Several years ago I was studying for a degree with the Open University. This involved lots of work at home, something which I found very hard to do bearing in mind my 14 yr old daughter and her best friend Eminem were living there too.

I put feelers out to see if any of my friends knew where I could rent a room for a couple of weeks – I hoped to spend some time after work there studying until the exams were over. I was very much behind and needed some peace and quiet so I could catch up – something I found difficult to do at home.

To cut a very long story short, someone knew a lady who lived in a smallholding many miles away and had a room spare. I gave her a ring, told her what I required and arranged to meet her one day after work.

This place was remote, but eventually I found it. The lady was very nice and I found her feeding the geese and the pigs she kept. It was ideal – I explained I would just need the room for a couple of weeks, but would probably go home in the evening. Anyway, she said I could have it and we agreed a price and then retired to her kitchen for a cup of tea.

She asked me where I worked and then she asked me if I wore any aftershave. I thought this was a very odd question, but replied that I did occasionally. She stared at me for a long time, and I could detect a definite change in the atmosphere.

Finally she said ‘I am very sorry but I have changed my mind…you can’t have it’.. ‘Er, why not?’ I asked, surprised. ‘It’s the pigs, they don’t like the smell of aftershave…it upsets them so’…


By the way, the pictures are of Mallerstang and Wild Boar Fell – I didn’t have any of the pigs…