I know the tourist officials in Brighton and Bournemouth were delighted by the glorious spring weather over the weekend, but it was also a great time to host a six year old’s birthday party. We seated the girls and boys on bales of hay in the back of an open trailer for a Sussex safari. We had a look at the Southdown lambs and explained how to differentiate them from other breeds by their woolly faces. We went past the pond and showed them the imposter Canada goose nesting on the island, which had scared off the resident white farmyard variety.
We inspected the fluffy Black East Indian ducklings being kept under a lamp for their own safety-the avian equivalent of taking them into care because of their ditzy mother’s poor maternal skills. We stroked the ponies and learnt the difference between a Shetland and a Welsh one, and everywhere we went, Shufti the Jack Russell wasn’t far behind.
I missed out the pile of white feathers, all that was left of a dove after a kestrel’s breakfast, and I couldn’t spot the swallow I had seen earlier in the week, but Rufus and his friends celebrated the budding, blooming, bursting spring by running around until exhaustion. As his tourist organisers, his parents were happy because the joyful marauders were kept outside.