I'm a fan of The Archers, so I know a group of beaters when I come across them on a footpath, and this happened yesterday. Following a route around one of Northamptonshire's many Big Houses that took us into some lovely hidden villages, Mr T and I came upon a group of people who greeted us with a hearty 'Happy New Year' and reassurance that we would be quite safe on our walk because the guns would be pointing the other way. Always good to know.
I love walking in the countryside, but I wouldn't like to live there. I need to be able to pop out for a pint of milk (or beer, come to that) without having to get out the Landy. I also enjoy having street lights, proper drains and reliable broadband. Then there's the animals. I'm not frightened of them, but I'm not over keen. I was holding forth on this when we rounded a corner and were confronted with the scene in the above photo. Not for me, thank you.
We had a bit of a Chuckle Brothers moment with some sheep, too. We walked through a really wide field where there was a small flock of sheep at either end. As we set off, both groups walked towards the middle and it looked for all the world as though they were changing ends at half-time in some woolly team game. However, they all turned to follow us towards the gate, clearly expecting something that we were not equipped to provide. We laughed nervously. Like I said, not frightened, but certainly glad to reach the boundary and put a sturdy barrier between them and us.
I'm such a townie.