Life proved tough on a hill farm, but the space and freedom of the moors offered a quality of life that appealed to adults and children alike. It was a healthy rural life in a very beautiful part of Devon.
Mary Lou soon found she had to take extra jobs on top of farm work, to eke out a living on the farm and became a gardener, photographer and house manager all at the same time. This situation was accentuated by foot and mouth, the state of farming in the UK, the increased levels of paperwork and the difficulty of getting funding on time from DEFRA.
Unhappily her marriage to Christopher founded and she reverted to her maiden name, probably as an act of independence. Now the load of chores fell mainly on her though her two children have given her fantastic support.