At Ferny Ball she kept bantams. A small but wiry figure, she was often seen in pursuit of wood pigeon, deer, rabbit or hare, wielding her American-made .22 rifle or 12-bore shotgun ˆ "What one didn't get, t'other did," she would say. To feed herself, as well as shooting for the pot, she fished and grew vegetables. She ate 1lb of meat a day (some of which was none too fresh) and drank from a stream. Her caravan was 14ft long and 6ft wide, providing only one room which was festooned with the skins, antlers and hooves of animals she had slaughtered and gutted herself. At the centre was a wood-burning stove. She converted two of the three bunks into bookshelves and slept in the third.
The rest of the story is well worth a read. There are people who pretend they live life on their own terms, and then there are people who actually do. Hope Bourne was obviously the latter.