We had been talking about visiting the local farms for ages, but we somehow always ended up doing something completely different. It is so easy to jump in the 4×4, drive 30 minutes and visit a local farm. However, it’s even easier to do something else like shopping for clothes, groceries or just develop an acute case of sofamenisia. Priorities can easily change. Other cool stuff might be included in our family activities such as battle of the Wii and/or the even cooler challenge of ‘lets fold the clothes’, rather than visiting a farm or play outside. The options are endless.
Finally the family event coordinator, my dear wife, put her foot down and demanded that we left the comfort of our crib. The remote for the TV and Wii had to be forcefully removed from my hands and from our oldest daughter’s hands. Our son refused to cooperate in putting on his clothes. He prefers to be naked, you see. He has completely lost the sense of wearing clothes. All in all, my wife had a battle on her hands.
As usual, the weather forecast promised slight thundery showers and the odd (very odd) sunny patches. It might have been the warmest and sunniest month of June in 40 years, but that day in June wasn’t. There were no signs that we had a summer. Everything was green and lush again.
I dragged the kids out of the house and placed them in the car – in their car seats of course. We packed rain jackets and changing clothes. You never know when you’ll be caught in a rainshower. The neighbours were peaking out of their windows to see who made all the noise at 10am on that Saturday morning.
SUV packed and ready to go. All we were waiting for was miss born survivor herself – the Latina Hunter. She emerged dressed in jeans, thick sweater, raincoat and her fancy shoes. A true yummy mummy on the road! We were off to the farm and she was wearing nice clothes and make-up. WTF! I hadn’t showered or shaved for days and the kids still had traces of ketchup in the hair from last night’s bolognese feast. Hopefully she had brought the camera.
I punched in the coordinates of the farm in the GPS and the friendly female voice guided me out of our estate, heading towards Newgrange Farm. An adventure had begun.
It took us about 40 minutes to get to the farm and despite being led down narrow country road lanes by the GPS lady, we managed to find the farm. I soon realised we had been there before, a deja vu thing. It turned out that the Newgrange site was just 200 meters down the road from the farm.
Newgrange Farm is a small little family business that changed from agriculture to tourism industry when the government grants ran out. Now they have a blossoming business. They opened at 10.30 and we were the 2nd car in the carpark!
The first thing that hit us was the strong smell of animal pooh. Welcome to the country side – be mindful were you step.
The kids were super excited and we quickly made our way to the stables, after paying a small entrance fee of course. In short, each of the old horse stables had been transformed into a small petting farm for cats, dogs, goats, sheep, chickens, etc. Nothing fancy, but the kids loved it.
Our son is the biggest Barnyard fan ever. Otis & the gang is among he’s real-life heroes, so you can only imagine how he reacted when he got face to nose with a cow that looked exactly like Otis. Here’s something you probably didn’t notice about Barnyard. Otis is a male cow, so why does he have utters?
Anyway, as we wandered through the manure, mud and hay, the kids got even more excited. We ran to/from every stable to pet and hold the animals. The favourite stables were the cats and dogs. Funny, we have three dogs in the house, so we just drove for 40 minutes to spend time with three other dogs!
Our daughter is absolutely fascinated with cats. I’m not sure why? So, she wanted to spend time with the kittens all the time. However, bottle feeding the sheep was extremely amusing, at lest for my wife, but our son just legged it.
We then spent 20 minutes feeding a wide range of birds. The kids were not overly impressed with these feathered creatures, especially not the pigeons, as they circled and enclosed the kids as they were holding the bread. Suddenly my son stood still. He was staring at something. I looked. A white pigeon was sitting on the fence inches from his face staring at the bread he was holding. Like speed of lightning, the bird took off and grabbed the bread. The poor little dude got a fright and started to scream. All the other birds got even more frightened and they all flew off. Feathers were dropping like snow all around my son. I leaped to his rescue. I know how vicious birds can be after watching Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds”. It’s a true story, you know.
Then it was time for lunch. Lunch was spent in the cafeteria. We had brought our own lunch boxes but we were forced to eat them indoors due to the lashing rain.
As we left the warm room, venturing into the wild again, I noticed my son was somewhat uncomfortable. Despite of that he was eager to visit the goats again. He’s not 100% reliable in regards to toilet visits, so I decided to double check. I opened the back of his pants quickly and accidentally got my thumb covered in pooh – his pooh! Darn it. The next 10 minutes the entire family spent in a small cubicle. We were trying to get him undressed, cleaned and re-dressed. Pooh was dripping on my shoes and fingers, toilet seat, walls and sink. This was bad. Thankfully we had changing clothes.
Please remember, we had a 40 minute drive back to the house. It was raining, so the windows had to be shut all the way. It’s definitely not ideal driving conditions, considering we had a bag of full of clothes that were covered with pooh. The drive home was long. The stench from our shoes and the fuming bag in the boot was too much. I had to get some air. My face and right arm were soaked as I attempted to breathe fresh air while driving. Finally we arrived home and we all jumped out of the car gasping for air.
In spite of our accident and long drive home, we had loads of fun. The kids thought it was brilliant being able to pet all these animals. It’s nice after all to get out of the house, even if it rains.