Down on the farm
As I was preparing to bring the children to England for their summer holidays, DS piped up, “Will we be going to a farm?” Beyond having had a fleeting fantasy about staying on a working farm in rural France (“Um, why?” asked DH), I hadn’t thought about it, to be honest.
But DS patiently explained that he’d spent the summer term learning about farms at school and never actually been to one. So could we please go and see the sheep and the cows?
It’s not that I’m an errant mother – there just aren’t farms of that type available for kids to roam about on in Dubai. We have a couple of dairy farms out towards Al Ain, but the only type of farm we actually tend to see is the camel farm. No cows, no sheep, no chickens and certainly no pigs.
So I set about looking for a working farm to which I could take the children and came up with this one. We bought our bags of animal feed and wandered around feeding the sheep, goats, horses, pigs, donkeys and chickens. DD squealed in horror at their sludgy tongues; DS was in his element as the sheep nuzzled his hand and baa-ed for more.
Then the children drove mini quad bikes; went on a tractor ride; rode donkeys; ate a picnic lunch; explored the way Kentish oasters would have lived; attended a vintage car rally; tore around an adventure playground; held guinea pigs, a rabbit and a baby chicken; and finally wore themselves out in a play barn, while I drank a well-deserved half pint of something cold.
“What was the best bit of the day?” I asked them on the way home.
“The baby chick,” said DS, referring to a tiny yellow duckling we’d seen in a pond by the car park.
“My cheese sandwich,” said DD.
I know what to do next time, kids!