This is a day late, but what the hell …… I’m an academic during the week and a vegetable-grower, shepherd, beekeeper, cheese-maker, chicken-killer and small-scale farmer at weekends, evenings and holidays.

Yesterday as part of my day-job I went to an interesting mini symposium on Islam and a free society. There were four very interesting, thoughtful and informative papers, two of which discussed the freedom inherent in early Islamic society – ideas that cohered with my research on Islamic communities in the early-modern period. There were 4 speakers and two chairs ….. all were men ….. did someone not tell them it was International Women’s Day?


As a small-time farmer I follow some great Instagram  pages by people who are involved with or interested in small-scale, sustainable food production. They generally describe themselves in terms of their interests, their goals, and their passions. Every now and again though someone describes themselves as having a farm wife life.


When I am taking kids from the campsite over to see the lambs I just helped come into the world, or to collect eggs from chickens I hatched out, or to see the hugelkultur where I grow our food and they ask me if I am the farmer’s wife I put them straight right away – no I am the farmer. And if I am feeling particularly snarky I will add – and you see that man over there? well he’s the farmer’s husband.

The looks on their faces tell me this is not what they were expecting to hear, this is not the order of things …..

Time to start thinking differently.

Two little tales of how far we have come and how far we have to go.

The alpacas don’t take any nonsense, they are secure in who they are and what they want to do

and that is to make children wait patiently in line with their arms outstretched until they decide  in their own time that they might nibble a little of the alpaca muesli that is being offered.

kids and alpacas.JPG


N.B. Photos from a number of years ago by my friend Vic.

N.B. not even mentioning the really thoughtless and inappropriate comment that was made to me yesterday and the fabulously snarky response that I gave ….. no, not mentioning it ….

6 responses to “IWD

  1. Are you the loo cleaners wife?
    Yet another international day! So much globalisation to contend with.
    Please, don’t let the caravan tyres down 🙂
    C u soon.

    • No, James is the loo cleaner (and duck whisperer and build of shelters that will withstand the zombie apocalypse). I am the shepherd and beekeeper and letter-down of caravan tyres !!!! 🙂 so looking forward to seeing you all again soon …. not long now. Zephaniah won’t know what has hit him!

  2. Just watching Prime Suspect 1973, women are making progress not there yet but looking back to the 70’s progress has been made, how we put up with it I do not know, though some of us didn’t !! Your mum would be so proud of you xxx

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