Church Farm Ardeley

A Free Range Experience


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Dr Finley’s Walking Stick: Fin and Dr Finley get lost

 

Fin’s Nineteenth Adventure

Another very long walk

May 19th 2017

National Walking Month and Dementia Awareness Week

Having a sense of direction is useful in life as it is when you go for a walk.  Many people have trouble finding this and become lost in one way or another.

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The problem was that Dr Finley had done this walk before and ….got lost before!!

When you make a mistake it is really good not to try and make the same mistake again!!!!!

At least he had Fin for company this time and they talked about countryside things and tree things and they found out what Fin was.

They looked at the bark of other trees and the leaves and now that Spring was here it was easier to identify the trees. They were pretty sure that Fin was an Ash tree.

He really wanted to be an oak tree but it was clear that he wasn’t.  So he was going to be the very best Ash tree that he could.

They talked about protecting themselves from harm, from other things that would try to damage them and how different people and different plants and animals had different methods.

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They talked about Flight and Fight or Freeze and Faint, the things that people and animals do when faced with danger or injustice.

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They had a lot of time to talk before they finally got back on track and returned to what they thought of as home.

Dr Finley got his feet wet and his boots being worn out and with holes in didn’t manage to keep the water out when they waded the stream but Fin with his waterproof bark tested the depth of the water and helped Dr Finley leap into a dry and safe new world.

He was reminded of a rather well known song that talked about storms and being afraid that was known around the entire planet and may indeed be talking of some great power who looks over us.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Tomorrow as they say was to be another day.

—Dr Finley
May 19th 2017


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Dr Finlay’s Walking Stick: Tragedy and Recovery

 

Fin’s Eighteenth Adventure

Tragedy. (Part 1) All the Birds are Dead

Recovery. (Part 2) A Long Walk to Freedom

May 18th 2017

National Walking Month and Dementia Awareness Week

Words would be difficult to find today to express the day’s happenings so pictures would paint thousands of words.

Dr Finlay took his camera to get some more pictures of nest of Blue Tits that had been found on the farm.  He gently opened the lid and found all of the birds, the whole generation were dead.

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Tomorrow as they say was to be another day.

Part 2

After the Shock of finding the birds Dr Finlay found Fin and took him off for a long walk.  He was going to retrace some of the steps that had taken him to where he was now and they would return via a place called Wood End.

Fin got to drive a tractor made from a tree.

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He got to visit the place where all the pain began for Dr Finlay.

He compared himself to a mighty Oak and a Horse Chestnut but decided he was neither of these.

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He was chewed by a Horse.

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He met a real reindeer.

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He thought about the nature of death and the death of nature a bit.

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Dr Finlay was reminded of some lovely people he had met.

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Found objects and his friend Henry Moore appeared everywhere they went.

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And Dr Finlay found a new home for them both to live happily ever after.

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Would End?

—Dr Finlay
May 18th 2017


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Dr Finlay’s Walking Stick: Fin goes Missing

Fin’s Seventeenth Adventure

Homeless and Hungry

May 17th 2017

National Walking Month and Dementia Awareness Week

It wasn’t until lunchtime when Dr Finlay went back to his battered old caravan with the wonky door behind which Fin lived that Dr Finlay realised something was wrong.

Fin was not in his usual place.

Fin was missing.

Dr Finlay had forgotten him somewhere!!

He felt dreadful.  He had abandoned the only thing he had in his life that he cared for and that he thought cared for him.

He was frantic.

Where had he been?  He tried to remember.  The pub where he had drawn Fin last night.

He checked with Victorious Victoria but no Fin was nowhere to be seen.

The birds nest?  But no Fin was nowhere to be seen.

The diner? But no Fin was nowhere to be seen.

The office? But no Fin was nowhere to be seen.

Nauseous with worry and panic he racked his aging brain to try and remember, to recall, to think where he could have left his only and beloved stick.

Who should he tell?  Who could help him with the plea “I have lost the one I love?”

He had to go back to work but his mind was elsewhere throughout the afternoon.

Was he getting old and forgetful, was he becoming a danger and a burden to those around him?

What else had he forgotten?  How would he know?

Forlorn and not having anywhere or anyone to turn to he turned to his old partner the whine bottle as a last resort.

He would get drunk and forget some more, forget the pain, numb the sorrow and hurt and forget the one he loved.

Before settling down for an evening of deep melancholy he went to collect his washing from the shed.

As had happened the night before something caught his eye, hiding in the corner was Fin.

Unbelievable happiness and relief cursed through his entire body and he sank to his knees in gratitude to whatever powers had reunited them.

He held Fin close and realised what loss meant and the poems he had studied many years ago came to mind.

Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained.

Tomorrow as they say was to be another day.

—Dr Finlay
May 17th 2017


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Dr Finlay’s Walking Stick: A Day of Wonder

Fin’s Sixteenth Adventure

Hungry Birds

May 16th 2017

National Walking Month and Dementia Awareness Week

In the middle of a small wood a nest box had been put up on a tree.

Dr Finlay was working late as usual but on this occasion he was to be rewarded in a way that money simply cannot buy.

A small movement caught his eye and looking more closely he saw the gaping mouth of a tiny, tiny bird.

Awestruck he went to find a box to look more closely and used Fin to support his clambering.

Gently lifting the lid he saw not one but eight hungry birds, their eyes not yet open and their beaks open wide desparate for food.

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Nature!!!

Incredible!!!

Retreating to a safe distance he felt the need to share this wondrous experience with people he knew and cared about whom he thought would appreciate it.

He rushed off hoping they would share his amazement.

Later he was to share the experience with colleagues and Co-Farmers, staff and friends.

Their joyful faces were something to behold almost as wonderful as the sight itself.

This would not have happened if there were no trees and he was reminded of the famous book by Rachel Carson, Silent Spring.

Imagine, no birds, no trees, no farms, no animals, no life on Earth.

No don’t, enjoy it.

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Tomorrow as they say was to be another day.

—Dr Finlay
May 16th 2017


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Dr Finlay’s Walking Stick: Walking the Tightrope And Tripods!

Fin’s Fifteenth Adventure

May 15th 2017

National Walking Month and Dementia Awareness Week

Fin was determined to make sure that Dr Finlay had a better life and tonight it was playtime.

Off to the playground they went and tried walking on tree trunks that had been cut up into sections and put in a circle.  For some weird reason known only to tight rope walkers and physicists everywhere this becomes easier in two ways.

Firstly Fin was used as a third point of access to the ground, three points being steadier than two.

Secondly, and with no understanding of the reason why all tight rope walkers hold a long stick like Fin in front of them to stop them losing their balance.

Even the Niagara Falls can be walked over if your stick is long enough.

It works, why?  God knows, some physicists too, but all Fin and Dr Finlay knew was that it worked.

The universe is a surprising and wonderful thing as they were both discovering together.

Tomorrow as they say was to be another day.

—Dr Finlay
May 15th 2017


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Dr Finlay’s Walking Stick: Take a Stick to Work Day

Photoshoots and Horticulture

Fin’s Twelfth Adventure

May 12th 2017

National Walking Month and Mental Health Awareness Week

“Wow, what a brilliant day” declared Fin to no one in particular as he reflected on Take a Stick to Work Day.  Dr Finlay had loaded Fin into the back of the car of his good friend Aimee who let him use her car to get to work.  Fin got the feeling that Dr Finlay was a very sensible driver but he did feel a little squeamish going around corners on two wheels!

Towards the end of the day Dr Finlay came out to the car and took Fin with him into a wonderful paradise which looked like the Garden of Eden with some additional enormous funny shapes in it.  “So this is where Dr Finlay goes off to,” thought Fin.

Happily Dr Finlay managed to find a friendly photographer who just happened to be a horticulturalist and so another adventure would begin.

What am I? A beech? A birch? A Yew? A mighty oak? An ash or elm?

This was another in the growing list of questions that Fin was building.  In the meantime though he would put on the cool sunglasses and the high vis jacket and enjoy his day in paradise.

Tomorrow as they say was to be another day.

—Dr Finlay
May 12th 2017


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Dr Finlay’s Walking Stick: Slowing Down or Speeding Up

The Failed Photoshoot

Fin’s Eleventh Adventure

May 11th 2017

National Walking Month and Mental Health Awareness Week

Dr Finlay had been missing his stick Fin and wanted to have a picture he could carry around with him when he couldn’t have a stick. So he arranged with his good friend Aimee to take some photos for him.  He left Fin in the back of her car and sent her a vague message about a photoshoot!  Vague messages are not very reliable ways of getting things done!!  So poor old Fin, (was Fin old?, was Fin poor?), was left in the back of the car all day and began to realise what road rage was all about.  One thing he did learn though was that the car went faster than he normally did when he was out walking with Dr Finlay.  It was sort of exciting and scary all at the same time.

Finally though, fairly late at night after all the busy human business of the day was over Dr Finlay came over and let him out of the car and they went for lovely long walk together.  It was on this walk that Dr Finlay realised something about their relationship.  He had been worried that Fin had been doing all the work supporting him but realised that without him Fin would be lying on the ground all the time.  Their relationship was good for both of them in different ways.

He was glad they had been reunited and told Fin not to worry about the Photoshoot as tomorrow was a very special day indeed.

Tomorrow was Take a Stick to Work Day.

Tomorrow as they say was to be another day.

—Dr Finlay
May 11th 2017