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From Lady Sara Apsley March 1 2002

Below is something that I feel is slightly appropriate this morning for you all to read - and I hope you do read the story following my letter - it is so wise!!

To those who came and supported out petition presentation yesterday, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to turn up on a windy and slightly cold - albeit sunny! - February day.

The funeral procession was very moving for many and I thought the horses and accompanying gentleman looked magnificent - if any of you are interested, the funeral directors are called T. Cribbs & Sons and they are based in Bekton, East London. It has been a privilege and pleasure to have worked with them, they could not have been more helpful, or keen to be involved and their gentlemanly behaviour throughout was a credit to us all.

The petition was presented in Parliament last night on the dot of 7pm - one of the wonders of Sky television, I was able to watch it! Very odd to see a culmination of 6 months work being delivered in Parliament - even though there were only about 7 MP's there at the time!!

The ensuing media coverage has been disappointing to say the least, although the local press and television in this area have, as always been marvellous. I have heard from a reliable source that the hunting question was raised on Wednesday night on purpose, not only to take the heat of Byers, but also to bury our petition in the media spotlight on the hunting bill - oh well - we tried out best - but it is sad that the government are so frightened of the FMD Public Inquiry route, that they have to attack another aspect of country living to undermine the cause.

To those who were unable to come, but sent messages of support - again, my deep thanks - for your interest - we know you were there in spirit. I'm sorry you were unable to hear the bagpipes going round Parliament Square with the beautiful horse drawn hearse - very moving indeed!!

To those who collected signatures - you were amazing and the 250,000 could not have been placed behind the Speakers chair without your tremendous efforts and support.

Onwards and forwards - we fight on!

Best wishes,

(an extremely tired),

Sara Apsley

Shake It Off

Each of us needs to take the example of this donkey into our lives and don't let our trials bring us down.

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.

At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off! Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt.

The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up.

Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, And by never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up!

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

People may forget what you said. People may forget what you did, but People will never forget how you made them feel. Someone sent this to me to think over so I am forwarding it to you to do the same. Enjoy Your Week and SHAKE IT OFF