Church Farm Ardeley

A Free Range Experience


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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


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Dr Finlay’s Walking Stick: A visit to the past

Back Home

Fin’s Tenth Adventure

May 10th 2017

National Walking Month and Mental Health Awareness Week

Refreshed and re-invigorated by a day of rest, the odd couple got back into their stride and set off for what was to be a beautiful trip around the Circular Walk.  It was a bright and early start as Dr Finlay was feeling a little guilty that he had missed National Dawn Chorus Day and hadn’t taken Fin for a walk at 4.30 am in the morning earlier in the week.  7.30 seemed quite early enough and the birds were all out and singing beautifully.  “I wonder if there are any birds who can’t sing, like me,” thought Dr Finlay.  It was quiet apart from the birds and the early morning chill soon disappeared as they strode out, heads up enjoying the trees and the clouds and the birds.  Things had changed so much for them both since they had met and now they were revisiting the site where their paths had first crossed.

“Is this where I used to live?” wondered Fin.  “Are all these trees my friends and family?” “Is this where I truly belong?”.

Dr Finlay too was thinking back about his past, the walks he had enjoyed through here with his friend Sid who was a dog and who loved the bluebells as much as he did if not more.

Thoughts about the past can be painful or happy and it is good to have as many happy ones as you can to help you deal with the unhappy ones.

Fin and I will be able to look back on this walk as something very beautiful indeed thought Dr Finlay although he knew it would also be tinged with bits of sadness too.

Tomorrow as they say was to be another day.

—Dr Finlay
May 10th 2017


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Dr Finlay’s Walking Stick: A Non Adventure Day

 

A Rest

Fin’s Ninth Adventure.

May 9th 2017

National Walking Month and Mental Health Awareness Week

Today nothing much happened at all.  Dr Finlay was tired and needed a rest, he had forgotten Fin in the pub and was only saved from losing his beloved stick by Victorious Victoria whose eagle eyes had spotted one of her customers bringing a five foot six stick into the pub!

Fin spent the day leaning up against his new home thinking back on all the adventures he had had so far and all of those that were yet to come.  He also thought of his own home and the family he had somehow left behind.

Dr Finlay ate a lot of chocolates, kept away from people and thought about the person he wanted to be with the most in the world.

Then he went to sleep for a hundred years.

Tomorrow as they say was to be another day.

—Dr Finlay
May 9th 2017


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Dr Finlay’s Walking Stick: Fin the Goat Catcher

Getting Close to Someone or Something

Fin’s Eighth Adventure.

May 8th 2017

National Walking Month and Mental Health Awareness Week

Most of us are afraid of something odd for some reason or another and it can get in the way at times.  Dr Finlay knew that Fin had now been shown his Nemesis the goats and wanted him to get to know his enemy a little better.

The chance appeared for Fin to become part human and part goat catcher as the farmers at Rural Care were trying to put the goats to bed.

With four goats and two humans there is only one winner but with three humans and a stick the odds change dramatically.

Dr Finlay held out his right arm, the one holding Fin, to his side and appeared much bigger to the small goat, (kid), and the escape routes were cut off, there was only one thing for it, to return to the pen with the rest of the family.

Fin had become a goat herder amongst his growing list of skills and felt very useful.  He also learnt that feeling or actually being useful was extremely good for his health.

Tomorrow as they say was to be another day.

—Dr Finlay
May 8th 2017


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Dr Finlay’s Walking Stick: Finlay’s Cousin

 

Fin’s Seventh Adventure.

May 7th 2017

National Walking Month

Adventures can be exhausting and a whole week of them had tired out Dr Finlay .  A short walk was all he could manage that evening but even so it was enough to introduce Fin to the big white ball in the sky.

The moon was out looking down on the young stick and the older cousin that Dr Finlay had bumped into that day.

A man from Bury St Edmunds was visiting the place of work of Dr Finlay when he was away from the farm and the man was using a stick from his own garden to aid his healing.  The man had a problem with his sciatic nerve and had chosen a stick from his garden which had been carefully selected to assist him to walk.

What type of wood is it? Asked Dr Finlay , the man did not know and it struck Dr Finlay that he did not know what type of wood Fin was made from or whether indeed that Fin knew there were different types of wood.

There was so much to introduce Fin too that Dr Finlay knew he couldn’t do it all so would have to introduce Fin to the idea of the search for knowledge and wisdom as its own reward to lead to a lifetime of interest.

In the meantime a glance above at the big white ball would be enough for this day.

Tomorrow as they say was to be another day.

—Dr Finlay
May 7th 2017

 

 


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Dr. Finlay’s Walking Stick: Finlay meets his Nemesis and a Druid!

 

Fin’s Sixth Adventure.

May 6th 2017

National Walking Month

Dr Finlay was beginning to wonder if Fin was alive!  Strange though this may seem he realised he was having feelings of affection towards a stick!

He cared about Fin’s wellbeing and wanted Fin to be happy, he worried about Fin when he couldn’t see him and was concerned that he might lose him.

Dr Finlay had very vague memories of being a young Dr Finley or Wally as he was then known.  This odd experience of meeting Fin seemed to be giving him a chance to revisit those vague far off days.

Could play actually be more important than work?  Today they would go to the playground where he really should try and spend a bit more time.

So while Dr Finlay did some work (he struggled to relax) he leant Fin up against a proper tree, with proper branches, a safe distance away from the arch enemies of trees everywhere…..the goats.

Goats are funny horned creatures which are lots of fun and jump about especially when young but……they eat tree bark!!

If your outer protective layer gets eaten your soft fleshy insides are exposed and you get in all sorts of bother.  Goats and trees are best kept apart, at least for the trees sake.

So Fin was learning about goats and Dr Finley was keeping an eye on him whilst cleaning up the play area and then in the far distance they both spotted an amazing sight, a Druid, not only a Druid but a very beautiful Druid and something within them both began to beat a little faster.

Tomorrow as they say was to be another day.

Part 2

Drawn by the beauty of the Druid Dr Finlay and Fin decided to venture out at night for the first time as they had been invited to witness a Druid ritual called Beltane.

It was dusk as they wandered over to the hallowed ground of the Druid camp to see a circle of figures dressed in capes in the gathering darkness.

What a generous and warm welcome they were given by these newcomers from many thousands of years ago.

Fin gazed across the fire to see the tall, willowy figure of Mimsy at one of the gates.  There was drumming and singing led by Neil’s beautiful voice and as the God of the Druid camp he arranged the evening which included Fire Sticks and a Wicker Man.

Fin was awestruck by all he was taking in, you don’t usually see all this from a tree but having legs and being mobile was certainly showing him a thing or two.  Sticks on fire!!!  Sticks holding light and warmth, sticks it seems were pretty important after all.  Unless of course you were a Wicker man who Dr Finlay supposed contained all the badness of the season gone by and was burnt away to open the doors to a happier future.

The group passed through an archway to a better world, a renewal, a rebirth, new hope and a richer harmony with those around them.

Dr Finlay thanked their hosts for their generous invitation and the rich experience of ancient wisdoms being kept alive and returned home after an embrace so warm he could have melted.

Fin sensed he had been part of something rather special and felt a better stick already.

—Dr Finlay
May 6th 2017