By Jennie Tarr, Oldham
Hannah didn’t think she knew the meaning of love, or romance. What had that to do with her life? She lived in an old farmhouse, a remote area, in the hills of North Yorkshire. Her mother had died when she was 12 years old, and since then she’d kept the house for her father and two brothers. The farm had been in the family for over 200 years.
Hannah was now 18 and still carried on with her work. She didn’t grumble; she loved it, the farmhouse was her joy. So far away from the nearest town, she no longer saw her old school friends and hadn’t time to be interested in pop groups or discos. Even clothes were just a necessity.
Then one day, early in spring, her elder brother William (known as Billy) decided that this year, he would enter some of his sheep in the Swaledale Show. “You never know,” he said, “I might win a prize.” After much thought, he remarked to Hannah, “Why don’t you enter some of your vegetables, cakes, scones, or something? You’re really good at that.”
“Hannah thought about it all day and decided to give it a try”
Hannah thought about it all day and decided to give it a try. She’d nothing to lose, although she’d be competing with farmer’s wives, who’d done it for years. Over the next month, out came her mother’s recipe books, and she tried things out on her father and brothers. Some worked, some didn’t. Her vegetable patch was also carefully tended. In the end, she decided to make scones, a Victoria sponge, and display her carrots, potatoes, and onions. The night before the show, everyone was busy. Hannah had been baking all day and was now deciding which of her efforts would be best to show. Her father and brothers were busy, too; sorting out which sheep to take, washing them and brushing them to make them presentable. No doubt they would still need another tidy up in the morning time for bed. Morning came fine and clear. After a quick breakfast, the Land Rover was brought round, the trailer loaded up and they were off. The showground was a hive of activity, but the people on reception soon pointed them in the right direction. Hannah made her way to the marquee that housed the vegetable and cookery sections and started to work on her display. She wanted everything to look as attractive as possible.
“Those scones look good. I could eat one now,” said a voice behind her. Hannah turned quickly. “Don’t you dare.” Standing behind her was a tall young man, about her age. “Hello, Hannah,” he said. “Do you remember me?” Suddenly, she realised who he was.
“It’s Peter, isn’t it? Peter Shepherd. You were a year above me at Skipton School.”
Soon, they were talking about the old times as if they’d known each other for years. Hannah had lost touch with most of her school friends, but Peter hadn’t. They walked around the showground, had lunch together, and then it was time to return and see the results. What a surprise Hannah got a second prize for her scones and a third prize for her cake.
“Now you can help yourself,” she said to Peter. The day passed all too quickly. They met up with her father and brothers, and they too had won prizes. Soon it was time to leave. Peter lived in the next valley and had a farm, but he was training to be an architect.
“Can I see you again?” he asked, so Hannah gave him her phone number. On the way home, she realised she’d never enjoyed herself so much before in her life. The future looked good – time would tell. Love, romance perhaps!