Many folk shudder with horror at the thought of country lanes so narrow and ill-used that grass grows down the centre, like a rural Mohican, with no passing places and high hedges either side. Well poor souls you would shudder even harder if you took my journey today which involved a subsidiary of one of those roads. I was heading for a farm near the ominously named village of Black Dog and a storm was brewing. It crossed my mind, as I rocked and rolled down this lane, that as it was almost Halloween perhaps I should have postponed my visit to a more salubrious date. As it happens I spent a wonderful morning in an enchanting ancient and modern orchard, met a lovely family and their three dogs (one black and white and only a little bit scary), two cats and two miniature ponies. I came home with a bag of apples and lots of new knowledge, and what is more I beat that storm.