It's spring again and the wildlife and I can relax for a while and live in peace. No more hunting til autumn means no more worrying about whether my animals will be scared or hurt and no need to will the foxes to come and hide here.
I have spent all my life sitting on the country sports fence. Having been involved with horses as a child and teenager, I managed to avoid going hunting myself though my pony was taken by a friend a couple of times. I've always been an animal lover and couldn't see the fun in it but I've always been surrounded by people who do. And as a fickle youngster I managed to think nothing of going to hunt balls, (probably because the most handsome boys were to be found there - the rich have an annoying habit of being beautiful).
I once went fishing with a boyfriend - a beautiful spot and almost a nice way to spend a day. The moment when I first felt a tug on the line was quite exciting even for a split second, but then I immediately felt awful about yanking the poor thing out of its watery world, a barbed hook in the roof of its mouth. Ouch.
For several years I worked as a PA to the owner of a large country estate where one of my duties was to help organise shooting parties. I don't like the idea of shooting wild birds for fun but it's another one of those traditional country sports that amuses the county set over the winter. They're a funny lot... I should know, I married one of them.
Thankfully William had long given up shooting when I met him and had also decided a long time ago he was never getting on a horse again. He's also a zooologist by training so whilst he doesn't love animals like I do, he has some sort of interest in them. He stopped shooting when he was a student realising the idiocy of shooting wild ducks one weekend and counting them for a survey the next.
And so we sit here in our nice little place, both country people but with different backgrounds and experiences and we're surrounded by other country people with their own views and desires. Whatever happens nearby Brook Farm is, I hope, a haven for wildlife and therefore a quiet, peaceful place to stay. We like it like that and our guests like it like that.
'Harm None' is my motto - 'Live and Let Live' is William's!