Church Farm Ardeley

A Free Range Experience

Sunday, 24 February 2013

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Everybody I meet here seems to be cold. At meal times in the intern kitchen, people wear many clothes and kind of have that shivered look about them. Tim, Marco, Caroline… Today, upon greeting Dinu, the vet, the first words he too remarks is that it is cold. He asks me about my caravan. I say it is cold, but it is okay. I wear lots of clothing and spend most of the time there only for sleeping. He offers me a room in his caravan. I kindly decline. While he has a bit of a temper, he is a kind man.

Yesterday evening I am here in the Diner working with my computer, when he suddenly comes in through the door, wearing his characteristic knee length trousers and black hose. “Can you help me for two minutes”, he asks. I can’t imagine what  it might be, yet I trust him and quickly follow him out into the night air.

We walk for a minute to the hut where the new Growers arrived several days ago. He opens the door. Inside, there seems hundreds of small birds all milling about on the floor. Dinu asks me to check the food in each of the three feeding stations. That’s all. I think to myself, why he couldn’t do this himself, but I think nothing of it. I return to the Diner, he disappears into the night. As a kind of reward, he appears ten minutes later with a bottle of red wine and plastic cups. We then drink and talk easily.

I feel cold. And yet, isn’t that normal for winter? One simply gets on with it, and does not allow it to dictate how one feels. I almost feel weird with such an attitude, conscious of something outside and beyond me that somehow has achieved an opposite personality all of its own, trying to break my spirit. Yet, such an aim is futile.

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