Hens, Hooves, Woollies and Wellies, The Diary of a Farmer’s Wife-A Review


After reading the Yorkshire Shepherdess’s two books, it seems I have developed a new love of reading about the lives of other women in farming.

What can I say? It gives me a break from Tudor history-altough I have just finished Philippa Gregory’s Three Sisters Three Queens.

I digress.

I saw that Farmer’s Weekly columnist, Bobbi Mothersdale was bringing book out earlier this year and, whist browsing an online book store, I saw that Hens, Hooves, Woollies and Wellies, The Diary of a Farmer’s Wife had indeed been released so into my basket it went.

It came with the afore mentioned tale of Margaret Tudor and, at one point, I was reading both simultaneously but I decided to concentrate on Bobbi’s book first.

I think it took me a while to get into it because ordinarily, I am not such a fan of diary excerpt books (Bridget Jones’ Diary aside). I tend to think, especially as an autobiography, who would have something interesting to write about every day?

I quickly chastised myself however and remembered, as farmer’s wives, there is excitement at our fingertips every single day.

Starting in January, one of the bleakest months of the farming year-especially for the Mothersdales, who are based in East Yorkshire, Bobbi documents her life and what she has learnt from being married to her farmer, John for over 30 years.

I liked the fact that Bobbi is at a different life stage to me. Her children are all grown up and it is grandchildren who dominate the next generation in her story.

She tells the realities of farming with dignity and stoicism but it is her dry humour which really appealed to me. When you are faced with life and death situations on a daily basis, you have to find some humour in your every day life or you would go mad.

Through her diary, Bobbi gives a wry, comical and yet realistic account of life on their farm.

Over the course of the year and the book, we meet her friends and family as well as the three dogs, numerous hens and crafty guinea fowl that play such a big part in their daily routine.

I laughed out loud in parts-especially when she talks about the plight of harvest and haymaking when we are at the mercy of our Great British weather.

As a farmer’s wife I nodded along with many of the anecdotes but Bobbi’s tale is not just for fellow farmer’s wives.
Hens, Hooves, Woollies and Wellies is the story of love and friendship. Hard work and providence.

The life of a farmer’s wife is like no other life and, if by reading Bobbi’s book grants people some kind of insight into the life of just one lady living this hard but incredibly rewarding existence, then I cannot recommend the book enough.

I take back what I thought about books in diary format. On this occasion, it was the only way Bobbi’s story could be told.

In many ways, the story is hundreds of other farmer’s wives stories-just on different farms around the country.

I do have one criticism though-or I should say my husband does. My new found obsession with getting another dog and some guinea fowl has left Hubster blaming that ‘bloody book’. Thankfully, I think Bobbi Mothersdale would understand this herself.

Hens, Hooves, Woollies and Wellies, The Diary of a Farmer’s Wife is by Bobbi Mothersdale, published by Old Pond Publishing and is priced at £14.95 and is available now.


  1. I can’t lie; I’m from the publisher, Old Pond and so I’m very biased, but I love, love, love this book! Bobbi is such a fantastically clever writer and the sweetest person I’ve ever met – you can’t fail to enjoy it! July 1st is my favourite entry…

  2. Oh it sounds like a great book and it’s great to hear about it from your perspective being in her shoes as such! BUT – it has made me realise that you should write a book too, your writing is fabulous and I bet you’ve got some tales to tell!

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