'Am I living my best life?' - Why TV couple quit rat race to farm alpacas
- Credit: Channel 5
The amazing story of a couple who “quit the rat race” to set up an alpaca farm in Norfolk is set to be shown on a Channel 5 programme.
Last year, Katharine and Louis Falconer, from Crowborough in East Sussex, made the brave decision to leave their home and full-time jobs to live a slower pace of life in the country.
The move came after Mrs Falconer lost her sister, mum and nan within the space of two years, which left her questioning her family's quality of life.
Then, after watching an episode of The Farmers' Country Showdown which featured alpacas, the 46-year-old knew what she wanted to do.
Mrs Falconer said: “I have experienced a lot of grief and it makes you look at life differently. It left me thinking, “am I living my best life and doing what I ought to be doing?”.
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“One day, Louis recorded Farmers' Country Showdown for me and it was an episode on alpacas and I absolutely loved them. I just knew I needed to get some and I had the idea to open some kind of animal therapy centre or care farm.
“Any sensible husband would say 'let’s think about it', but he was all for it.”
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Mr Falconer, 49, added: “We were living the rat race like so many people. So, when Katharine said it, I thought this could be our calling - to get back to nature and live a rural life. It really appealed.”
The couple and Mr Falconer’s now retired parents, Mark and Sue, spent the next few years planning and saving toward their ambitious plans.
In June 2020, the family moved to Norfolk and lived in rented accommodation until they found their dream home - an 18th century former mill house set within three acres of land, in Banham.
Only a few months later, they rehomed five alpacas.
During the move, Mrs Falconer had contacted Channel 5 to be featured on the programme “A Country Life for Half the Price ” hosted by Kate Humble.
To her surprise, they got the call back and film crews followed their journey for six months.
The programme documents their journey as they step away from their old careers to set up an Alpaca Care Farm and start hosting events and weddings, while finally spending some quality time together.
But as they settled into their new life, reality hit for the family.
She added: “Our plans for the care farm are still a few years off as sadly the necessity to earn a living is taking up much of our time at the moment but the alpacas are part of our business.
“We are currently running craft courses such as making felt animals and we have a spinning class coming up so people can learn how to make their fleece into balls of wool.
“We also offer alpaca afternoon teas where people can meet and spend time with the alpacas and then enjoy a cream tea.
"We now have the land and animals ready for the care farm though so hopefully that will evolve in the next few years.”
Mrs Falconer continued: “It’s more about how rich we are in lifestyle now.
“Financially we have gone the other way. We have a tiny income now compared to a reasonable one before.
“It has been an absolute rollercoaster. The highs have been very high the lows have been very low.
"But we love being here and we wouldn’t change a thing. The quality of life is amazing. We are hopeful for the future.”
The programme will be shown at 8pm on Tuesday August 17 on Channel 5, or you can watch later on catch up.
To find out more about their business, Events at Mill House, you can visit their Facebook page here, https://www.facebook.com/Events-at-Mill-House-102338605252133.