Work Experience - Dairy Farm


This week I have been on work experience at a dairy farm/educational farm to do some milking.
I have never done any work with cows before, so this was a first for me! The farm I was at milked about 185 Friesian Holstein cows, twice a day, in a herringbone parlour holding 30 cows at a time but with the facility to milk 15 at a time. I was asked to come in for the afternoon milking session which meant I was there from 2:30 pm until 7:00 pm.

The first thing I did was help to feed the calves. There were approximately 20 female calves still being fed a milk replacement, and another 10 or so that had been weaned. There were also about 15 bull calves about to be sold on. I fed the calves in their pens out of buckets and made sure that the weaned ones had water and food. I loved spending time with the calves and feeding them. They all had so much character and they were so cheeky!

The next task was to fetch the cows in from the field and bring them onto the yard ready to be milked. There were two fields in opposite directions that the cows could be in, and each was near a pub but there was no stopping for a drink halfway! Most of the cows were really good and easy to bring in, but there was the odd one that just wouldn’t budge!

Once we had gotten the cows in, I suited up in my waterproofs and went into the parlour to help out. Over the week I went from being completely useless at milking and having no idea about what I was doing, to it feeling like something I had been doing for years! It was quite therapeutic because it was so repetitive and you start to miss the cows when you stop... Even though I’m sure my family doesn’t  miss me coming home smelling like cows!

It was a great experience milking and I think it helped me gain some experience working with cows. 

Favourite Homeware Bits


I thought that it would be nice to share some of my favourite homeware bits with you coming up to autumn and winter as I like to make my room feel a bit cozier this time of year. I have not been sponsored or asked to write this post it's just all my personal opinion so it's an honest view!

The first thing I wanted to share with you is my lovely Joules bedding which I got from Bedeck. Bedeck is a great place to get really good quality, branded bedding at a lower cost. The bedding I picked up is the Joules Heritage bedding. It’s not all in stock anymore but you can still get the duvet cover in some sizes here. It’s a really lovely print that has hounds and riders in red jackets, obviously imitating a hunting scene which I love! It has a fun pink candy stripe on the opposite side too which is a lovely touch and I managed to track down the pillow cases to match. The bedding itself is really good quality and washes brilliantly. I would definitely recommend Joules bedding.

I have got a load of throw pillows on my bed to jazz up my room a bit. The big one at the back is two crossed polo sticks which my sister got me for my birthday, you can find it here. She also got me the polo helmet one from the same place which you can find here. I have a ‚K‘ pillow from Next which I really like too, they have since changed the design a bit but the new one is equally as cute! The tweed dog pillow I have is from Homebase, unfortunately, it isn’t available anymore so I tried to find something similar which is linked here. Lastly, I have a small sheep cushion that I picked up at Homesense. I can’t find it online but this is a similar one.

You can also see my scrabble letter lights in this picture which are from here and my John Deere bunting which I absolutely love! Unfortunately, you can’t buy this as my mum made it for me!

One of my favourite things I have is the repurposed vintage tractor seat stool I had for Christmas last year. It’s a really fun and unique piece and it moves around the upstairs of my house quite a bit (even though it’s really heavy!). I sometimes have it at my desk to sit on, or sometimes I keep it next to my bed as an extra bedside table/chair for my room. I’m not 100% sure where my aunt got it from, but you can get a similar one here.

On my bedside table, I usually keep whatever I’m currently reading which at the moment is Emma Milne’s Tales from the Tail End – I would definitely recommend it for any aspiring vets (you can order it here). I also have this light up ‚K‘ which my other sister got me for my birthday, you can get a similar light up letter here. I also have a small candle that my friend got me and some other little bits and bobs.

The last thing I want to include is not technically homeware, but I wanted to show it to you anyway! It’s this really cute tweed, snaffle bit pencil case from Rebridled. Rebridled is a really unique company that makes bags and containers from old bits of leather tack and nice materials. The pencil case is really good quality and has a cute floral lining. I would definitely recommend it, you can find their shop here.  

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Five Foot Followers You Might Find at Your Local Hunt


These people or someone similar exist at every hunt. Wherever you go, whichever hunt you follow, you must have seen at least one of these people! (these aren’t meant to be anyone, in particular, they are just general observations and jokes!)

1.      Tea-Flask Tim
Tim has been following the hunt for years, he sets out in his car in the morning with his wife – who probably doesn’t want to be there as much as he does, his tea flask – an essential on cold mornings, his sandwiches – so he can stay out all day obviously and his binoculars– so he can always get a good view. (I think most cars probably have a Tea-Flask Tim or at least a tea flask!)

2.      ‚Gate Please!‘ Gabby
Gabby either doesn’t have a pony of her own or isn’t allowed out hunting, so she tries to get involved in the hunt in other ways. Any other ways. She’s often seen hanging around the horse boxes in case anyone needs a hand or waiting by the gate so that no-one has to stop and get off to close it or open it. She’s desperate to get out hunting any way she can!

3.      Newbie Nick
This is Nick’s first season following the hunt. He recently moved to the countryside or has married into a country family. He will stick out like a sore thumb without any of the gear (oh no my new trainers are ruined!) and doesn’t really know why he is there or what is going on... You might catch him exclaiming things like „argh it’s too muddy!“ or „it’s too early for this!“... Little does he know, most of the field has been up since dawn plaiting, brushing, polishing and tacking up – all he had to do was turn up!

4.      All the gear, no idea Alice
Alice can be spotted by her brand new, very clean, very green Le Chameau wellies or her spotless Schoffel (maybe even in Raspberry). Alice doesn’t come from a hunting family so makes a special effort to dress the part to not be caught out. Alice might be heard squealing „oh look the puppies are barking!“ at the sound of hound music or something similar. She will be at the hunt ball looking a lot more at home than she did in the field.

5.      Farmer Fred
Fred’s family farm in the area and the hunt might even be crossing their land that day, he knows all the terrier men, the MHF, and the whippers-in. He was a member of the local YFC club a few years ago, (and possibly still is as an associate member) so knows most of the county. He’s at every meet he can get to and makes the most of the hospitality (who doesn’t love the homemade fruit cake and port?). Everyone knows Fred by the end of the season.

Have you come across any of these foot followers at your local hunt? Leave me a comment and let me know!

The Unofficial (Autumn/Winter) Uniform of the Countryside...


I love autumn, partially because it means I can revert back to my staple wardrobe of jumpers and wellies without any funny looks (that's not to say I didn’t spend most of my summer in jumpers and wellies though).
The Farmers Weekly writing competition „The best thing about young farmers is...“ announced their winner a little while back and the winning entry (by 14-year-old Caroline Whittaker) mentioned the ‚unofficial uniform of Rydale checked shirts, Schoffel gilets and polo belts‘, which got me thinking how true it was! (The piece of writing is brilliant by the way – you can read it here!)
Whenever you turn up to an event within the countryside community you are met with an overwhelming crowd of tweed and tattersall check. I thought I would compile a list of essentials, for anything from a Young Farmers doo to a morning following the hunt.
1.      A Schoffel Gilet
I got my 1st one almost exactly a year ago from Phillip Morris and Son (navy), and my second one direct from Schoffel (ruby) almost exactly a month ago. Both companies were lovely to deal with and Phillip Morris and Son were great when we had to exchange it for a different size. There's no two ways about it: they’re absolutely fabulous! So great for layering under coats and over shirts, and they can make you look a bit smarter and more put together. Plus they have zip pockets which is definitely a bonus!

2.      A Good Country Shirt
Rydale makes some lovely ones for men and women, it can be really hard to find good quality, affordable country shirts for women and Rydale have some great ones. The women's shirts are 2 for £20 (so affordable!) and I have somehow accumulated 6 now! My favourite ones are the Poacher checks and the Lucy stripes.

3.      A Comfy Pair of Boots
I had Dublin River boots for Christmas and I love them! I think they’re really smart and sturdy (and comfy!). I got mine from Derby House... I would also swear by Le Chameaus even though I’ve only had mine for a short while. They were quick to wear in, they felt perfect since day one and feel such good quality! I picked mine up from Marsh Farm Supplies near Tamworth in Arden but you can get them from loads of places! Fairfax and Favor and Dubarry (to mention just a few) make some great boots too if you’ve got a bit more to spend.

4.      A Long-Lasting Coat
If there’s one brand you can rely on for a lifelong-lasting coat its Barbour. In fact, mine has been around for longer than my lifetime! I have my Dad’s old Barbour Border and you can’t get anything better quality. I also have a sturdy tweed coat that I picked up from the Warwickshire Clothing Company, you often see them at Game Fairs and other outdoor events so it’s worth a stop if you see them.

If you have any more country clothing essentials leave them in a comment below or send me a tweet @woesofwellies! 
Here's a list of all the brands mentioned in this post if you want to check them out:

**All Opinions are my own and are not influenced or sponsored by the brands

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