Happy Easter from us all…

Been enjoying a lovely long Easter weekend here, with very much a mix of weather but plenty of sunshine mixed in between rain, hailstones and whipping wind and today particularly been enjoying a quiet Easter Sunday at the farm with the pony and back at home…


The boys enjoying the lazy day…

… And their own version of Easter eggs, egg biscuits which went down a treat!


This picture in particular seems to sum up our food-loving Harvey.. Nothing left but crumbs!



Finally with a sleepy hello from Rosie-hamster, a very happy Easter to all. X

“Help – I’ve found a hedgehog” – reblogged from littlesilverhedgehog 

We are so blessed to have some hedgehogs in our garden and the surrounding area and love to sit out at night to see them emerge in the summertime – saw this wonderful post this morning on how best to help them if you come across them in daytime or if they are in any difficulty – re-blogged from littlesilverhedgehog.wordpress.com

“Hedgehogs are nocturnal and should not be out in the day. A hedgehog out in the day is in urgent need of rescue. Hedgehogs never sunbathe. Don’t delay, the faster you act, the greater the chance of saving the hedgehog. […]”

https://littlesilverhedgehog.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/help-ive-found-a-hedgehog/

Those March Days 

This weekend brought with it the official start of spring, and after a winter more full of mud and rain in our little neck of the woods than enchanting frozen lakes and snowdrifts, a change in the weather – usually one I meet with mixed feelings, loving so much the cosiness and wrapped-up loveliness of winter days as well as the first warming rays of sun – was more than welcome.

Saturday dawned with light filtering in the curtains and found me out for my first run of 2016, followed closely by a late morning hack on a happy Charmer, out with our friends clopping along country lanes, watching the sun sparkle on the sea, deer graze in their usual field; and enjoying a full pelt canter for home, the boys snorting as dust flew out behind them.

Back at the farm, it is such a relief to see the fields dry up and to walk freely and happily across the ground, waterproof trousers retired for another year.

Sunday was due to be the “first day of Spring” and as I stepped out the back with my morning coffee, my first daffodil was open to greet me.

She was alone in the morning but followed closely along by the end of the day by several more, turning up right on cue as though they’d planned it.

Spent some time spring cleaning on Sunday afternoon – including a spruce up for the boys and Rosie in their cages, the boys, as ever, excited by the new arrangement to explore while Rosie, as ever, infuriated by the insult to her organising system that is a cage clean-out!

The last few days have been dominated mainly by sunshine, and the world seems to have awakened to it – the garden full of bumble bees and butterflies and the garden birds singing happily.

On Sunday night we took a walk along the beach just as night fell, walking among the sandcastles, love hearts and initials in the sand that belied a busy day here, now so quiet as the light faded and a coolness still lingered in the air.

This beautiful phrase is never more true than in the first days of Spring-time, when summer wrestles the world free of winter’s grip and everything around us brightens in fits and starts.

The days are tumultuous but so beautiful in all their stages and moments, and it is wonderful to find so many chances to turn our faces to the sun. I brought Charmer in last night in 8pm darkness, winter still with us in the shade, but put him out this morning in a field ablaze with summertime blues, running rabbits and new grass coming through. Enjoying so very much these first glimpses and looking forward to much to more to come.

Settling into the weekend…

The weekend is here again at last and we are so glad to see it here in our little house – driving home last night, working week done and pony already tucked up in his stable, stopped off for Friday night junk food for all the family back home!


After an easy night in, woke this morning to a breezy, warm grey March day, the rats lazing happily in their bed (and Rosie so tucked up couldn’t even grab a photo of her, burrowed deep in her little box happily ensconced in bedding).

Looking out as I waited for the kettle to boil, the sight of garden visitors greeted me: the male blackbird of our usual pair, digging and picking bits and pieces from the grass – maybe a sign that nesting season is once again just around the corner – and also a handsome pheasant settling himself in the garden and looking quite unperturbed as I joined them with my morning coffee.

  

Back inside, a few treats doled out to the waiting boys and second coffee of the day poured into a travel mug, made my way along to the farm where Charmer was waiting patiently after a night in filling up on hay and rolling around his treat ball, ready for breakfast, a walk and a day out in the field.


  

Wander done and home once more, I am glad of the peaceful and animal-filled start to the weekend, and looking forward to the rest of it stretching ahead. Have a good one all!

A quiet weekend at home with the pets 

Loved the chance to spend some quiet time this weekend at home having a relaxing couple of days, staying in and enjoying the down-time, with Harvey & Ty gambolling around the living room and Rosie pottering neatly around.

The sun shone for parts of the weekend too – in amongst everything from frost to rain to snow – and got Charmer out briefly for a little wander on Saturday morning before leaving him happily rolling in the field where he is now shedding the old winter coat at a very fast pace!

Saw our first daffodils open at the side of the road as we hacked along the track, the fields are continuing to dry up more every day, and little Rosie who always takes on a whiter hue in winter (being part Russian winter white) is looking darker and ready for the spring and summer months – a lovely first weekend in March, looking forward to a new season.


       
  

 

“A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world…”: The joys of time spent at the farm

My little world had spun towards the weekend and straight into it at top speed, and I had been on the go non-stop when I drew into the yard, jumped out of the car, grabbing my coffee flask, and made my familiar way across the yard to the stable block where my beautiful boy – tuned long ago to the sound of my engine and jangling keys – stood expectantly, toes lined up at the stable door.

Without fail, each time I step in there, reaching for the outstretched black nose straining to greet me – and wondering what treats I have brought him – I feel an almost imperceptible shift in pace, and find myself once more on “horse time”. We have joked about the strange phenomenon of how time stands still when at the yard many a time over the years as we’ve realised time and time again, gathered around watching the horses graze, leaning on brushes and sipping chipped mugs of hot chocolate, that whole afternoons have been lost – or that a 6pm visit has stretched til 8 with other halfs promised a 7ish return. It’s as though the concept of time means nothing here, the whole of everyday life can be pulsing at a high rate one minute but as the line is crossed into the yard the next it simply can’t be – as the bolt is slid back on the stable door and a fluffy chest moved deftly back to step inside, nuts fill a bucket and then give way to the steady crunching of a nose thrust into it, rhythmic and unrushed. There is no option of high speed here, no chance of multi-tasking. Things take as long as they take, one activity is done at a time and everything takes place at the easy pace of the animals around you.

There is no better therapy, no better escape from the busyness of life, than a few hours lost at the farm, and this weekend was no exception. Tacking up to head out riding for the first time in a while, we took things at an easy pace, but enjoyed every moment as we ambled along the country lanes in the warming late winter sunshine.


Back at the yard, breakfasting and mucking out, moving round each other with a familiar ease, Charmer and I took our time together, gathering ourselves up and heading out to the field. I spent a long time standing there, watching my fluffy pony grazing further down the field (winter coat beginning to come out now!!) and the sparkling sea behind him, sipping at my coffee and enjoying the complete tranquility.

  
  

Parting at last, finishing the sweeping out in the shady stable block and changing out of my farm boots once more, it had been three hours of outside-world time and the next part of the day was beginning. For that time though, in the moment – there had been nothing but the clop of hooves, the smell of haylage in the barn, the clang of the field gate and my boy’s snuffling nose looking for treats in my pockets.

A barn truly is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, utterly still, all about the horses – and yet somehow with the unique ability once it’s been left behind to bring the rest of the day into sharper focus too, make it easier to handle, and to approach with a strength and a philosophy gleaned from those hours of nothing and everything, where the present is all that matters.

Harvey and Ty Adventures 

This week has been another hectic one all in all and we’ve been coming and going in the house all week, trying to fit everything in and make sure the boys – and Rosie! – get plenty of time out and about when we’re in.

Rose is always such a darling, very independent and self sufficient but always delighted for a wee while out of an evening; but the  rats in particular are becoming very affectionate at the moment. They’ve been with us just over a year now, are around 14 months old and are really starting to relax into their characters now, having reached maturity (posted below as an aside a quick chart on this just in case anyone’s as interested as I am! – I came across it on Pinterest and don’t know who created it so can’t credit but I found it really fascinating – boys around 30ish now so makes perfect sense they’re growing up a little!!)

They are still big fans of their little club of two and of building dens behind the settee and taking toys and treats there to stash and play with, darting in and out dodging us in a very kitten-like manner; but more and more they will appear while out free-ranging on the settee beside one of us and often sit on a knee a while enjoying a bit of attention and human affection.

Poor Ty has had an abscess in the last couple of weeks – he took it all in his stride not seeming at all phased and all is sorted now but he was so good and so trusting while getting little extra bits of care – the boys have been making my days with their little personalities and their changing ways as they settle into no longer being the babies and enjoying our company.

Just a few wee pics from this week.. ☺️

Clearly boring Harvey…


Sleepy boys ❤️🐭💤


But now and then keener to come out for a wee adventure.. 😍


… And back to bed!