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It's fun but it's not the zoo

PUBLISHED: 07:16 11 May 2018

The views from the top of Martham Church were worth the climb, but no animals here either. Picture submitted

The views from the top of Martham Church were worth the climb, but no animals here either. Picture submitted

Archant

One day we will see the sea lions, promises Jo Malone

Thalia was delighted to have a baby owl to stroke, but it wasn't Banham Zoo. Picture submittedThalia was delighted to have a baby owl to stroke, but it wasn't Banham Zoo. Picture submitted

We were planning to go to Banham Zoo to see the new sea lions, new baby camel Sopwith and renew the debate about whether the meercats or prairie dogs were cuter,

Animal-adorer Thalia was very excited and Keola, who doesn’t seem to see the point of animals, was just happy we were having a family day out.

Gorgeous-man Rob and I knew that if we stayed at home on our rare day with no work and no gymnastics, swimming or ballet he’d end up tinkering with what one day will be his track day car and I’d attempt to clear the allotment of nettles and plant out the sunflowers which should have been planted ages ago.

The girls would want to go on bike rides, have water fights, need a hand building camps and fall in the nettles a lot and I’d feel bad Rob and I were being busy again.

The unicorn and scarecrow was one of the favourites when a  family day out took us to Martham Scarecrow Festival. Picture: submitted.The unicorn and scarecrow was one of the favourites when a family day out took us to Martham Scarecrow Festival. Picture: submitted.

Banham Zoo it was, until I mentioned to Rob it was Martham Scarecrow Festival – which we’d all loved last year. As Banham Zoo is open year round, we changed the plan – but I don’t think Thalia got the memo.

Martham was covered, pretty much, in wool. The Scarecrow Festival had scarecrows, plus endless pompoms and knitted everything; bunting, pom poms, blankets, flowers, dolls, animals, birds, children, a caravan pretty much smothered in wool and I’m sure I saw a knitted canoe.

We wandered the stalls and displays, Thalia held an owl and stroked a snake, we all climbed the church tower, ate cake and ice cream and walked miles hunting scarecrows.

Thalia was convinced we were walking to Banham Zoo. “When can we see the sea lions?” she kept asking, refusing to understand that we’d changed plans. She peered over every garden fence as if penguins or monkeys might be hiding behind a knitted blanket. Each time we had to explain we weren’t anywhere near the zoo and distract her, a lot.

A beekeeping scarecrow at the Martham Scarecrow Festival. Picture submittedA beekeeping scarecrow at the Martham Scarecrow Festival. Picture submitted

Luckily there were about as many table top and garage sales in Martham as scarecrows, so there was plenty of distraction. And fortunately Keola didn’t seem to see the look on people’s faces as she spent ages picking up this and that – then telling sellers ‘Mum says I can’t buy anything as we’ve got enough clutter’.

It was a proper family day out and we thought Thalia had forgiven us for postponing a day of animals.

We got home, Rob lit the bbq, started looking at his car and I started thinking about the sunflowers.

“Now are we going to Banham Zoo?” asks Thalia, expectantly.

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