A journalist who swapped an office job in England for a cow-milking career in Islandmagee, County Antrim, after falling in love with a farmer, has written a book about her adventures.
Holly Crawford, 36, moved from her homeland in 2020 after marrying Paul Crawford, a vet and sheep farmer.
Mrs Crawford’s new book, Stuck In The Middle With Ewe: Or How I found my flock and lost my heart in Northern Ireland, details how she went from city journalist to a milker of cows, freelance writer and a foster-mum to lambs and calves.
“In my former role as a newspaper and magazine reporter I was constantly chasing stories and meeting deadlines, now I am chasing sheep and mostly meeting cows,” Mrs Crawford says.
Holly met her now husband, Paul, when she attended a veterinary conference in her capacity as a journalist and interviewed Mr Crawford after he won a prestigious award for services to the veterinary industry.
“We hit it off straight away and it was all very romantic. Paul proposed in 2019 in the conference room in which we first met,’’ Holly recalls.
“I said ‘yes’ straight away and we began planning our wedding for May 2020. What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot, as it happens.”
Despite Covid-19 causing chaos, the couple eventually tied-the-knot and Holly moved in with her husband and his 200 sheep.
“Ours is a traditional love story, really, just with added cows and sheep,” Holly explains.
“I realised that being able to take a shorthand note or report a news story wasn’t too helpful when standing in the middle of a field surrounded by ewes. So I learned to deliver lambs and went to milk cows and I love it.”
Holly started writing about her adventures to keep family and friends in England informed, and before she knew it she had the makings of a book.
“I wrote everything down; from learning how to milk cows to delivering my first lamb, which was an amazing but very surreal experience.
“The cows and sheep I work with are very patient and understanding, as are the humans.
‘‘Living and working in the countryside has opened my eyes as to just how hard those in the farming and agricultural sector work, and I am more appreciative of the milk and free-range eggs I buy.
“I hope my story will make people laugh and smile, especially during these difficult times.
“I also hope it will remind them that it is never too late to make a fresh start, find true love or learn to lamb.”
Stuck In The Middle With Ewe: Or How I found my flock and lost my heart in Northern Ireland, is published by The Conrad Press (£9.99.)
Copies are available from the author. Please email email@example.com
It can also be ordered from a growing number of high street bookshops. The ebook is available to buy online.
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