Well, ten years ago last weekend I was celebrating my thirtieth birthday in a fabulous restaurant (sadly now closed) in upstate New York. Forward to the present, and this weekend we celebrated my birthday in a tent! Yes, we finally got with the program and made it out to the Featherdown Farm in Norfolk.
(Obligatory shot of children sleeping in the cupboard bed)
Friday night and Saturday were wet - so wet that we ran out of clean dry clothes for the tiny mudlarks who came to the tent with us, and even had the "Shall we go home to dry out and come back in the morning?" conversation. But we stayed.
Saturday evening looked like this:
By Sunday morning, a complete transformation:
And all of a sudden we started to realise why people have been raving about this place. Masses of chickens, calves dancing in the field just behind our tent, truly free range pigs - as in not in a field! There were issues, I won't pretend there weren't but I think they were probably specific to this farm rather than the concept as a whole. The farmer, Ben, and his wife, Diane, could not have been more friendly; the smalls went round telling everyone on the farm it was my birthday and in the evening they went off to the farm shop and arrived back with this:
Diane had baked a cake for me and let the smalls come into her kitchen to ice and decorate it. It was delicious and big enough to share with the other campers!
But the best part was seeing my often-shy little girls head off to befriend the other children, splash in the huge quantities of mud and just roam about in the tent field.
Bye then, girls!