Angie Aire MBE, of Breast Cancer Now, is March's guest author in the #MyBiosphere series of articles in Business 365, published by Mannin Media:
Born to Manx parents and ancestors, I am one of 32 paternal grandchildren who all reside on the Island.
Raised on a farm nestled in the foothills of South Barrule, I quickly grew to understand and love farm life from a very early age, propped up in a pram by the side of a hedge while my parents were thinning turnips or picking potatoes.
My sisters, brother and I would help on the farm after school and at weekends, making hay, cleaning out the animal sheds, feeding and checking cattle and picking, sorting and planting potatoes.
As we grew older, into our teenager years, farming was still the priority. Before going out with friends or our partners, my dad would throw all of us overalls and say: ‘We still need 10 more bags of potatoes picking.’
We would moan and groan, but the hoteliers would be delighted to receive their delivery on time.
Growing up on a farm isn’t, however, all about work. The Young Farmers’ movement was, and still is, a fabulous organisation which I thoroughly enjoyed being involved with.
I regularly took part in stock-judging, sheep shearing, church hall concerts and public speaking competitions. The Young Farmers are the future caretakers of the ‘land of our birth’.
Being surrounded by the Irish Sea and stunning Manx hills, we are spoilt and perhaps take for granted the number of beauty spots we have on the Island: perfect for relaxing, taking in the views or having a picnic.
And when Manannan’s cloak is covering us, a picnic in the car is still an option, especially when I’m out for the day with my dad.
Ballaglass Glen is a must in summer, and Maughold lighthouse, with breathtaking views across the Irish Sea. Cronk ny Arrey Laa is a particular favourite walk of mine, with stunning panoramic views across the whole of the south. Another is from Port Erin beach up to Milner’s Tower then down to Fleshwick, not to mention a boat trip to the unspoilt Calf of Man.
Throughout my years I have been fortunate enough to have travelled and trekked across many fabulous countries. But nothing compares to the landscapes of vast Manx green hills, clean sparkling bays and stunning glens with winding footpaths uphill and down dale.
Away from our beautiful landscape and views is the caring and loving community on our Isle, something I experience first-hand every day.
Leading a highly motivated group of volunteers and heading up Breast Cancer Now in the Isle of Man, we volunteer our time to organise various events across the Island to raise awareness of breast cancer and to raise funds for vital research into this disease. We receive amazing support from all corners of the Island.
We joined forces with our friends Beach Buddies for the Douglas New Year’s Day Dip. Well done to everyone who braved the cold this year: an example of another truly inspirational charity on the Island, which cleans our beaches and coastlines while spreading a strong message across the world.
It’s difficult to say all the things I love about our special Island in one, short, article. But what I can easily say is that I love our Island’s safeness, our friendly, caring, communities, its hard-working charities and, of course, its natural beauty.