Where sheep may safely graze

// 15 March 2008

True confession? I’m one of those annoying people who wake early, even on a weekend.

Another true confession? I listen to Radio 4 a lot. I live on my own and it’s company.

So, last Saturday morning, I was semi-snoozing while my coffee cooled and Open Country murmured quietly. As a displaced countryside dweller, I quite like to hear programmes like this about the rustic life. Last week they interviewed Louise Amos, who is the Ashdown Forest Shepherd. In my past life, I lived in Sussex near Ashdown Forest and it was a wonderful place to wander around and get lost in, all on the pretext of exercising the dog. Never saw Winnie The Pooh, though…

But it was a pleasure to hear about Louise’s work and I was particularly struck by a passing remark of hers. When the presenter asked what exactly she did all day, she replied to the effect that, ‘if the sheep wander off, I’ll follow them, and I chat to the other two shepherdesses I know, and I have a Blackberry so I can update my blog…’

And I thought, what a great life! She’s independent, largely autonomous, has a job she clearly loves which gives her fresh air and exercise, gets to do fun techie stuff and lives in a beautiful part of Britain.

Envious, me? Not much…

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