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I had an alarming experience today. I was transported back in time half a century. Yes, half a century. That’s half a whole lump of history, a lot of which has already been dissected by Simon Schama and Hollywood on telly. A class of eight year olds came for a school visit, to learn about bio-diversity. As they formed a crocodile and were made to hold hands with someone they hated to walk down the green lanes being lectured at by a wrinkly old git (me) about hedgerow life, wild flowers and grasshoppers, I remembered 1954 (OK, so more than half a century) and a similar event.

The other scary bit was to discover that I am married to a natural teacher. Sarah is brisk, cheerful, has a fistful of notes, can answer any question thrown at her (including ‘how did you kill your pigs? Did you stab them?’), and has a first aid kit, a pond dipping net, a two bug catchers in her bag, as well as having perfected a speech on biodiversity that’s taken me 20 years to do badly. So I feel old and I’ve not done my homework properly.

Actually, I’m also really lucky. I’m the only one allowed to ogle Sarah’s bum and get away with it, and I have to say, she looks a killer in khaki shorts and T shirt. The kind of teacher one fell in love with 54 years ago.

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