Today about 2pm 19 years ago Fiona Ross became Fiona Drane. I was thinking about this over the last few days. Miss Prissy from the city might have imagined 19 years later two kids and a cocker spaniel. Might even have envisaged the house we now live in.
But I would not have imagined living in this part of the world. An area that apart from Peebles was unknown to me. Nor would I have seen myself not being a city slicker career women at the top of her game! And I certainly would not have seen that on our 19th wedding anniversary the major job of the day would be to take the pigs to the abattoir in Galashiels.
And this is why I love life. Life is a journey and you can never quite predict where it is going to take you next. Increasingly in the past few years we have tried to be more sustainable growing our own fruit and vegetables. But this year has been a turning point as we have given up mass supermarkets and shopped locally as much as we can. The biggest difference is rearing two pigs in a co-operative with friends.
It’s been an interesting experience. Firstly it has given me a new perspective on food. Our pigs have had a great life with plenty of food and a field and hut to make their home. The kids have learnt so much about the responsibilities of keeping pigs just simple things from making sure they have fresh clean water to ensuring they have hay in their hut. I said at the outset of this that I would support either child if they turned them vegetarian but it hasn’t. They have been clear from the outset of the purpose of the project. Both children unlike their mother who couldn’t face it were there yesterday when the pigs were loaded on to the trailer. And my son was up bright and early this morning to take them on their final journey.
The next step is to pick up the meat from the butcher in the village. If I am honest I am feeling a little strange about it today but I like that we have taken the process from start to finish. And I am looking forward to seeing what the taste difference is though I confess it may take me a few weeks to want to eat the produce. At the moment the two living pigs are very much in my mind.
Overall though it has made me far more aware of animal welfare than I was before. I have watched Hugh and Jamie’s programmes on channel 4 and although I have understood their concerns for mass-produced food. Like many things in life it has only been seeing how animals should be raised for myself that it has really been brought home to me.
So if you had asked Fiona Ross 19 years ago would she have kept pigs she would have given you a withering look truly up to her frosty rossy nickname. If you had asked me a year ago you would have probably got the same look. And Drane family members who were present when my husband came back from a village coffee morning to announce that we were getting pigs. Will tell you that I gave my husband that look that day! However if you had asked my husband 19 years ago would he keep pigs he would have said maybe. If you had asked him a year ago he would have said yes defiantly. And when he got the opportunity he went for it and I am glad he did.
Fiona Ross didn’t know 19 years ago the journey that was ahead of her. The highs and the lows and the twists and the turns. Fiona Drane of 19 years doesn’t know what lies ahead. But what I do know is that the unexpected will happen. And as a couple you need to grow with each other’s projects as you never quite know where it might lead you too and where you might go from there.
So thanks Andy for 19 years making Fiona Ross into Fiona Drane and sharing your life with mine.