A thirty minute ride in the passenger seat of my Grandad’s red pick up truck, just north of their quiet East Yorkshire village, and my welly-clad, new to the world self was in her element, feeding cows and riding spotted pigs. Some of my fondest childhood memories were formed from these days on my Grandad’s smallholding, however many of them I have no true recollection of, but were gifted to me through the nostalgic recounting of stories and showing of photos, to create vivid illustrations in my minds eye.
In a similar vein, my experience of life has been sculpted by the cities I have since grown up in, each new home imparting their individual lessons of value, yet unanimous in their fast-paced and distinctly urban nature. I haven’t seen my Grandad as much as I would have liked in the two and a half decades since my immediate family moved South, however I have always felt a deep connection to the land as a result of that time spent with him.
Keen to reconnect with a forgotten part of myself and challenge my city-centric brain, I reached out to Helen and Graham, kind internet strangers who agreed to host me for one month, in exchange for work on their remote Scottish croft. And so I threw myself into the unknown, hoping to retrieve those lost, true memories through the act of immersion in an unfamiliar land.