I’ve done the deed. After 24 years at the chalk face, I have decided to leave teaching and set up my own business in glamping – well, Shepherds’ huts glamping to be precise. Actually glamping is the understatement. Pure unadulterated luxury I’d say. It’s going to be quite a journey.
This epiphany of an idea came about due to a number of circumstances. Firstly, I had to escape. I’m the last member of the ‘old dinosaur’ club. 7 ladies, all teachers – all but me had escaped. I was the eternal sparrow at the window. At 46 years of age I felt almost tangible fear of another 21 years of paper work, assessments, meetings, observations, feedback, marking, the long walk to the head teacher’s office … (the teaching part is the smallest of fragments of the job and the bit I enjoy) before my pension kicked in. I felt sure that death would catch me first. It was time to go.
Secondly, I live in heaven. Morndyke is our family farm- small: 65 acres on site, 2 of which are an established course fishing lake – but truly beautiful. We are in the heart of North Yorkshire – pure ‘White Rose’ country. James Herriot is our God and master (well, according to my mother anyway…). Thirsk is 3 miles away. We are not in the dales, nor the moors, but within spitting distance of both. I wake each morning and rest my eyes on the Hambleton Hills in the distance, Sutton Bank scored on the horizon, unbroken views an arm’s stretch away. At the moment, the cooler mornings are still, with the dew touching the growing hay and the sun, in all its glory, rising like a God over the hills. The oystercatchers are back, with their shrill cries, circling the fields. The sound carries me back to halcyon days. Our farm is my little piece of heaven.
View from my bedroom window, the Hambleton Hills are to the left – just out of sight!
Thirdly, I’ve never been considered ‘normal’. I wouldn’t know normal if I fell over it. ‘Normal’ would be living and working and socialising and make up and gym membership and handbags. My world is a little different. Whilst typing this, my two turkey poults: Mary and Gabrielle (5 weeks old), are making themselves busy cleaning up the floor with their beaks on the one hand, and decorating it from their other end on the other hand.
The cat, Kiki is sat in the laundry basket, kneading the clean, freshly washed and dried dressing gown of my daughter, and has just been joined by Khufu, the other cat. They presumably have taken refuge from the sharp little beaks of the poults. There were three. Elizabeth passed away three days ago. I miss her. Turkeys share their love of dying with sheep. Hobbies include sh#tting, sleeping in my hair and dying – well making every effort to do so. Apparently everything is food. I extracted something unmentionable out of Mary’s posterior the other day – part of my rug. The vet has already been called out, the turkeys have been injected every day this week after their chest infections and gastrointestinal infections took hold. However I adore them. Alan tolerates them. Alan is long suffering and reasonably patient. There is a definite pecking order here. I do wonder sometimes, why he married me. In his previous life, no animals entered the house. Now he has had to put up with cats, turkeys and sheep all sharing from time to time. He drew the line (strangely) at hens. Something passed his lips about ‘wringing their bl##dy necks if another hen comes through that door.’ Thankfully it was hens and not poultry he mentioned…