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A holiday in the country today becomes something very fun for any family. Not only because they are equipped with the most modern electrical appliances and equipment.
In the first days of our stay at Nailey Cottages, we were aware that the Sainsburys home delivery service was bringing, in a large van that could barely fit through the narrow driveway, an order placed through the Internet, which we accessed through a Wi-Fi network that covered all the houses on the farm. The next day two caterers offered to serve us a magnificent dinner at our house at a really reasonable price.
The harshness of country life
So life on an English farm can seem very comfortable and playful. But this is unreal. Life in the countryside even today is hard, and above all it was much harder just a few decades ago. A hail storm, a cattle disease, an untimely frost… they could ruin a year's work and leave you with practically nothing. And even though today insurance tries to cover this type of risk, it is not always worth assuming its cost.
One of the activities that is very instructive for the youngsters is to carry out activities related to the work of the farm or field. And it is even more so if you take some traditional tools such as a hoe or a pick and try to cultivate a small plot of land.
Today agriculture has modern machinery even to cultivate a plot, small tractors, sprinkler irrigation, drip irrigation, computerized contribution of nutrients for crops, fumigation, etc. It's not about that. We must go back to the past to instruct and become aware of man's effort to make the land productive and earn our food from it.
The instructive thing is to take a hoe and plant some carrots, potatoes, beets, garlic, onions, beans and take them forward with traditional irrigation, take care of them and finally collect them. That is what the little ones did with Brian, their grandfather who, a few miles from our farm, owns the equivalent of a tahulla of municipal land ceded for personal cultivation by interested residents who request it.
Personally, I think that contact with the land is essential for urban man. It is impossible to recognize itself as a species if man does not mix his sweat with dry earth and smells the wet earth feeling the mud on his skin. A pending task for many teenagers who try to identify with the urban tribes of piercings and tattoos.
The harshness of life in rural areas also ended decades or centuries ago (depending on the countries) due to the conformation of social classes that arose from their relationship with access or not to land ownership. We also try to transmit that facet to the youngest of the family with some visits to the impressive historic British houses.
Lords and servants
For this one afternoon we visited one of the stately historic houses near the farm today called Dyrham Park. Before accessing the large manor house, the car is parked about two miles away and descends down a hillside until the progressive visual reunion of a large seventeenth century mansion, located in an old deer park and which served to shoot the film. film "The Remains of the Day" starring an exceptional butler, Anthony Hopkins.
I took advantage of the time to invent a story that reproduced some of the social injustices that such a disproportion of wealth accumulation caused in the majority of the population ...
Once there, the little ones forgot the story and, on the lawn of the mansion's gardens, they gave themselves up to emulate Ronaldiho, Messi, Raúl and Guti. The training paid off. When we returned to the farm, a soccer game was improvised, which ours won 14-3. My wife had to make some popcorn to sweeten the defeat of our neighbors and friends.
Well that's the way it is, at least the pre-workout at Dyrham Park served a purpose.
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