Dec 12 2013

Had I not married a chef …. I would have totally married a farmer.

Posted by     13 Comments    Posted under: Reviews

Yesterday, I finished my final Christmas exams. A day earlier, I received a note from one of my lecturers – he has been my teacher for five years now – and he was alerting me to the fact that I was finished with exams – for-ever!

In January, semester 2 brings all project-based journalistic work to the forefront.  Right now I am gearing up to work on a radio documentary, learn how to shoot digital film for the internet, write a 15000 word thesis, and find a work placement … … pretty exciting few months ahead, that is for sure!

As a little reward to myself, I held off on reading a new book I recently purchased  – actually I purchased two of them but my Mother commandeered one immediately citing she had just the friend that had to read it. Go on Mother.

The author, Lorna Sixsmith, is one heck of a gal. A self described ‘fair weather farmerette’, she makes this farming business it all sound so glamourous. NOT.

I love the sound of Lorna’s voice and her laughter is ringing in my ears. You can listen to her having a chat about her book and farming in general with Ryan Tubridy on 2fm – right here.

would you marry a farmer front cover


I don’t think it was her intention to draft a helpful manual on ‘how to nab and marry a farmer’ – I think her goal was to write a witty guide to the realities of living the life of a farmers wife, and she did just that. I know Lorna personally – and I can have seen her on her farm helping her husband Brian with the cattle and carrying buckets of milk and helping stand in gaps to prevent a stampeded into the wrong field.

You will also be able to see her do all of this because her style of writing is so engaging, you will get sucked right in to the life of a farmers wife. You will probably even begin to day-dream a little bit about selling your townhouse and moving to the country to take advantage of all that fresh air and green spaces.

Ha! Lorna will keep you on your toes with a reality check of mud, muck, slurry and explain terminology like ‘yoke’ and ‘locked up’ and ‘synchronising heifers’ . . .

This is a brilliant guide, to becoming a farmers wife, or even if you want to branch out an do a bit of farming yourself.

3(a) hoppity dance


Lorna chose to have her book illustrated by a local artist, Joanne Condon (very talented too might I add) and these sketches flittered throughout the book bring her humorous stories to life.5 (e)gift


Lorna doesn’t sugar coat it … she writes quite tongue-in-cheek so by the time you get to the end of her book, if you are leaning towards marrying a farmer yourself, you will have a very clear understanding of what it is like to live and work on a farm in Ireland today.

I see nothing wrong in trading in the high heels for the wellies to be honest – I’d do it all for love, and I can tell that this is the most important thing in Lorna’s life – the love she and her farmer (Brian) share.

They have a lovely life, but they both work incredibly hard and are tied to the farm and the animals and the weather and the many many different types of rain we have in Ireland that has a massive effect on farming. But funny thing is, Lorna did not marry a farmer. Granted they both grew up on farms, but then they moved away (to the UK) and finished up their educations – her farmer going all the way to the PhD level, only to come back, with a baby in tow, to take over Lorna’s family farm.

I do not think they were able to stay away once the first child showed up – and now they have two gorgeous kids (Will and Kate).

We fell into the same trap ourselves. All was well and good in the USA – trucking along, living a grand old existence not really pining for ‘home’ because we were very much AT HOME, then BAM – first kid shows up and you start feeling a little blue that they might not never really get to know their cousins; and I have fabulous cousins – so this was important. Second baby shows up and double BAM – all of a sudden you are packing the whole fam-damily up into shipping container and headed home to the little green island. 

But I digress …

3(b) going into the sunset

This is a love story guys. Not the kind that is going to make you well up with buckets of tears, more the kind of story you hope to see turned into a movie some day. It has that ‘James Herriot – All Creatures Great and small’ feel to it. Honest, open, and what is so important these days –  authentic.

Would you Marry a Farmer by Lorna Sixsmith is a no-frills representation of farm, family and married life today in Ireland and I love it!

It is also a great reminder, for those of you out there getting ready to take a swing at your maybe-not-so-doting partner, that marriage is hard bloody work. The art of compromise is vital when you are living and working with someone 24-7 and Lorna brings the right amount of humour to the story, which is always a nice reminder – to keep laughter in the relationship.

Lorna has been kind enough to give us an extra copy  of her book ‘Would you marry a farmer ‘ as a giveaway.

I am picking the winner on Saturday (14th Dec) so you might even get this in the post (if in Ireland)  by Christmas if you win!

So here – answer her question in the comment box below in order to be eligible for a win:

‘Would you Marry a Farmer’ … and I want a few reasons why or why not.

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today.



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13 Comments + Add Comment

  • I have the utmost respect for those who farm for a living and work hard to bring food to the table for all of us. Every time I see people working on a farm I’m reminded of the song by Murray McLauchlan, *The Farmer’s Song.*
    Love your para about Lorna’s book being a good reminder…so true, no matter what occupation your partner and you for that matter, are in.
    Would I marry a farmer? One’s occupation is not the first thing I’d consider when accepting a proposal but if we truly loved each other and wanted to spend our lives together then my answer is yes. I’d just better be prepared to set my alarm clock a few hours earlier every morning and be ready to get my hands and clothes a lot dirtier than what they get now. I can only imagine how much hard work goes into running a farm and it is one of the few occupations where you are totally dependent on the weather to provide you with a good return on your investment.
    Lorna’s book sounds like a very interesting and enjoyable read.
    Happy to hear that you have finished your last exam! Best wishes with your final semester…it sounds like a very busy one!

    • Hi Paula!
      You are right – you just adjust to the lifestyle – it is all about who you fall in love with and then the hard work that goes hand in hand with keeping any relationship healthy. I hope you are gearing up for a lovely Christmas with your grand babies xxx

  • Yes, I ‘d marry a Farmer. I was raised on a farm, and tho’ I now live ‘in the country’ and could be farming, I am not. I miss the animals, horses especially. I am still up @ 4/5 AM, so wouldn’t I be a good farm helpmate, now!

    • I am also an early riser Susan but I am not so sure I’d be bouncing out of bed to milk the cows in the winter!

  • After listening to Lorna on Ryan Tubridy show yesterday i was totally intrigued by this book.
    As a 21 year old marketing student marriage is not currently top of my to do list straight away but hopefully some day yes and as far a marrying a farmer goes it would also be a yes, why not! I have changed my mind on this though in recent times that was not always the answer. As i am country girl at heart i no knowledge of farming and really like the bright lights of the city for now. But in years to come the sound of a country life is much more appealing.
    The night life scene in Ireland is changing and more and more young people are looking for different approaches for meeting prince charming. I have joined the many others my age at attending country dances with Nathan Carter and Derek Ryan providing the jiving songs and on these occasions you meet more and more young farmers and although they enjoy talking about there cows and the weather with the other young farmers they are also very charming great dancers and have lots of gentleman qualities which many young men seem to have lost and just go to the night clubs to get drunk. They are also very hard working and dedicated young men to their work and this a quality that has to be admired. So if he can Jive, is charming, hard working, and treats a lady well then it doesn’t really matter what his profession is. I think I would risk him missing a date because a cows caving or the suns out and silage needs to be cut and maybe I would even pitch in and help 🙂 and as my Great Granny always told me: “where there is muck there is money”
    First time to read your blog WiseMóna great read and wont be the last good luck with exam results the dreaded exam time is torture.. 🙂

    • Exams are torture! Where are you in college Hannah? Best of luck to you with your studies.

      I love your response. I’ve spent the last five years in college (late bloomer – mature student) and get so disheartened when I see students going out to get blind drunk – and not remember much the next day. I am glad to hear you have sought and found alternative ways to meet gentlemen and you are right – those country boys do have manners. Many of the young farmers are gaining excellent educations in modern farming techniques too and quite progressive.

      You would love Lorna’s book – it would be a great little learning manual to prepare you for the future Mrs. Farmer!

      • Thanks my exams are after Christmas! Currently on Erasmus in Germany but study in Sligo. Germany is great but haven’t met too many farmers around here. Yes looking forward to reading it and its now on my shopping list for Christmas will be the perfect present for a friend too 🙂

        • You should join the Slow Food group in Germany – you will meet a fabulous variety of people at their gatherings

  • […] Mona of Wise Words reviewed it […]

  • Am loving the comments so far and thank you for such a glowing review Mona, I am so happy that so many are enjoying it. Love that you think it has a James Herriot feel to it – I loved those books and the TV series as a kid 🙂

    • Lorna – I am still not – never have been – a Telly watcher / but as a child I never missed ‘all creatures great and small’ The minute I picked up the book and started to read it – the memory of that show came flooding back – and your book really has that vibe. I am sure you will be sold out in no time at all!

  • Yes, I would marry a farmer anyday. I am married to one and I was raised on a farm. It is such a wonderful place to bring up children and they learn so much life skills as part of farming life. I tried the city chick life but I soon tired of the bright lights and it made me value farm life so much more. It is not an easy life but it is definately exciting as there is always something going on all year round and never a dull moment. As my granny used to say where there is muck there is luck!

    • HA ha – I love that – ‘Where there dis muck there is luck’ ..

      Right now, with all the rain here in the west .. there is ALOT OF MUCK!

      Hope you are all ready for Christmas – wrapping presents here :0)

About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
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