In spite of close on six years living in a semi-rural area of Chelmsford, I am occasionally forcibly reminded that a part of me will always be a town girl (even though I detest towns and my escape from Cheltenham had been pre-meditated for years).
Today the husband-shape and I went out to fill many bags of pony poo, from a lady that D met via Freecycle when I planted my first roses and he was establishing our vegetable patch. I was looking forward to the trip, as I love all animals and hadn’t seen a pony for many years (this was my first visit, due to ill-health last year), and it also meant that we could take in some of the breathtaking Essex countryside:
Essex has some of the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen – and I have lived in both The Cotswolds and The Peak District, and holidayed in Norfolk and The Lake District. Pheasants, Quail, Partridge, Foxes, Deer, Rabbits and even Hares are all quite regularly seen if you fancy driving for pleasure.
We arrived in a charming little village just a few miles outside of Chelmsford where we were greeted by a smiling, welcoming lady and her Jack Russel. She showed D where to start on the pile of manure and then led me to the paddock where she keeps her two elderly ponies – Bea and Rory (the name “Rory” obviously made my little Whovian heart skip a happy beat, but this Rory is 27 and therefore has not been named for fandom’s sake). Bea is a Grey and Rory a beautiful little Chestnut who loves to roll around.
For the trip I donned a baggy old pair of grey jogging pants and my scruffy old “I’m in love with a Vampire” t-shirt. My sister-in-law found it for me when we were in town together clothes shopping years ago and we both giggled and found it to be appropriate for me (D is slightly Vampiric in appearance, with his milk-white skin in winter, and I’ve grown up with a couple of tiny marks on the right hand side of my neck that greatly resemble a healing Vampire bite).
What I neglected to work into the equation was wellies. I have a pair of wellington boots that I got from somebody on Freecycle a few years back to wear in the garden when it’s been raining or I’m going to get muddy. It didn’t occur to me that I would be standing IN pony poo while I held bags open for D to shovel it in, so I wore my usual funky boots. Big mistake which I shan’t be making again.
And here am I descended from a family of Welsh farmers; shame on me!
Mission accomplished though, and a few worms found their way in to be kind to our soil too (worms are awesome if you’re a gardener, and these are the tiny little Red Wrigglers that so many gardeners end up paying money for). I was even given a huge carrier bag of Bramley apples, which I plan to turn into apple sauce for pork and gammon. We were going to take her some of my home made pickles as a thank you, but we completely forgot!
A productive morning/afternoon in all. This evening I am hosting my weekly Doctor Who Watchalong (The Parting Of The Ways tonight) and I shall curl up with my Facebook Group open on my screen for comments, a glass of wine and what remains of my new addiction – Jalapeno Stuffed Olives!