Being a writer working from home means I spend all of my time, alone, at home. I also don’t know anyone in this town I’ve recently moved to and I’m not much of a social person anymore, I prefer the company of animals. After a week of listening to my downstairs neighbour’s baby crying non stop, I decided to take myself off to nearby Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm to recharge my batteries, get some fresh air and say hello to Mother Nature.
It was about a 10 minute walk from the bus stop to the farm itself, down a country road that crossed a happy river and as soon as I stepped off that main road, I felt like I had come home. The countryside is where my heart belongs.
First up, I met these fuzzy critters.
Then a collection of inquisitive pigs. Did you know pigs are highly intelligent animals?
This fella was especially pleased to see me don’t you think!?
I was absolutely mesmerised by this beautiful cow. We stood staring at each other for a long time. I forget to check if it was male or female but I got a sense of female energy from it, although it had the most beautiful eyes with long eyelashes that could have made me think it was a lady. I started to feel bad for all the beef I had eaten in the past and vowed to continue to be a vegetarian. Lately I’ve not been feeling right about eating meat. I gave it up for health reasons with the exception of occasionally eating organic and grass raised, preferably from an independent farm. Never factory farmed meat, which I wish would be outlawed.
I had the same thing with these beautiful pigs, I thought about my weakness for crispy bacon strips and decided I just didn’t need it anymore. This farm sells pork sausages made from their pigs, these pigs would probably meet the same fate, and I’m ok with that. Again, I can’t deal with factory farming. I dare you to watch the entire film Earthlings. I couldn’t. I made it about 15 minutes in and I was crying so hard, I had to switch it off.
Inside this barn, Farmer Christmas was waiting with a pair of goat ladies with whom I spent about half an hour having a deep and meaningful while Farmer Christmas made small talk. I seriously was petting this one goat for the longest time and I could feel myself feeling more normal and grounded.
After volunteering on a guest farm in South Africa earlier this year and spending so much time with her goats; nursing one of the babies back to health after it broke it’s jaw; collecting new borns from far away fields because their hooves weren’t hard enough to make the trip home yet; watching all the kids playing and bouncing off everything; sharing my jelly babies with Billy the hand reared goat, I have a special place in my heart for these intelligent creatures. The lady goat I made friends with was only too pleased to have me scratch behind her ears and stroke her neck for a while.
I feel so much better now, if you’re ever in Suffolk, I recommend paying a visit to Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm, it is always good for the soul to reconnect with Mother Nature.
All photography my own.