I guess moving off the farm has made me all nostalgic of the life I lived for 17 and a half years. A time where cows and horses were my nearest neighbours (they kind of still are), the height of social calendar being the Royal Highland Show and my play park of my childhood years being the silage bales out the back.
Growing up on a farm, or in a rural area in general, is a unique experience and here is 25 things you’ll definitely know if you grew up on one.
1. If you lived in the middle of nowhere and your school was in your local country town, snow days were the best. days. of. your. life. ever. Your bus was cancelled so you spent the whole day frolicking around in the snow, going sledging with the quad bike because nobody has time to walk back up the hill and building a snowman only for your dog to run off with his carrot nose. You kind of felt sorry for all the town kids who lived up the street from the school so had to go, but not really.
2. School bus journeys and the bus politics that went along with them was something you had to take note of. There was a very strict hierarchy with oldest pupils at the back and youngest at the front, no questions asked. V awkward if you were a young ‘un and made the risky mistake of sitting in the back row.
3. Playtime in the countryside didn’t consist of going to a park, it consisted of playing on something you shouldn’t be playing on. Cue climbing on the random piles of straw/silage bales dotted around the yard and in the summertime, the grain stacks. Hours of fun could be had on both of these unique apparatus’.
4. Your wifi was absolutely terrible. A five minute YouTube video could buffer for hours.
5. And watching TV online? Yeah it didn’t happen.
6. The height of the social year was the local agricultural show. A day to get our your best checked shirt and gilet combo. When you were younger you went with your parents, dotting around the craft and wildlife tents, having free juice and snacks at stalls where your mum and dad knew someone and begging them to buy you a new plastic animal for the toy farm empire you had going on on the playroom floor. Then you graduated to hanging out at the funfair with your pals. But eventually, you would finally make it to the beer tent and you haven’t quite left there yet.
7. And of course, in Scotland, the Royal Highland Show. Going with your parents involved being unable to walk for a stretch of five minutes without your dad speaking to about three people he knew. You could stock up on some Rydale kit, poke around the cow sheds, stroke the horses and head to the RHET Discovery Centre for some freebies. When you weren’t doing all of this, you were probably drinking a free coke from a rep whilst your dad chatted for what felt like years at some tractor stand.
8. Fashion accessories in the countryside included a tweed jacket, a pair of Hunter wellies, a Joules jumper and if you were a bit posh, Dubarry’s. I am however informed that the new in fashion bits to have are Schoffel gilet and a pair of Fairfax & Favor boots if you are wanting to add to your country wardrobe.
9. Your year wasn’t divided into seasons like summer and spring. It was divided into harvest, sowing, drilling, calving, lambing, etc. All you were really sure of was fitting a family holiday in was very difficult and going at harvest time was a big no no.
10. Christmas didn’t really start at your house until all the animals had been seen too. All 300 of them or so. Which kind of sucked when you were young and couldn’t wait to get to your presents.
11. You probably had a horse. Or your sister had a horse. And you could name about ten people who had horses.
12. Driving anywhere with your dad would take twice as long as going anywhere with your mum. He would be staring out the window whilst going at a snail’s pace to see if so-and-so from over-there had started their drilling already.
13. If you had a stock farm, you would sometimes get a pet calf or a lamb. And you were totally content with the fact Hamish whom you had bottle fed would be becoming a lamb chop eventually.
14. You know loads of people simply because they also live on a farm.
15. Harvest time involved a lot of picnics and it was pretty wild when you were a kid as your mum would take you up the field to eat it out the back of the car. You would then obvs have a shot in a tractor (and maybe the combine harvester if you were super lucky).
16. You could get into really heated arguments at school with people who didn’t understand farming. Like, really heated arguments.
17. Foot and mouth of 01′ is an event you still remember. The Royal Highland Show was cancelled (sob) and your dad will still refer to it now when talking about certain fellow farmers.
18. This Farming Life on BBC One Scotland was a BAFTA-worthy TV show in your opinion and you felt overwhelmed with pride when it showed how bloody awesome farming actually is. The wedding in the final episode was a more anticipated event than the royal wedding.
19. And don’t even try and change the TV when Countryfile is on. Adam’s Farm <3
20. Everyone in your house watches the weather religiously. Someone has to see at every opportunity.
21. The weather also dictates the mood: sunshine = happy dad whilst rain = angry and do not piss off dad.
22. You learnt to drive in farm fields probably in a beat-up old pickup or a little hatchback bought for you just so your mum wouldn’t have to taxi you around anymore. And you probably started driving when you were 15 so you could run your dad his tea up when he was ploughing in the top field.
23. You and your siblings were definitely kitted out in boiler suits from your machinery brand of choice. A John Deere overall was a very fetching choice.
24. It wasn’t uncommon to not see your dad for days as he’d been up and out working before you got up or still out when you were in bed at night. Especially during harvest time.
25. But lastly, you won’t change your wellie wearing-mud-filled-weather dictating-farm life childhood for the world and you feel pretty damn thankful for it. Life on the farm <3
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