When I first visited Barrow, I was being driven through Newby Bridge, on the A590, and was struck with an intense and strange terror, of being murdered in the woods by my new boyfriend who lived ‘up north’; which to me meant not London and further than Manchester. It was REALLY dark! A kind of dark that I had never really seen, having spent my entire life in cities… I grew up in Seattle, and had just given up my apartment in New York, where I had gone to University and had been living for the previous 8 years.
Thankfully my fears were unfounded but this was the beginning of huge lifestyle change! I couldn’t sleep properly for nearly 3 months because it was too quiet. I shouted ‘Oh my god Sheep…Cow…Horse…’ at any animal I saw standing in a field. I held my nose and gagged whenever we drove past a farm that was ‘spraying shit everywhere’ as I used to say with disdain! I swore I would never, ever get used to living in the country…
Who knew that one day I would be in LOVE with the very thing that I had turned my nose up at. Something that was totally foreign, something that I didn’t care to know about. Fast forward to present day and I’m not only riding horses, but slowly making friends with a lovely animal called Ginny. Learning how to look after her, scraping the poo (yes poo!) and dirt out of her hooves, giving her a brush and a shower. I can stand in the farm yard and not even think about the smell. I’ve fed pigs! Ok, I was a bit scared… they were getting so excited and all I could think about was Hannibal Lecter. But the other day I gave my apple core to the big mama sow and it was a very lovely thing. I know I’m still a bit of a city slicker but I’m thrilled to have a whole new world open up to me and a bit surprised at how much I’ve changed.
What is it about Cowran that makes me so happy? The lovely, friendly, generous people, the sense of openness and freedom, the breathtaking views, the feeling of peace and adventure in equal measure… I feel that the countryside is a bit of a soul soother and it feels like the start of a new chapter in my life.
I’d like to share some of my country adventures with you so please stay tuned!