Spring 2023 Diary Update

News from Paula & the Flock

As you are aware back in 2021 my life took a little different direction with a brain tumour diagnosis, I am on “watch and wait’ monitoring with Derriford Hospital, Plymouth due to the complexity of where the tumour sits it’s very difficult to treat without causing other issues. So regular scans ensure the growth and progression of symptoms. You can appreciate it’s a lot to come to terms with as well as having advanced rheumatoid arthritis making my life even worse. But, I still soldier on and am so so blessed to live where I do and continue to carry on with work and the farm with my family helping. Taking it slower when possible.

As a consequence, I have decided to hang up my guest-speaking hat for a year or 2 to give me more time. It’s very difficult to say “No” to work, friends and socialising but in truth, it completely shatters me and would rather be healthy and happy than spend more time in the hospital having steroid infusions due to being exhausted. I have had a lot of time for reflection and realised at the ripe young age of 55 I have always put others first and it’s a difficult one to change. Listening to one’s body when you feel tired as opposed to carrying on to breaking point. On the farm, we try to be as self-sufficient as possible thus expanding our homegrown produce. Recently I had my cholesterol checked whilst at many appointments and was very happy to find it was very low…. must be healthy eating and striding around the farm. Every day, I enjoy the farm and it has been pivotal in the last 2 years for my mental health. Sometimes in life, you have to drop to the bottom and appreciate things whilst pulling yourself back up! I do hope being honest with you helps anyone out there who is or knows someone who is going through the same.

To anyone, I would say, take time, reflect and notice nature around you. Get out and walk, and watch the seasons change. We all come into this world with nothing and go out the same, just notice your surroundings a little more… it’s all free.. that walk on the beach, on the moors .. take time. Be kind to yourself!

A busy time on the farm with my adorable flock of sheep at the moment. Lambing 2023 has just finished, we decreased the size to make it more manageable but ensured I could still have a wool run. Last summer 2022 we took our wool to The Natural Fibre Company and managed to re-stock the depleted wool pile here. Not only did we manage to re-stock our Chagford Cream, Bovey Blue, Devon Green and Gidleigh Green, but also had a new addition to the pure wool range … natural Aran wool from our Blue Face Leicester sheep. A gorgeous soft marled grey. This year I will be making another wool run to Cornwall to replenish other colours.

A new logo was created by Little Sweet Pea Studio, a marvellous independent creative logo designer who listened to what was required and duly gave me what I wanted.

The Dartmoor Shepherd’s new beautiful shop on Chagford is on my stockist list. Here all woolly items are available plus our array of wool for sale.

Lustleigh Show 2022 was extremely busy for me, taking some sheep for a meet and greet plus “Bluebell” our beloved VW camper van who was adored with goodies for sale plus our stunning Farm Grown flowers always selling out. Glad to be back in December at the Clipper Cafe, Shaldon’s Rowcroft Event selling lots of festive treats whilst raising monies for such a good cause. I will be back on the August Bank Holiday Monday once again at Lustleigh Show and back for the Rowcroft event later in the year.

Last year our dearest ewe “Twiglet” died as well as recently the passing of “Beryl”, both of natural causes, sad but they enjoyed life to the full and their retirement we think Beryl was approx 12! Millie our sweet tabby farm cat is due to celebrate her 23rd birthday this summer…yes 23! We have had an abundance of beautiful lambs born this year who will be replacements for older girls who cannot lamb again and I am sure the retirement paddock will be brimming with old ladies enjoying their twilight years.

In March this year, I was featured in the Landscape Magazine, so well written with wonderful photographs that were taken the previous April (2022) a fantastic article, and a pleasure to be part of. Instagram and Facebook have regular updates of the fun and frolics on the farm so if you don’t follow me please do so. it’s a light-hearted well-being catch-up on a regular basis.

Two weeks ago whilst in the flower field checking the sheep I saw my first swallow fly over me, I welled up in tears so surreal to think these little birds fly such a long way back to their UK homes each year. Whilst visiting the Dartmoor Shepherds wool shed in Chagford last week and having a late supper catch up we had a tawny owl fly past us as we left and sat on the bow of a tree just watching us. Such beautiful moments are made to treasure.

On this note I say goodbye but not farewell to you and hopefully more catch-ups soon.

All the love of Twig Farm is sent to you and yours.