Louisa has now stopped work and we won’t be needed for Wednesdays to look after Tove and Harper. But that means she can join us on Happy Mondays and on this one we all go to Hayes Hill Farm near the River Lee Conservation area.
This was the farm that belonged to Sheila’s grandfather’s family and is adjacent to Holyfield farm where her father was born and near Woodside which was her grandparent’s home when they were older and running the nursery. Her grandpa Green was one of 9 boys and so there were at least 11 people living on the farm at some time. The Greens and Ellises, between them, owned and farmed most of the land north of Waltham Abbey from Fisher’s Green to Upshire.
As we wandered around amongst the animals I noticed a guinea pig licking something black and wet and shiny between her legs. She was having a baby! At first the others didn’t believe me but it was soon self-evidently true as she started chewing at the cord. Everyone got excited and Sheila blurted out that sometimes the mothers eat their young. This observation went unnoticed by all the kids except Esme! Oooops!
When we told the keepers they got excited as well and said I could name the baby (which later turned out to be one of four) and, of course, there was no difficulty in coming up with a name. Oddly, one of the keepers was a young Austrian who said he had attended the Sir Karl Popper school at home.