Our favourite thing about The Squiggles Edit is the connections we make, both online and IRL, with some absolutely incredible women. From full-time shoe designers to women who have swapped high-finance to launch their own start-ups, and everything in between, we have certainly been super fortunate to host so many inspiring women over on our little space on the internet. So, we thought, why not follow these women and see what a day in their life truly looks like? At what time do they wake up, what are their daily challenges, what is their go-to way to unwind after a busy day? We hope you’re excited for this new series as much as we are – starting today with the lovely Natalie Evans, a shepherdess based in South Wales. If you want to get involved or know someone who would be perfect for this feature, drop us an email – we can’t wait to hear from you.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
Hi! I’m Natalie. I’m 25 originally from a small farming town in West Wales. I now live with my boyfriend Dafi and my working collie Sapper.
I’ve always loved farming since I was a little girl. In school I’d gravitate to people of farming stock. Don’t ask why! I just did. I would love spending time with them on their family farms on the weekends and always jokingly said that I’d love to be a farmer when I grow up!
Anyway, I grew up, went to uni, followed the crowd (ironically like a sheep) and realised after all the parties and excitement of meeting new people at uni etc I felt unfulfilled. I think my problem was, like many young girls I guess, I cared way too much what people would think of me. I knew deep down I wanted to be in the country side in some form, farming being the best outcome but subconsciously I made the decision I couldn’t possibly do that because I’m not from “an agricultural background”…
Meanwhile, my boyfriend Dafi works full time at his family farm and is the most hardworking, balanced and content person I know… I wanted that! Fast forward to the dreaded C word. Coronavirus. Lockdown hit and I found myself buried in my thoughts. I had to sit with them as there was nothing else I could do. I couldn’t distract myself by going out for drinks with my friends or go to the gym. I had to face them which was challenging but so empowering.
“I want to be a Shepherdess”. Just saying that out loud made me giggle. People will laugh! But just like that I reminded myself that it’s my life to live! What am I waiting for?! After long chats with my family and farming friends, and with everything in order I’d bought myself a flock of 150 sheep and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
How does your day begin and what does your average day consist of?
During lambing time. I wake up at 6am. Have my porridge and tea on the go. My friends will laugh at this because I take my porridge and tea with me everywhere. You’ll know where I’ve been because I leave bowls and cups along my travels! I then walk around the fields to check the sheep. Checking for any sickly ones or any that are about to lamb. If they are giving birth I will wait and watch and if they need my help, I’ll assist. Then I’ll feed and water them. If there are any weak lambs I will make up a bottle of milk and feed them. Once the normal morning jobs are done, I will pop home again for more food. I eat a lot! I think it’s because I burn a lot of energy throughout the day. Then I’ll mend any broken fences in the fields or pop down to the local farm shop to pick up feed or medication for them. There’s too much to list! But basically I’m with the sheep all day. The welfare of my sheep are so important to me as it’s my bread and butter and of course they’re living animals. If they’re in pain, I feel it too.
The best part about my job is….
The best part of my job is helping bringing life into the world! Sometimes the lambs can get stuck and won’t survive without the help of the shepherds. It’s stressful but so worth it when you’re able to fix the problem and they take their first breath. It’s magical.
The biggest misconception about my job is….
The biggest misconception of my job is that “farmers don’t care about our livestock. It’s just numbers to us.” This simply is not true. In my short time of being a shepherdess, I’ve realised it’s not a job. It’s a lifestyle.
The most challenging part about my job is….
….waking up and putting my smelly overalls and wellies back on at 2am to check the sheep… again!
We hope you enjoyed our first 24 Hour Edit – what we love about Natalie’s interview is that she utilised a time of reflection which can usually lead to major self-doubt (hello lockdown!) as an opportunity to move closer to the career and life she instinctively knew would make her happier. If you want to find out more about Natalie, you can find her instagram right here. Wishing you a fabulous Easter weekend – use it as an opportunity to breathe and take a day, an afternoon or even an hour to truly check in with what you want – you owe it to yourself.
The Squiggles Team X