This is my new blog to continue my journey with my Dales Ponies. It will also be the story of my building a new life for myself, alone now, except for my friends, horses and dogs, since my partner died in March 2009. We had lived and worked together, mostly twenty four hours a day, for nearly 28 years and I have never lived alone before. It is a tribute to my wonderful friends that I am still here, still sane(ish) and ready to re-invent myself. I love them all more than words can ever say and can never thank them enough for all they have done and are still doing. It is also a tribute to Alexandra Kurland and 'The Click That Teaches' that I know how to save myself now. To new beginnings.......

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Rebels and Heroes.

I wrote near to the beginning of this blog that two of my friends had come here like knights in shining armour, on tractors instead of white chargers and wreathed in diesel fumes instead of mist. They became my heroes and they still are, and always will be, no matter what, and I tell them so regularly because I have learned to tell people how much I appreciate them while I still can.

One of them text me yesterday, after I told him that I had managed to get my historic Land Rover up to 53mph on the flat and deliberately made a speed sign tell me to slow down. He said that I made him laugh, in a nice way, and that he thought of me as being "the held back rebel with a cause". I LOVE that and for me it's something to live up to. Please may he and his brother, my other hero, always think of me in that way.

I had my first try at driving one of my tractors today, all by myself, and I absolutely loved driving it. It suddenly occurred to me that I am now becoming more and more like the people I most admire and that maybe I can find a little more self containment and comfort in my own company by becoming a hero for myself.

I have passed my driving theory and now feel in control and fairly confident driving both my old Land Rover and the Mini I have my lessons in. I have driven a fairly large tractor all by myself and felt reasonably at home in it straight away. I do all sorts of DIY around the farm that it wouldn't have occurred to me to even try before and I get such a buzz from being able to work out how to do something by myself. I'm never too proud to ask for advice but I'd much rather be able to do the work myself whenever possible because I want to be like my heroes - strong, confident, capable people who can turn their hands to almost anything and make a good job of it.

A few weeks ago I dreaded being left in my own company, with nothing to distract me from all my fears and worries and the feelings of life having spiraled totally out of my control with absolutely nothing I could do about it. Today I was high as a kite on my tractor driving success and I was enjoying myself all by myself, feeling confident, capable, in control, proud of myself and sane again at last. I have felt like half a person in the company of whole people for five months but today I felt whole again.

I have spent the last five months fighting off anxiety attacks and negative feelings that threatened to overwhelm me on a daily basis. My heroes and the fact that they cared enough and liked me enough to bother about me were what kept me going. They have my undying gratitude and I will never be able to repay them adequately but, if I can keep on being a quiet 'rebel with a cause' and learn to be my own hero too, then at least all their tireless efforts will never be in vain and I will become less and less of a drain on their resources, both practical and emotional.

I want to be happy in my own company again and to feel complete again, all by myself. Today, for a short while, I did. That's a massive step forward towards a whole new, bright, independant future!!!!!


  1. What a lovely post! And what a wonderful concept - "becoming a hero for myself" - I believe you're well on the way!

  2. Keep it up and you'll need a speed limit sign for the tractor too!

    It is empowering to be able to do hard tasks by yourself. I think one of the skills women have is figuring out how to get "strength" work done using brains instead of muscle.

    I will of my students from school joined the US Air Force. She became a plane mechanic. On one of her first jobs she was faced with putting an engine in a plane. This was normally a job done by a team of men.

    When the time came, the men melted into the background, their attitude fueled by some pretty obvious male chauvanism. (They'd been skeptical of her from the first.)

    Left alone to do an "impossible job," she thought a bit, then hooked up a winch system of some sort using the equipment in the hanger, lifted, and slid the engine into place all by herself.

    She said from then on, the men treated here as one of the team.

    I love that story, and as I picture you roaming all over on your tractor, I can almost imagine your "wings" shining in the sun. Take flight. You can do it!

  3. Hooray for you, Helen!
    There is an immense satisfaction in facing something that feels almost impossible, and not only be able to do it – but to do it well!
    I am so happy for you.

    Yesterday I was watching Lisa Williams on TV.
    I cannot believe that it is fake.
    What if David is right there, helping you along? Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thought?

  4. Yeah. great news about the tractor driving ( dont do what I did - managed to drive over my own head ( was a compact tractor!) and shoulder.Wasa bit sore for a few days.
    I love that phrase - -"happy in my own company"!

  5. Thank you very much all of you!!!

    Kate, I'm trying hard. My role models are my two farmer friends and I just pretend to be them most of the time. It works for me!!!

    Jean, that's a great story - thank you, and thank you for the encouragement.

    Hilary, I won't even ask how you managed to do that!!! Don't think there'd be much of my head left, with my tractors!

    Horse of Course, thank you! My problem is that I always want to be able to do everything perfectly right from the start and get cross with myself when it's far from perfect!!!

    I worked out how to use the loader on the other tractor yesterday so am now practising moving bales around. So far I've managed to get one big square bale stuck on the forks and disturbed a wasp's nest, so it's all quite exciting!!!!