Watching Scout Smith’s pet lambs crowd around her recently reminded me of how lucky I was to grow up with a menagerie of animals
— just like Scout has. I was responsible for bringing home many pets over the years. From the tabby kittens abandoned at the local vet to the just-hatched bantam chicks I would keep warm on a cold night under a lamp on my desk before putting them back under their mother, I seem to have a talent for fifinding animals to this day, which my mother will attest to. (She still has two dogs, the puppies of Rouge, my Jack Russell, and, as I write this, is probably out now walking them in an effort to tire them out!) Like Scout, I also had a grey pony and used to spend every waking minute with him, so I completely understand why Virgina Steed wanted a similar childhood for her 12-year-old — which they have found on their lovely New Zealand property that I visited for our New Zealand special on page 34. When people ask me about how we create our stories, I always say how important it is for our team to spend time on the road, out in the country. One annual trip I always look forward to is Orange FOOD Week, and it’s a drive I know better than most after also living for a year in Bathurst. Speaking to the farmers at our Producers’ Lunch, I was reminded of just how resilient and positive they all are in the face of any adversity, be it a drought or a drop in market prices. It’s something we should never forget.