Open Afternoon

On the 18th March, 2018 we hosted an Open Afternoon to celebrate the completion of our beautiful Straw Bothy it was to include a charity dog walk in aid of Margaret Green Animal Rescue.

We worked hard all week; cleaning, baking, polishing, advertising, gardening and generally rallying round... but then disaster struck!

Having survived the 'Beast from the East' only two weeks previously, we were sure that little Dorset wouldn't see anymore snow or ice, but how wrong we were! Blithely ignoring the Amber weather warning and ploughing ahead with our plans, we had no

idea that on the night of March 17th we would have 5 inches of thick, powdery snow dumped on our heads.

Needless to say, at 8am on Sunday 18th we call a family meeting to decide whether or not to go ahead with our Open Afternoon. We 'ummm'ed and 'ahhh'ed and finally came to the conclusion that the dog walk was definitely not going to happen, especially not as the weather was coming in horizontally and you could barely see two metres in front of your face. However, we looked around at the piles of baked goods and thought about all the hard work that we had put into making the afternoon perfect, so we decided to light up the fires, boil the kettle and see what happened.

As the roads hadn't been gritted (or ploughed in places) we strongly discouraged people to drive, but our local community is extremely strong so we opened our doors (before quickly shutting them to keep the heat in) to the brave villagers who wrapped themselves up against the elements and trudged through fields to reach us.

We were astounded by the number of people that arrived! Families from all over the village appeared through the snow, some accompanied by faithful hounds, others by snow-covered children. It didn't take long for our little Bothy to be bursting at the seams as people piled in, making bee-lines for the roaring fire and hot drinks.

Children ran in, grabbed a slice of cake and a hot chocolate, before charging back outside for yet another snowball fight with their friends.

It was amazing to see everybody having so much fun! Even some adults slipped into a snow-induced delirium and began launching snowballs at their family, most with instant regret as a volley of missiles returned fire.

Two hours and an estimated 50 people later, we ran out of hot water, tea, hot chocolate and cake. The Villagers had played their part beautifully, christening the Bothy with hoots of laughter and indulging in life's little luxuries.

We must thank our wonderful village with all our hearts. It is the most supportive community we could possibly be part of, and we are so honoured to be a part of it.

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Bittles Brook Farm,

Motcombe, Dorset


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