May the wind be always at your back

Wednesday 30th June 2021

Little Barrington to Notgrove

A friend sent this to me first thing this morning:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Having walked Nelson by the Windrush we harnessed the boys, packed up and were ready to go. We had a lovely time with Sophie and James Bainbridge and their daughter Izzie who works in a saddlery.

We set off along the Windrush Valley – through the village of Windrush and Sherborne – people stopped and wished us luck and many generously put some money in our pots. We passed a beautiful poppy field and spent some time with Oscar trying to get a photo of the donkeys with the poppies in the background. We subsequently met the farmer who owns that field and had a chat to him. Muir Parker from North Moreton is our volunteer helper for the next few days and we met him outside the village shop in Sherborne where he bought our lunch. Lunch was planned on the Green at Farmington but as the grass had recently been cut, we were worried that the boys would get colic if we let them loose on that so we tied them to a nearby gate and sat down to a lovely lunch. Just as we were finishing lunch my phone goes and it was Harry Acland from Notgrove Holidays – one of our main sponsors and where we were staying the night. He saidhe would cycle down to the main road (the Foss Way) and help us get across. So we hurriedly packed up the picnic and set off once more. After crossing the road, Harry cycled past 'its not far!' he said 'only up a hill and down a hill' - little did we realise how long and steep both the up and down hills were. The boys were quite tired and unwilling to go up the steep hill. With a lot of coaxing and bribery we finally arrived at Notgrove. We went down to the Nuttery where a whole lot of people were waiting to see us. One lady came up and said 'I have four donkeys and I also have MS'!! We finally got to Harry and Diana's and unharnessed the donkeys and did their hooves and settled them in a beautifully prepared stable. We then sat on the patio and had tea and cup cakes and lots of chats. We also had a delicious supper which Diana, Bella (Harry and Diana's daughter) and Harry all helped prepare. We had a perfect evening and Bella wanted to meet Wizard and Muffin, so we took her down to the stable with some carrots and all made a fuss of my very clever 'boys'!

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