Brooks Farm – 23/01/15


You may not have noticed but it’s blimming cold today. I’m cold right now.  I may have to persuade Eva to come and give me a hug to warm up, but that’s going to be a tough job, given she’s busy attending to her own babies. They grow up so fast.

So naturally, today was the day to do something outdoorsy. A city farm, to be exact. Brooks Farm in Leyton has recently reopened after a refit and they are now running toddler sessions on a Tuesday and a Friday morning at 10. You pay £1.50 at the cafe, go to the classroom for a bit and then go out to feed the animals their breakfast. So, we had a little time to warm up before the outdoor bit and the sun was out anyway, which gave the illusion of it being above zero degrees, The two pairs of socks and furry boots also helped.

The play session at the start was fun – there were puzzles, toys and play tunnels out and it’s in an enclosed space so I got to chat to my friends a bit while Eva pottered about. There’s also that all-important toilet. Let’s not dwell on the potty training progress. I slightly regretted not buying a coffee when I bought my ticket, but I’m never 100% sure on the whole eating-and-drinking on farms thing. I guess it’s OK if you don’t have your hand in a goat’s mouth at the same time. And yes, that did happen later.


After half an hour or so, we gathered to sing a few verses of “Old McDonald”, along with glove puppets and then went to feed the lambs. Eva was one of the first to the hay bales and so got pounced on by three excitable lambs at the same time. I don’t know why I thought lambs would be meek and gentle…they’re just woolly puppies really. Anyway, she got to give the lamb its bottle, which she is now recreating with the aforementioned babies and some “soil milk”. Such a Jewish mother.


Next up were the rabbits. We got to stroke a ridiculously soft one called Ronnie, who was a lot more placid than his Kray namesake. I guess nature really didn’t make him that way. We filled the rabbits’ food trays up, petted them and then moved onto the goats, who gobbled up handfuls of pellets from both me and Eva. Contrary to popular belief (Reuben’s), they didn’t also try to eat our clothes. Then we saw the  ducks on their iced-up pond, the ponies and a cow that Eva insightfully declared was “not real”. Oh, and there was a rogue peacock too:

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It was a lovely farm and, if it had been a bit warmer, I think we would have lingered. We didn’t even try the icy climbing frames of Skelton Lane Park, but it looked like there was an exciting wooden adventure playground there. One for the summer, I feel. But the play-and-feeding session is a grand morning out all year round. Just wrap up warm.

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