1989 Farmgirl Reframe

I wasn’t actually a farmgirl.

My family had a house, plonked somewhere amongst the fields and hills of the backend of rural Wight. For me, until I was 16, there were farms but no buses.

There were haybale towers but no playgrounds. There were a few scrudgy farm lads, but no girls for me to hang out with.

It was a full-day mission for my child-length legs to stomp to the shop in the nearest village to buy a packet of Fruit Pastels.

As you walked, all you could see was woodland, meadow, vast blue ocean to the south. At night the sky was massive and peppered with a million stars.

So, not officially a farmgirl.

But a childhood spent in crops and meadows; ditch-jumping, base-building, tree-fort guarding and trespassing in every crevice of farmland that me and my brother knew like the backs of our hands. We made “cider” by fermenting apples that we’d scrumped in old Lilt bottles, left  the bottles in the field next to our house to ferment for weeks.

Then drank some.

(Not recommended).

We made perfume out of rose petals in little bottles and tried flogging it to the occasional dog walker that came past. We went on endless walks, got caught in maize fields by farmers, dared each other to “take the bolts” from the electric fences in the dairy farm and came home covered in mud almost every time. Birdsong and insects humming made up the soundscape. Ferocious imagination was the name of the game.

We grew up with red dust and dehydration from running, drying out our mouths. We grew up with hearts thumping from the adrenaline of playing cowboys and Indians, getting trapped in marshy fields and our skin wore scars from clamouring over – or under – barbed wire fences.

When you lived in the sticks during “pre-screen” days, you were left to your own devices.

Imagination and creativity are your most powerful allies.

It’s this last century mindset that I’ve been gleefully leaning back into since we got told by our Government Parents to get back home and stay there.

I thought I’d share a few of these “ways” to reframe your isolation like a 1989 Farmgirl.

Way 1:


Think like a kid. Children are not limited by set usages, functions and patterning. They’re open, flexible, imaginative and small genius’ in pintsized bodies. Walk around your home and – wearing a child’s perception – think about ways you can repurpose and reimagine the spaces in your home in terms of functionality. How many things can you think of to do in that space? How could that space be repurposed for your needs/amusement?

Examples: Pre Corona, my bedroom served a second purpose as a laundry room. This wasn’t choice but a result of us not owing a larger house and having somewhere else to fold the linen. A lot of laundry got folded in my room and this was born from necessity.

Now, my room has been repurposed into a Yoga, journaling, writing and art space. My living room is sometimes a family room, sometimes a meeting room and every morning is repurposed into a fitness studio. By night it turns into a casino or cinema space.

Our summer house has become a seed germination room and doubles up as a “garden gym”. The kitchen table is used for brerakfast, lunch and dinner and inbetween that becomes an office/school room for the kids. My bathroom, now that I’ve gone through every half used tub of cream, bubble bath and bag of Epson salts, is a spa and relaxation chamber.

Think creatively about how you can use your spaces imaginatively and give those spaces different identities during the day. Dress your spaces accordingly. It’s fun.

Way 2:


Be bold. Don’t just go out for a run or walk. Reframe your “outing” as an adventure as if you were a kid.

Last night, me and my family sat around and we brainstormed all of the interesting and strange places we could go and explore and do things during our “daily walk”. At this point in time, where I live, we are still able to go for a stomp with the dog once a day but there’s nothing to say that those areas have to be the same places.

Some of the adventures we’ve planned in involve walking through a disused train tunnel, cooking some sausages over a fire on a remote (but walkable) beach and exploring a ruined cottage in the woods – at night. Setting out on your mission with an open mind and an antennae for fun is the best way to approaching an adventure. It’s about relinquishing control and allowing your environment to offer you the risks, zones and pokey conditions for something breathtaking to happen. This is what we found as kids, anyway.

Other adventures needn’t be away from home. They could involve taking duvets onto the trampoline and sleeping under the stars – on a dry night. Or they might not even require you to move. Books and the imagination are a self-isolator’s best friends. Epic adventures can take place in your mind when reading – without leaving your lounge.

Way 3:

Reject Passivity

When we’re shattered from working, child rearing, dealing with daily demands and stress, sometimes all we want to do is collapse in front of the box and watch some mindless film, listen to music or scroll through social media. All good stuff … until you’re marooned at home with nothing to do but stare at a screen, read a book or count how many times you can pace from the kitchen to the lounge.

With boredom lighting the fuse, continued passivity is a ticking time bomb. Especially for mental health.

As a remote, feral farmgirl/ self isolation survivalist, your greatest ally is learning to be actively creative.

Instead of opening another book, start writing your own stories. Instead of watching TV, create a puppet show or a little video to send to your friends and family. Become the voice behind the story, the drummer behind the beat, the carver behind the wood, the seamstress behind the dress, the designer behind the fabric. And rather than doing this half-heartedly, almost sulkily because you’ve got nothing else to do … approach it with the zest and zeal of a person who wants to create a project that is epic and grand.

Your project may not ever see the light of day, come out how you want it to, or make you into a future best selling author. But, who you become as you step out of being a couch-bound, passive observor and into an active, vital creator, will stay with you way after this lockdown is complete.

Recommended Posts
Contact Bethan

If you'd like to know more or request a call back, please email Bethan here.