Yesterday I spoke on the phone to my neighbour in England. She’s about seventy-years-old and was born in the house immediately next door to mine, which was the original farm house. In 1930 her family built a new, more modern farmhouse about 500 yards away and that is where she still lives and continues to farm. When she first married she left the farmhouse for 15 years to take the tenancy of a farm about a mile away but as her parents grew older she and her husband returned to keep the family farm going.
She’s never lived anywhere else, never been abroad and really only travels within the immediate area of the county. There’s a touch of the Royston Vasey’s about her but she’s always been welcoming to us and she loves the land around her so much that it’s easy to like her. When I called her yesterday she was surprised and said that she hadn’t expected me back at the cottage until the end of the year and I explained I was calling her from Greece. ‘Well, I never’ she said, ‘who’d believe that you’re doing that then? All that way and it sounds like you’re next door’ And she then went on to tell me about the bullocks that she’d moved to the big barn for over-wintering and that she’d moved some veal calves into the other barn. “I’ve never had a call from abroad,’ she added before going on to tell me that there might be sheep in my field when I get home in December and that the Cats’ Protection League are having a Bring ‘n Buy on Saturday but they had a big legacy last year so she’s not sure why they’re doing that. That’s how she talks rolling everything together.
And as I was saying ‘good bye’ she asked me if I wanted some potatoes but ‘no, you won’t you’re not here, are you? I’m going to call our Michael now and tell him that I’ve had a call from ABROAD.’ I don’t think anyone’s ever been so pleased to have a telephone call from me before.