As the UK heads into a second lockdown I felt very lucky, if a little guilty, to be heading for Iceland.
I am in quarantine for a week but fortunate to have a good friend lending me a car for the duration of my trip and the cabin on a friend’s farm with a fridge full of Icelandic produce to see me through quarantine.
Vegetables are grown in greenhouses using hot water from the ground and the potatoes have a particularly earthy taste having been grown in volcanic sand.
Tourism is usually a huge part of the Icelandic economy and no doubt hundreds of diversified farm businesses are struggling without revenue from horse tracking, glacier walks and hospitality.
My heart goes out to all those small businesses at home affected by the second lockdown. I feel more privileged than ever to be able to carry on doing what I love in farming, sheep shearing and even to be able to travel to such a beautiful country during these difficult times.
The government here is still subsidising wool production to cover the cost of shearing despite its low market value. I have plenty of sheep ahead of me and with the rams out working hard at home, it seems the most valuable use of my time to be out here.
I sold the rest of my crossbred ewes and shearlings off the farm before I left, leaving only Romney ewes and ewe lambs going forward.
With so much uncertainty dominating all of our lives at the moment we must stick together and hold on tight, looking after those in our immediate circle while offering compassion to all around us.