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Simply Whitstable - Natives Abroad
Life on a Smallholding in Staffs
by Richard & Jennifer Perks

I was born and brought up in Whitstable.  I grew up around the harbour and West Beach, where we had a beach hut, and later was involved with the local Leo and Lions Clubs. 

After working for Amphenol for 11 years, I moved away in 1987 to follow my career.  I have now been in Staffordshire, with my wife Jennifer, since 1996.  We live on our smallholding near Eccleshall, a delightful small market town of about 5000 people.  



If I canít live near the sea, then this has to be the next best place.  We are surrounded by rolling open country, have views for over 30 miles and we are away from the hustle and bustle urban life.

Whilst we donít run the smallholding commercially, we usually have some sheep or cattle around and keep chickens, peafowl and rheas.  



Rheas are part of the ostrich family but smaller and easier to handle.  They are quite unusual and generate plenty of interest locally Ė they are about five feet tall and have a wingspan up to about eight feet.  The females  started laying eggs (1.5lbs each!) in 2008 ...



We hope to start breeding from our group of five adults in 2009.

I still keep a boat even though itís difficult to be further from the sea and regularly trail it around the UK in pursuit of the boating pleasure that I was brought up on as a child.



Whilst I get back to visit three or four times per year it all to easy to loose touch with old friends and colleagues so it would be great to hear from anyone who remembers me.

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