The key though is to smile, say hello to everyone, engage in conversation, ask them about themselves and tell them who your dad, or mum is! Boom! They relax, they smile, they ask how your parents are, and all is good! They start to relax in-front of the camera, joke with those that don’t know who I am, that I am there to check tyre tread, or make their friend look at the camera!
Thank goodness for Gwyneth… ‘do you know who this is’… she would say as she presented me to a farmer, for which I would be greeted with a blank stare – Bills daughter! A smile, a relax…. Oh so where do you live? What are you doing? How is Bill? Is he here
Imagine that you live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, you are surrounded by green fields, amazing landscapes, your nearest neighbour is a mile away, your farm is at the end of the track and the only person you might see in your working hours is the postman. For many of us, we dream of such idyll, but imagine doing that everyday, with the added struggle of weather, unforeseen circumstances, ill livestock, stresses of bureaucrats… and then see how we feel about it. THIS is why the mart is so important to the farmer. It gets them off the farm, it gets them to others, it gets them to their friends.
The Mart is place to take your time. You can’t rush livestock, they need to be kept calm. Shouting and hollering will only upset them. So it is a place of routine, and a place to take your time, to have a cuppa, to eat a bacon sandwich and to chat, to lean against the pen or to take a sit down. The sale starts at 11 and no sooner.
For the sake of out rural farming communities’ places like these need to be preserved, their place in the community is vital to the survival of that community.
Words by Sian Mercer - the words are my thoughts and feelings, based on what I saw from behind my camera, from the conversations, the smiles, the looks - my words are meant to tell the story I saw, to make you think and feel. That is all. Just my truth.... thats all.