Well what can I say – the year started off so normal, wet, but still pretty normal.
There I was moaning about how wet my horse paddock was and warning people on the marina not to step off the footpaths and then it all went pear-shaped with a global pandemic. It's not something that normally creeps into our little sleepy part of the world. We usually get to hear about these things and maybe they even get as far as Nantwich but in heart of rural Cheshire it takes a while for something as big as this to hit us.
The current lock down is even more poignant for Angus and I in that it was daughter No 1's birthday this week and 19 years ago this week our countryside was in lock down because of Foot and Mouth disease. It was a terrible time.
I gave birth at the local hospital and then had about 25 visitors within the first 24 hours as no one would even contemplate trying to visit us once we were back at the farm. Richard (Angus's father) declared her to be the most beautiful baby he'd ever seen and she spent the first 24 hrs of her life as a living pass the parcel, getting cuddled by all and sundry. Then we went home and lock down continued. We used to pick the mid-wife up from the end of the drive and disinfect her on the way in. I had two separate buggies – one for the farm and one going out. Every vehicle had to be sprayed down before it came onto the yard and we changed and washed our clothes whenever we came back from buying food.
It was like the whole farming community were collectively holding their breaths. Things got really serious when it came to within 3 miles of us and we spent the summer living in fear, not daring to meet any of our friends in case someone inadvertently passed it on to another farm, and then, like I hope will happen with Covid-19, it suddenly seemed to peter out. By the September things were starting to open up again and by the October we were pretty much free moving.
I feel like at the moment we're all at the holding our breaths phase and it's pretty stressful to say the least! I've been banished to work from home at the farm as Angus is diabetic and David and Carol have been magnificent – holding the fort at the marina and keeping things going – they really have been superstars and I can't thank them enough.
That's not to say the site is in mothballs – our ongoing maintenance continues and I hope that pretty soon you'll all be allowed back to enjoy the remainder of the spring and what I hope is a beautiful summer on the water.