Last Wednesday I met Adi's mum and our nephew Thomas at Swithen's. It is one of the rare family places that is non-commercial as it's still somewhat undiscovered, plus it's only a five minute drive from us. I love it!
We had breakfast in the cafe. Besides feeling a little odd eating meat before going to see the animals on a working farm, it was good to be supporting a local business and eating local produce (the meat was scrummy).
Once fed and Thomas had enjoyed a few rides on the static train ride (the first time he'd braved one) we set off in search of the animals. Bev pushed Hugo around so I was able to explore with Thomas. He loved it and got so excited about the various animals, making all of the noises!
It was free to go around the farm and along with all of the normal farmyard animals (sheep, lambs, pigs, cows, donkeys, goats, ponies, horses, ducks, chickens and geese) there were the additions of llamas, alpacas and meerkats! Farms have certainly got fancy pants since my childhood! It was one thing remembering what noises all the farm animals make but how do you do an alpaca?!
It seems that we arrived when all of the animals were pretty excitable.. Thomas was oblivious to the number of animals on top of each other, while I was amused but also felt awkward invading their privacy.
We didn't feed the animals as we hadn't noticed the food on sale until the end, but we'll be back and I'm sure Thomas will be brave enough. I on the other hand will leave it to him! As much as I love animals I've never enjoyed it when they lick me - hence keeping my distance from dogs and horses, even though I appreciate them from a distance and am quite happy stroking them.
Before we left Thomas had a play in the playground and the playgym, with added entertainment from some hyperactive sheep jumping around on the loose!
I really want to go regularly to buy fresh meat from the farm shop. On the way out I realised there is another entrance right near our local supermarket, so I must head up there first.