Saturday 16 July 2011

Horses and goats and dogs, oh yes!

And people, lots and lots of lovely, friendly, welcoming people, here in Herefordshire where we used to live. It's been such fun and a great pleasure to have conversations again about hunting and farming and horses, to hear so many names we'd almost forgotten and catch up on the news, almost all of it still completely local as so few of them have moved away (though some, inevitably, have now er, moved on).

Why would they want to go elsewhere? It's such a pretty part of the country, and there's always so much going on. Last night it was the Progressive Supper to raise funds for Lea Church, and about 40 of us moved from house to house - starter, main, pudding and coffee - eating really delicious food (summer pudding! heavenly) and mixing and mingling with a great assortment of people including the highly popular young vicar who has six churches on his patch but still has time to keep a horse for hunting.

Things don't stand still here, depite the traditions: yesterday we visited a goat farm to watch the milking of about 800 in a huge shed where 1200 of them live permanently indoors, entirely content on yellow straw with plenty of room and sun and air, and plastic barrels to play with. I thought I was against factory farming, but what I saw there was entirely unobjectionable. Travel: it does so broaden the mind.

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