Saturday, December 11, 2004


After the traumas of yesterday, a day with the family at my Aunt’s in Suffolk is just what I need. She lives in a unique and well one has to say quirky house in a small village.

Her occupation is the study of wildlife generally and deer in particular. Accordingly the main part of her 2.5 acres is made up of padocks for rescue deer (and their descendants) and presently 2 guest rare breed sheep (each the size of a small pony!).

When I was young and before my Uncle died so tragically, we’d spend weeks here helping out. In those days there were also chickens, ferrets, geese, ducks many more deer and my personal favourite Wilhelm the donkey.

For a kid growing up in the suburbs of London, this was a magical kingdom of strange attics and wild outdoors. My brother and I would help erect sheds, creosote donkey shelters, grind carrots, mend fences, cut back reed beds, collect eggs, swim in the river and above all spend hours exploring.

This is the first time my niece and nephew have visited. Like us they are growing up in a London suburb and whilst they number of animals may be somewhat reduced I see through their eyes that the wonder of this strange place lives on.

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