How often have you thought you might like to chuck it all in, leave the steaming metropolis and its noise and dirt behind and make for pastures new, to begin your life again? e often talk about it but people rarely do it. Jackie Moffat is one of those who did. In 1982 she and her family - armed with a bucketload of optimism, stout boots and a highly developed sense of the ridiculous - upped sticks from London (where she'd lived all her life) and went North, to Cumbria. Their destination was the Eden Valley, and a small stock-rearing and dairy farm called Rowfoot, and there they have spent the past twenty years getting to grips with the practice of running a working farm, keeping sheep, cattle, pigs and horses, becoming part of the (often eccentric) community, coping with the ups and downs (Foot and Mouth devastated them) of farming life. or the past ten years, the author's written a regular column for the Cumbria and Lake District Life magazine, and it was this that inspired her to write about her rural life, her wacky take on it and the trials, tribulations and pleasures of running a farm.
Television's Tom and Barbara Good have much to answer for since they dumped the glamour and high salaries of city life in favour of self-sufficiency (and a pig). Two other hopefuls: Malcolm and Jackie Moffat, followed their lead for real in 1982, moving to Cumbria, one of England's most beautiful areas. Jackie, for good reasons, does most of the donkey work, but still finds time to write a regular feature for the local newspaper, describing, graphically, and humorously, the ups-and-downs of life on the land. For her, animals are not just dumb creatures, but real friends, which tested her emotions to extremes during the recent Foot and Mouth epidemic, which plunged even townies into horrified gloom, and filled the countryside with acrid smoke from the burning pyres of once-healthy animals. This section apart, the story is written lightheartedly, and is often very funny - recommended especially to those contemplating The Good Life, as both warning, and encouragement. (Kirkus UK)