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Catching up at The Suffolk Show

It has truly been an amazing - and privileged - year or so talking each month to our friends at Suffolk - BBC News about all things Peter Berry, the books and cycling.

As this time draws to a rather sad end, we were delighted to have May’s catch up LIVE at the Suffolk Show. Live is always better than...well, not live I suppose.

Having our interview at the Show was a fitting location because, as Peter wandered around, it brought back many memories for him. And for me, it was another glimpse into a world I never knew about: Peter’s working world, the world when he sat on these huge (and incredibly expensive) machines, where he climbed trees and where he ran a successful business.

As a Londoner with minimal interest in tractors (apart from to curse them when they block the M25 or to watch out for the Ipswich Town scores) I found myself being drawn into the rural/agricultural and, quintessentially, Suffolk life that the Show offered. I listened as Peter chatted to people he knew from his old world and I tried to imagine what life was like for him pre-dementia. I suppose I tried to step into Peter’s old shoes for a while inasmuch as this is ever truly possible. I really believe that a little bit of Suffolk found its way into my heart.

I am also happy to report that, when I spotted one young boy sporting an Arsenal shirt with “Odegaard” printed on the back both Peter and I simultaneously shouted “Gooner!”at him so I like to think a little bit of Croydon has impacted on Peter!

Thank you, Johnnie for being so generous with your time and, despite the howling gale that blew and cracked its cheeks around us, for bringing humour into the interview. You, Georgie and Lesley (plus a range of assorted Radio Suffolk folk with whom we have come into contact over the last couple of years) have done - and are still doing - an amazing job. You reach out to the whole of Suffolk and draw it together, warts and peculiarities and all, and it truly does feel like a family. I know that Peter and are sad to leave this very special family but, from my perspective, I certainly leave it enriched for the experience and a more confident person.

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