One of the biggest fears I had about moving was whether the man and I would be welcomed into the neighbourhood and make friends. Of course, we’ve all heard stories about areas where it took decades to be considered a bona fide member of the community.
The land around us is mainly farms – big farms of several hundred acres. From what we can glean in the short time we have been here, these farms have been in the same families for at least a couple of generations, maybe more.
This means that a lot of our neighbours have lived here all of their lives and have formed tight friendships, so we did wonder whether they would have space in their busy lives to be friends with us, or would we have to cast further afield? Maybe join the local tiddlywinks club or something?
We needn’t have worried. Making friends here is not going to be a problem. Everyone to date has been up for a chat, helpful and interested in us and us in them. Vague coffee invitations have been extended by both them and us. And they will happen when time permits (country life is busy!) Yes, all the ingredients necessary to form friendships are there.
And so today, Mark, one of the guys whom we met last Sunday when he picked up the hay he’d purchased from our tenant farmer – so that is how it is economically viable for our tenant farmer to do all that work on our land gratis!!* – popped in.
We’ve been invited to a barbeque at his place this Sunday. How cool is that?
Now I’ve got to work out what to make to take. Mark is head of the food technology unit at the local polytech, but I won’t be stressing – turning out a light sponge is not a pre-requisite of becoming a good friend, is it?
*Our tenant farmer made 98 bales of hay from our land. The going rate for a bale is $7 – $10, so for about 5 hours work, $700 – $980 of hay was made. However, the very large tractor and 4 flash attachments used in the process would have cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars, maybe more… so needless to say, we’ll continue with the deal we have!