Lyn Alderson

Copywriter, Journalist, Blogger

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Goodbye sweet summer….

 I'm enjoying autumn's rich palette and getting my bed socks out ready for winter

I’m enjoying autumn’s rich palette and getting my bed socks out ready for winter!

Today I am remembering a former life….

A warm house was as simple as flicking a switch.

Gas-fired central heating warmed up my little box of a home at express speed. Bed socks were for old grannies and scarves were for outside use only. My house got so warm it was like Bermuda as we stripped off to T-shirts in the middle of January.

I admit, it was a bit of a shock every morning to face the hostile environment of my driveway. I had to arm myself with a scraper and attack the ice on my windscreen before I went to work, but unless it snowed and the roads were blocked, winter was a relatively mild inconvenience.

In modern urban life, we are always one step removed from the primitive cycle of the changing seasons. My life here on the farm couldn’t be more different.

Retro kitchen and open fires

We have an original Aga from the 1930s which keeps the kitchen nice and warm, but the rest of the house depends on a labour-intensive wood-burning boiler. We use wood from fallen branches on the farm and pile the logs on by hand every hour or two. Remembering to do it before the boiler goes out is an art in itself! And sub-zero weather is more than a mild blip, it means major headaches for Pete when water supplies to the animals freeze up.

lanternsRESIZED.jpegBut still, there nothing like a night cuddling up together in front of an open fire watching a good film. When the boiler is going and we light the log burner in the living room as well, it can match any central heating system in the world. And the fact that it’s hard earned makes it even more luxurious!

Embracing change

Yes my life has changed. Some of the things I used to take for granted are appreciated far more, and I have so much beauty in my life. I love the stunning landscape here on the farm; beautiful open vistas for mile upon mile, with Shropshire’s famous hills on the horizon.

Goodbye Indian summer 2014; hello windy and wet mornings, glorious autumnal landscapes and wear-your-bedsocks nights!

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Phew, the Posh Potties did the job!

marquee.jpegWe ran the whole gamut of emotions here in the farmhouse last week, as we prepared for my daughter’s wedding reception here on the farm. Even in this big rambling house, we were packed out with guests staying over for this joyous celebration.

Thankfully everything went well. Our popular local lady vicar presided over a beautiful and personal ceremony in the village, and when the bride and groom were pronounced husband and wife a loud cheer went up from the balcony full of young Londoners and Aberystwyth University alumni. It was such a boisterous cheer accompanied with loud clapping that I fancied the old church shook from the shockingly large sound waves, but thankfully our good-natured priest did not bat an eyelid. The three year-old flower girl was impeccably behaved, and the youngest member of the congregation, a four month old baby boy, slept peacefully through the proceedings.

wedding sign.jpegMercy Mission

As soon as we had posed for the photos, Shropshire Farmer shot off on a mercy mission to check on the posh toilets, which to our horror had failed to work properly the night before. Townie Wife kept her fingers crossed that 115 guests would not be forced to walk through the farmhouse kitchen to spend a penny. It would have been an unseemly contrast between the immaculately decorated and neatly arranged marquee, and our personal quarters, which looked like the aftermath of a nuclear explosion. Thankfully, the Posh Potties performed their duties, and we were spared the shame of public humiliation.

Blot on the landscape

I did notice a tiny flaw in the landscape as I looked out of the marquee windows, while tucking into the wedding breakfast. It was our king-sized duvet, which I had forgotten to take off the washing line; but it was far enough away to blend unnoticed into the stunning scenery.

At midnight there was another mildly worrying moment, when two of the aforementioned alumni stripped down to their boxers and donned black bin bags on the dance floor. Townie Wife was worried that some of the older generation might frown upon such silliness, but instead of shaking their heads in disapproval, the grandmas hit the dance floor too.