As you can see, I had an exciting holiday visiting Wayne’s dad in South Australia over Easter. It must be something about farm life that inspires people to work hard and have fun doing hard manual labour – cleaning my own house just doesn’t inspire me in quite the same way as scrubbing out a water trough for cattle does! My frozen shoulder didn’t complain either – which may say something about the cause of my pain and frozen shoulder in general.

I really love cattle, they are large, gentle and incredibly persistent. Perhaps they knew that I was helping them by scrubbing out and repairing their trough, because they were very interested in me and spent quite a lot of time nuzzling and watching me (or my warm, woolly hat!). Feeling their warm, solid bodies press against me, and their gentle noses investigating my woolly hat was a novel experience. Sadly, we don’t have enough room in our garden for a herd of cattle – or even one cow so I couldn’t bring any back with me.

I am always conscious of the changing seasons, but farm life reminded me of the importance of rhythm in our busy lives.

Wayne’s dad is in his mid-80s but he’s still healthy and active. I wonder whether it’s the rhythm and reality of farm life that keeps him busy, relaxed and anchored to the world he’s in. His wisdom on life’s problems is more than just age and experience – it’s also a reflection of the seasons of life and nature that he sees all around him.

City-dwellers are really insulated from a lot of that – or maybe we’re just too busy and pre-occupied to notice it. Getting up early to cope with a sick cow, or staying up all night in the cold and the wet with one, just isn’t the same as sitting at your computer typing to meet a deadline.

I’ve brought back memories and lots of photos of the wide green spaces, beautiful clouds and clear reflections to remind me to pace myself and stay connected.