While channelling her inner Enid Blyton farmer’s wife persona, Tessa Waugh takes a break from fruit-cake baking to ride out her holidaying horse and discovers his old habits die hard
As alarm calls go you can’t beat it: 500 or so sheep blaring for their lambs, gates clanking, quad bikes revving, men whistling, dogs barking. Who said the country is a peaceful place? Central London is more tranquil than a farm on shearing days. Once the shearers arrive, the tempo increases – more clanking, clippers whirring, fleeces are removed and collected, packed into bags as 100 decibels of Dua Lipa’s Physical rings out across the valley.
On shearing days, I try to embody one of those farmers’ wives from the Enid Blyton books, popping up at opportune moments to furnish the main protagonists with fruit cake and lashings of ginger beer.