The grass is greener on the other side (of the A40)…

Monday 28 June - Bampton to Swinbrook

Oscar was woken in the night by this dreadful noise! He leapt out of his sleeping bag and tent and went to see what was up. The 'boys' were rolling on the stones and dust on the stable floor! We had a marvellous barbecue at the Smith's last night and a comfortable night and breakfast with Eve and Christopher. The first problem was that the road out from Weald where the donkeys were staying was closed for roadworks. Rob Smith – was not daunted and went up in front of us and organised the workmen to move their barriers and to let us through! We arrived in Bampton at the Cake Element Bakery. There was our old friend Jean Roberts and we all had coffee – the owner of the cafe, Michelle came out and we took photos. Another lady came up and said that she was a friend of our friend Juliet Smith and was joining Juliet on our volunteer team further down the line – great coincidence!

We set off and the boys went really brilliantly all the way. People kept stopping and giving us money and now two out of the three collecting boxes are completely full! We stopped at a nursery school in Brize Norton and all the school children came out to see the donkeys – it was very sweet and they loved it. We had a picnic lunch on a big grass verge – it was Peter's birthday and Rachael had made him a yummy birthday cake with a sparkling candle. The next hurdle was the A40 which we had to cross, but it wasn't straight across it was left and then about 100 metres on the A40 before turning right. The team all donned yellow jackets and the whole A40 came to a grinding halt while our two donkeys marched sedately up the road to the turning. In the ensuing traffic jam our dear friend David Miles just happened to be driving past at that exact moment and the first we heard was a voice shouting 'Happy Birthday Peter' and it was David who stopped his car and came rushing down to see us! A delightful farmer John Walker and his wife Nicola and their two children Liam and Heidi showed us to the stable and we settled the boys in and went to the Swan at Swinbrook where we are staying.

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