Last week Joe thoroughly enjoyed being outside. The moment he arrived in from being at Little Gate Farm all day he wanted to be in the garden. 
Joe’s ‘go-to’ activity is always watering plants. The only problem with this is that Joe is not able to distinguish when the ‘lucky’ plants have received an appropriate amount of water. If Joe was left to his own devices he would leave my flower bed looking like a bog. However he would be thrilled because he had helped me…
On Wednesday, my wife asked me what I wanted to do at the weekend with Joe. I had become jealous when hearing about Joe’s stories from the farm (not from Joe’s mouth I should add) so I wanted to do something outdoors.
We decided to go to the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood, Kent.
On first inspection this venue seemed to bring two superb ideas together; farming and beer.

There were a few animals and the beer was sporadic so my initial thoughts were wrong. 
Joe, however, loved his day. If you had tagged along with us you would have heard Joe moan for the vast majority of the day though. However that was simply Joe’s anxiety and frustration when he found out he was not going to be able to push Oliver around all day.
It is quite common for Joe to believe he is unable to do something. When this happens he simply says “no” or moans so you leave him alone. He never does this in an unpleasant way, he just avoids any circumstance that might lead to his ‘failure’.
If there is one thing I would like Joe to learn from me it is that everything is worth giving a go…well most things.
When we arrived at the Hop Farm, Joe unwittingly found himself in a stable with a rescue pony and a brush in his hand. This rescue pony had been treated appallingly in his past life and had been found abandoned. The pony was quite understandably nervous around people. 
Joe seemed to have a special way with the pony.
Joe’s lightness of touch, smile and careful whisper put the pony at ease. Joe was able to groom the pony for ten minutes and enjoyed talking to him. 
Both the pony and Joe were utterly relaxed together. 
At the beginning of the grooming session, Joe was scared and did not want to go near the pony. He faced his fear and proved to himself that being brave is sometimes the right thing to do. 
I was very jealous of Joe and walked towards the pony to get a slice of the action. 
The pony was not keen…it moved quickly away from me.Joe’s response was “Oh James, never mind!”. 
Thanks Joe.


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