Cheshire mud lovers turn rural intentions into reality

Thursday, September 03rd, 2020

Sofi pig

Mud Revisited! We catch up with Muddy Matched duo Sofi and John who have put rural plans into action during the pandemic

Just before lockdown, we celebrated the starting of a new mud-filled relationship between aspiring smallholders Sofi and Jon, who met on online dating website Muddy Matches back on Valentines Day 2019.

Both had real rural aspirations at the time and it was a genuine match that had potential to quickly bloom as they settled into a new life – alongside the small collection of rescued battery hens, some sheep, a selection of vintage tractors and a couple of ducks – where they could fulfil their hopes of all things country in the beautiful Cheshire countryside.

They were getting accustomed to the daily routine together working on John’s family farm and future plans were in motion for their own farm ‘in the middle of nowhere’… then lockdown struck!

Well, the feel good news is Sofi and Jon are still happily bubbled up and now living together on a farm – making the move just before the nation was instructed to lockdown; and they could not be happier.

“We made the decision to bubble up together just as COVID-19 was taking hold and moving in with Jon has made lockdown much more bareable” Sofi tells us, whilst cuddling up to a pig. “And it made me very happy also. He is my prince farmer.”

“You could say we’ve definitely made hay whilst the not so uncertain sun shone. It is so nice to wake up and get stuck into working together on the family farm.”

And the pair have wasted little time in expanding their smallholding.

“With myself and John both working from home, we took the opportunity to breed some ducklings from our own ducks at the farm and we ended up with 3 chicks; 2 ducks and a drake. It is so exciting as neither of us have had the opportunity to do something like that before. We’ve put new fence lines in, started to grow our own fruit and veg, and used lockdown well to research how we could add more animals.”

That research has seen a veritable feast of four legged companions come through the door as soon as lockdown was relaxed.

There’s two new Shetland ponies (Sam and Pippin) – to indulge Sofi’s love of everything equine – a passion fine tuned whilst working on her mum’s livery yard. Then there’s the two Oxford sandy black pigs, which rare breed lover John has ‘waited a lifetime to get!’.

“When the phone rang to be able to go finally collect the beloved pigs John was so excited. Our plan is to breed off them in the future. But he has also really taken the plunge and loves the ponies nearly as much as me now” Sofi adds.

It’s not all been work, work, work though for the fun loving duo. “We have even managed to find time to have a lunch date; a picnic in the hay field right by the canal. It was nice to relax together and watch the world go by , while Millie the spaniel did lots of zoomies.“

And when things started to open up again after the long months of lockdown, Sofi and John knew exactly where they wanted to head to first. “The Pheasant Inn… It’s our favourite.” Sofi says. “ We were both buzzing with excitement and couldn’t wait to taste the beautiful food and sit and look out on the amazing view across the Cheshire countryside “

It indeed sounds like something worth waiting for.