Considering my strong distaste for animals and countryside life prior to this trip, believe me when I tell you it was life-changing. When I was first offered this opportunity, I immediately pulled a face. Me? In the countryside? Pft. But looking back now, it would have been ridiculous of me to turn it down.
Having first arrived at the farm and asked to hand in our food and phones, I was truly sceptical of whether I would even last the week. Then it all began from there. I found myself doing things I would have entirely refused to do back in London, from cleaning out pig faeces to jumping in a freezing cold river. The entire week we woke up early to do food rounds for the farm’s animals (of course, we all fought over bottle-feeding the baby sheep) before coming back in to eat breakfast that one of the groups had cooked, then heading back out to break our backs by doing something along the lines of lifting logs of wood or cleaning out a chicken pen. But the fatigue didn’t stop there. Every evening we put our boots back on and went on a walk, and let me tell you, those walks were hours long and left us all moaning so much that I’m pretty sure all the members of staff secretly wanted to leave us behind in the fields. Yet, as exhausted as we all were by the end of the day, coming home was the best part. And yes, we referred to that house as our home probably by the second day in. As we sat around that iconic wooden table every night, we gave check-ins of how we were feeling and shout-outs of appreciation to somebody at the table who deserved it, and watching each person’s face light up when their name was said was honestly such a pure moment of happiness. And that’s exactly what I found there. Jamie’s Farm had become my happy place.
With all the distractions going on in London, we’re so lost in our own lives and our own problems that we sometimes forget to remind ourselves of all the beautiful things we need to appreciate. Having sat on those hills by myself pondering about the 101 things on my mind, looking out at such a picturesque view suddenly made it all go away. All the worries and the troubles and the stress disappeared just like that. And it was there that I realised that we spend far too much of our energy and time on the meaningless things in a busy city life, when really there’s so many mesmerising things we have never experienced that we have no clue about; all the places you still haven’t been, all the things you still haven’t done, all the things you still haven’t seen, are nothing but a mere mystery to us Londoners. This city life has blinded us from seeing that those things are what really matter. And although the majority of you reading this will probably forget all about it in two days’ time, all I want is for at least just one person to take this in and understand it. Understand that this experience will change and shape you into a different person. There’s terrible parts of yourself that you will leave behind there and forget that version of you ever existed. There’s also going to be some amazing new parts of you that you’ll bring back with you. Well, at least I know I did. As well as bringing back my newly found love for dogs, I also brought back something far more special than that: memories of the experience of a lifetime.
Also, a very special thank you to Miss Price for indeed making this all possible.