyone and then it’s lunch making and getting ready to go to work.
I get to work at 8.30am, I only have 6 more days left with my class before we finish up for the summer.
I get home from work about 2pm, have some quick lunch and go collect Sid from school. This has been my view for the school year. Today then we went to get his hair cut and his lunch.
Then it was time to change my clothes and head outside to do some jobs, tackle some weeds and feed horses again and bring back in liveries.
After our yard work it was in the make dinner for everyone and then the horrible clean up after the dinner. How does it get so messy?
Before it was bed time for Sid I wrote a blog post and swept the floors.
Sid went to bed at 8.00pm and I went for a bath, repainted my toenails and relaxed.
And I am ending my day with my book and a coffee and will head to bed about 10.30pm.
How do you spend your day?