by Christopher ICha,
DECEMBER 1, 2017
THE NATURAL CHILDHOOD TRIP TO PADDINGTON FARM, near the town of Glastonbury came at just the right time for me and my daughter, who I refer to affectionately to as: BlakMadge™ [long story].
I needed to de-stress and get away from my hectic technology-heavy existence, and she needed to experience the great outdoors, and get to grips with a world where real animals weren’t; cartoon, bug-eye’d, pink, or spoke English with an American accent. As far as I could see, taking this trip was gonna be win-win.
For some reason, I thought Paddington Farm was going to be a short journey; fifteen or twenty minutes max! This might have had something to do with the fact that we were travelling from it’s name-sake: Paddington Station, not be confused with Paddington Bear. Ms. Elisa, the trip organiser, who runs Sankofa to Nature, fb group, didn’t tell me that the farm was actually located a bazillion miles away, somewhere on the other side of the Gamma Quadrant, in a galaxy far far away, and that we would be strapped-in, wearing spacesuits, and travelling for what seemed like an eternity…
What I thought was going to be a fifteen-minute-jaunt, turned into a trip taking THREE WHOLE HOURS out of my life! Woy! Three hours might not seem like much to some people, but as a person who works for self from home, JetBlakInk™, my idea of travelling, is going from the bed room, to my work-room, the Skylab downstairs.
My daughter and I, along with a group of other families who we subsequently joined up with at Paddington train Station, finally reached Glastonbury, tired and beat up from the loooong, hard train journey over the hills and gullies of the South West peninsula. Actually, it was quite beautiful, and I spent most of the train and bus-ride taking pictures out the window to pass the time.
Then, we embarked on a loooong walk, which was about a country mile, wearily dragging our wheelie-trollies and hand luggage up an old steep, narrow, one-track lane [thank god it weren’t cobblestones]. This turned out to be the only way in, and the only way out of the middle-of-nowhere; which is what the signpost should have said, and is the best way I can think of to describe the location of Paddington Farm.
All of this extra-greenery spelt “Adventure” to the children. Their excited bright faces, and the unmistakeable raised pitched tones of happiness, was laid bare for all to see in the quickness of their pace up that steep narrow-gauge lane. This was a world waiting to be explored, and some of us old-timers, me included, was slowing the progress because we couldn’t keep up.
Ironically, just as this was the moment the children began to bond with each other in their excitement, this was also where I began to bond with some of the other parents, who were also showing similar such signs of age, tiredness, and depleted energy. I asked one mum if she needed help with her pushchair; she smiled a beautiful smile and nodded. By offering to help with a pushchair, man may initially appear chivalrous, in reality, sometimes man just needed something to lean on! You gets me though?… [Win-Win methinks!]