This morning having been the one for bin collection, the foxes had created their usual mayhem on the lawn. I do wish our neighbours would double-wrap or rinse their waste food products. Before I could get to the rubbish someone had again cleared it up. Was it our helpful stranger and her toddler assistant? Or perhaps helpful fairies?
I spent some little time revising a couple of clues for next week’s Independent cryptic crossword, and so went out later than usual for my walk. I met Jackie coming to pick up the car for a visit to a client. Again an encounter with her determined the direction of my walk. She was going to the Phipp’s Bridge Estate in Mitcham. I therefore travelled with her there and she dropped me on that side of Morden Hall Park so I could walk from there. I took the path onto the Wandle trail and soon realised that I was close to the Deen City Farm which is situated alongside the trail. I had often noticed the farm on my trips to Colliers Wood. Today I decided to visit it. It is a charitable community project and a godsend to the residents of Mitcham’s estates and beyond.
Passing the magnificent chickens and flamboyant turkeys, the visitor encounters preening waterfowl and sprawling rabbits, all huge specimens. There are sheep, goats, llamas, cattle and horses. Indeed, the farm also has a riding school. The community garden is well stocked with flowers and a number of vegetables.
Those children there today were all pre-school and mostly accompanied by their mothers who had walked the same path from Phipp’s Bridge. There is an ample car park for those who come from further afield.
There are a number of these community projects in our cities, ensuring that children who otherwise would have no experience of country life have the opportunity to gain such pleasure. Some of my own grandchildren, who do eat well from natural produce and do visit the countryside, were once amazed to see me shelling peas. They had never had any but frozen ones. Not that there is anything wrong with Bird’s Eye, which are often fresher than those that have been in the shops or on the market stalls for a while.
Louisa and Errol, near their home in Nottingham, have the White Posts Farm, to which Jessica and I took her and Sam when they were little; and Malachi had his third birthday party in the city farm in Hackney.
I made a beef curry this evening. This went down well, especially accompanied by Cobra beer.