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farming

Fashion Lifestyle Personal

Rambling with TOG24

30th November 2017

Over this past year it has become more and more apparent just how important having a good old walk is for my mental and physical health. Having swapped my office job for an outdoor one it has made a huge different to how I feel on a daily basis and that is down to being out in the fresh air day in day out.

Walking/rambling is something that we can all do each day in some form. Whether it’s choosing to walk rather than taking public transport, or just popping your headphones in and getting out on your lunch break.  I always feel when I have been out in the fresh air, life seems more manageable and my head feels clearer.

I love how the term ‘rambling’ has been revitalised lately. It no longer conjures up images of middle aged groups with walking poles, and it has become alot more about hearty dog walks to the pub with friends.

Talking of things being revitalised…(seamless link)…TOG24 have rebranded – and I couldn’t love the new direction that they have taken the brand in more! I’m a complete sucker for a great outdoorsy clothing company, and TOG24 really does tick all the boxes. The new logo is lovely and clean/fresh and the website is so user friendly with gorgeous images that just make you want to whack on a coat and hat and venture into the hills! (they also currently have a massive sale on and I urge you to get onto the website immediately as there are some amazing bargains to be had!).

You can view their campaign film (here)

I’m wearing their Clancy TCZ Thermal Jacket and honestly, its a must in this weather. Its beautifully fitted and light – but still so warm.

Lifestyle Personal

Autumnal Favourites

29th October 2017

Everyone loves Autumn. You only have to scroll through Instagram littered with cosy fireplace shots, orange hues of leaf shedding trees and copious amounts of pumpkins to know this.

I, very unoriginally, also love Autumn. It has always been my favourite season (I liked it first before it was even cool….) CLEARLY I’m joking btw. This Autumn has really been special to me. Its because it marks a year (yesterday to the day in fact) that I started work as a full time farmer (Oh christ, she’s banging on about that again isn’t she…and yes, I am…soz about that!). I’ve got a year of farming under my belt, and I know what to expect for the next year. This makes me feel considerably less panicked than I was this time last year, allowing me to enjoy working on the farm a bit more and not just be constantly consumed with fear of the unknown.

To that end, as Autumns go, this one has been pretty damn good. I’ll tell you some reasons why…

  1. I haven’t got a wedding to worry about or plan. Instead, I can rest in the knowledge that we had an awesome day, and admire all the lovely photos
  2. Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredient Sausage Carbonara – Andy and I’s current obsession
  3. Jumpers. Giant Knitwear. Specifically this one
  4. Cosy evenings by the fire after long days in the Autumn sunshine – nothing beats it
  5. Baths, preferably with wine…or prosecco (we have some left over from the wedding (here), and it really is the most delicious fizz I’ve ever tasted)
  6. Dark evenings mean, finishing a bit earlier on the farm and having more time to get on top of some admin (we now have a proper office space – no more kitchen table chaos!)
  7. Dog walks with friends, this weather has been PERFECT for dog walks. Trying to make sure I get more inventive with walks, and not just go on the same ones round the farm!
  8. Hot Chocolate. With whipped cream. And marshmallows. And a flake!
  9. Books. Reading. Board Games. Basically trying to mix it up by banning phone/laptop/tv watching at least one evening per week!
  10. The fact that I was featured in Rock My Style this week…if you haven’t yet seen the article its here! Have a read and please let me know what you think!

Whats been your favourite thing about this Autumn 2017 so far? I’d love to hear from you, so please send me a message or drop me a comment in the box below 🙂

 

Fashion Lifestyle

My top picks from the Ariat A/W Collection…

15th October 2017

Since farming I have come across alot of brands that are new to me. Ariat is one of them. If you don’t know, Ariat are a global equestrian and countrywear brand and specialise in garments that are not only, good quality products, but technically very built for the job. I’ve been really impressed with the fact that all of the pieces that I have been testing out are all so durable and I can see that they will really last me on the farm.

The Rigor H2O Jacket

The first piece from their A/W collection that I want to talk to you about is the Rigor H2O Jacket. I’m telling you, this jacket is WARM. It’s actually been quite mild out on the farm lately and so I haven’t worn this jacket that much….yet. Come the winter season I will defo be getting the wear out of this cosy number. Its a lovely luxe material and feels a bit like a ski jacket, I also really love that it is beautifully fitted – some winter jackets can make you feel a bit ‘puffed up’ but this is still nice and shaped.

The Burford Insulated Wellingtons

The next piece I want to talk about isn’t actually in their A/W Collection, they are the Burford Insulated wellies. I’ve had my eye on these for a while, these are slightly chunkier than my other wellies, but they feel so comfy and again, really durable. I also love the colour ways of these, with the leather trim at the top!

The New Team Softshell

The next piece is from their A/W Team Collection, I have the New Team Softshell and matching gilet and these are a real winner for me in this odd tran-seasonal time where some days are mild and others are a bit chillier! They are again, really nice a fitted which I love! 

The Coniston Pro GTX Boots

Lastly, but by no means least I want to just tell you about their Coniston Pro GTX Insulated boots. These boots really are worth the investment, they are a bit pricer than other country boots on the market – but I honestly think they are worth every penny if you are looking for some good country winter boots! Ridiculously comfy and warm and I feel like they will wear really well…I’m all about durable footwear these days!

Let me know what your thoughts are, and feel free to leave me a comment 🙂

Farming

Our first year Lambing at Cocking Hill Farm

14th May 2017

Wow, where to begin. On the 1st of April we had our first lambs. A triplet (they always tend to drop earlier than the twins or the singles!), we weren’t actually expecting any until the 6th/7th but as we moved them into their lambing paddocks, they had fresh grass and the sun was shining and I think they just thought, yup – I’m ready to have my babies now. And they did, we had the triplet go on the 1st and then after that it was a whirlwind of lambs from then on.

Luckily, the beginning of April also saw the arrival of Will. Will came to help us with lambing having (almost) finished at Agricultural college and he has been a very welcome addition to the farm! He knows pretty much all there is to know about tractors, is great with the livestock and even shares my passion for keeping the barn/farm clean and tidy.

We got ourselves into a nice routine, or as routine as you can get with the unpredictable nature of lambing! A typical day would see us with me going into the barn to feed/water the orphans and ewes we had to bring inside, then Andy would check round the ewes/lambs around the home paddocks and Will would go to the other side of the farm to check the rest. Andy and Will would look out for anything struggling, and bring back ewes/lambs that had problems to the barn so we could keep a close eye. Also, typically when ewes have triplets, or quads we tend to have to take one of the lambs off the mum as they can struggle to feed all three lambs (or anything more than 2) – this is where the bulk of our orphans come from. We can however foster the orphans off to ewes that have lost lambs, or even just have singles – and we did so really successfully this year leaving us with only around 30 orphan lambs (out of 2500ish – not too shabby!).

Aswell as Will, we also had a couple of friends to stay which was such a great help. Welshy, our friend came down from London to lend a hand for a week and a bit. Having him to stay was a dream, aside from letting me steal his beaut photos to use on instagram, he cooked (one night even from foraged wild garlic he found in a field) and gave me an excuse to drink wine each night guilt free! Our friends Ed and Lu also came and helped a couple of days which was amazing – we’re so lucky to have a job that we can invite or friends help!

We had about 1,800 pregnant ewes to tend to so at its peak it was pretty intense, as you can imagine. Moral was kept up, usually by breakfast table photo show and tells. Each of us would fight over who got the best shot of the day of lambs in the sunshine! Obvs I’ve never known any other way, and I’m completely bias, but I really think outdoor lambing has to be the best way to do it. The Romneys are amazing sheep, and such proud mothers – in a matter of 2mins, you can see a lamb being born, the mum licking it off and it get up and drinking. I mean, it puts humans to shame really doesn’t it! So that’s it, year one lambing at Cocking Hill – DONE….well almost…we’ve finished lambing the main flock and now its the ewe lambs turn, there are only about 200 of them, so compared to the main bulk, its been a dream. They’ve done so well considering its the first year they have lambed, and we’ve had minimal problems (hopefully it continues!).

So all in all lambing went well, we couldn’t have been luckier with the weather for outdoor lambing conditions, and we managed to hold on to grass in the lambing paddocks. So yes, onwards to the next chapter (the fun never ends in farming you see!), next we will be turning thoughts to summer with lots of farm related events, shearing and eventually selling some stock! Zero chill time in 2017 for us!

If I’ve left anything out..or if you have any lambing related quezzies, let me know!

 

Farming

February on the farm

21st February 2017

Twins? single? triplets? (…..quads?) scanning the ewes, first year at Cocking Hill!

We’ve been very busy this February. Grass is scarce and typically always a hard month for farming. There is some positive news though…we’ve scanned our ewes, and it went really well!

We scanned at an average of 183% (…the boys did their job!), with a great twinning rate and hardly any triplets of quads. For us, as we lamb everything outdoors, it is crucial that we don’t have two many triplets or quads, as we have to foster them onto the ewes with singles – and it just makes things a bit tricky.

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My Home

Farmhouse upcycling on a budget…

10th February 2017

We moved into our cottage back in September and we’ve been slowly but surely trying to make it homely (on a budget…).

Its a bit of a tricky one, as we have so many things to get done on the farm that the house takes a bit of a backseat, but we have managed to get some of the core rooms ‘done’.

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Farming

January on the farm…

1st January 2017

First things first; It has been FREEZING on the farm. Like, the kind of freezing where I have worried that my fingers may actually drop off! All sense of pride within the fashion stakes have gone out of the window and every morning Andy laughs and asks me ‘Come on then, how many layers have you got on today then?!’ ‘Six…usually the answer is six’.

Traditionally January would be a quieter time for most sheep farmers in the UK (if there is such a thing for farmers!). But for us, taking on Cocking Hill Farm the previous September has meant that we have a lot of ‘setting up’ to do.

As we are converting an old dairy farm to sheep and beef we have had the grand task of upgrading all of the fencing so that it is stock proof for the sheep and lambs (around 25,000 meters to be exact!).

I’ve gone from someone who takes absolutely no notice of fences around animals, to a woman obsessed with all the different types. At the moment we are having to use a mixture of three methods, one being ‘temporary’, this is poly wire that is electrified by batteries, popped up with plastic posts that stick into the field. We’ve been using this out of necessity – just to quickly fence around any fields that don’t have secure fencing. Its quick to put up (rolled out on the quad bike attached to a ‘Rappa’ trailer), BUT some of our savvier and more brazen mobs of sheep have been cheeky, and the moment they discover that part of the fence is down (perhaps a deer has pushed through for example), they’re out in a flash! Not great when you look up onto the Downs and you see hundreds of fluffy white things all wandering along the South Downs Way! The other down side is the constant, having to put up the fences and take them down again – it can get very dull, very quickly!

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