My life on a small traditional farmstead in a Lake District valley requires me to be outdoors on the hills in a lot of serious weather, rain or shine. Going out is not a hobby, or an option, it’s an absolute requirement to get every animal checked and fed each day.
My relationship with the outdoors is one of necessity, I am outdoors walking over the same ground every day. I know every bush , knoll and rock. That’s not to say there is no joy in this, I know where the fungus and the wild flowers will bloom, where the swallows will rebuild their nests, and where the ponies like to chew hawthorn, but I also know which bit of fence will need repairing next, which beck is likely to flood and which troughs will be frozen. It’s an intimate, all encompassing relationship with a small area of the Lake District.
Today I am still wearing Rohan. My day begins with a six mile drive over a pass to get my children to school. In winter this can be a serious challenge and we have had several breakdowns, spins and two crashes on ice. Rohan clothes are ideal for me as I can arrive at school wearing serious outdoor gear, but not looking like I am on an expedition. I keep a clean Cloudbase jacket for ‘mum duty’ and then take off my clean coat and replace it with my farming Mountain Pass jacket.
My staple wardrobe consists of Rohan SuperStriders (warm, virtually waterproof and flexible enough to jump on a pony in, a winning combination), a Vital Fleece Top and a Daybreak Vest. The vest comes on and off all day, but is usually on! A Furnace Fleece to put on over the top if necessary is kept in the Land Rover. Along with this my year round use of my own alpaca hats and scarves keeps me warm.
On the way back from school I check on some of the ponies in the remoter paddocks, then return home to check on all the sheep, geese, hens and alpacas. It is not unheard of for me to take a pony out to look along the valley for straying sheep. All boundaries must be checked each day to ensure no ponies can wander, a job which keeps me and my terriers fit.
After lunch there will be time to catch up with any running repairs, and perhaps bake a cake or two using our eggs, before the dirty jacket is off, the clean jacket is on again and I return to school – Andrea Meanwell
Rohan is very important to Andrea in her daily work she is a second generation Rohanist. Andrea runs The Lake District Fell Pony Centre. She also sells Alpaca knitwear made from her own Alpacas.