Like many others, I spent much of my early adulthood working long hours on a farm at the times of year which would have been the best to have a social life. I can, therefore, see the appeal a website such as Muddy Matches offers.
Until now country folk have had good reason to feel a bit left out. Much fun as Facebook is, with its social groups dedicated to the Wurzels (the twin flashing beacons group is my personal favourite), it is just not as rewarding as a devoted country networking site.
As a youngster, I counted myself lucky to be a girl involved in farming as, come harvest, there was a faint hope of finding a potential date in the form of a local student – who were usually boys.
I pitied the boys, however (I’m not talking in the usual feminist way in here, either!). Often stuck with the lonely jobs in the grainstore or on a crawler miles from the yard, the only social networking they experienced was the occasional night out, when long hours and lack of sustenance meant they turned into two-pint wonders.
As you move through life and progress from college to career, often miles away from where you grew up, meeting people with like-minded countryside interests is difficult.
Take the other day – one of the rare occasion I have ventured into a beauty salon. I was suddenly faced with the dilemma of explaining who I worked for while having my nails done. When I mentioned Farmers Weekly, the girl sniggered and commented: “I suppose there are magazines for farming as well as hairdressing!”. I rest my case.
Trying to find someone with a similar outlook can be a challenge for those involved in any industry. However, country experiences often shape personalities, and, when taken out of the comfort zone of the shire, social skills can sometimes be found wanting in the face of different viewpoints and a conflict of interests.
Using online networking can reduce this awkwardness, allowing you to chat freely without the danger of being ridiculed face-to-face. A dedicated country-oriented website certainly ensures one thing: You won’t be thrown out for wearing dirty boots.