Home ~ A Year On

Coming back home the other night, I was met at the front door by the first opening bud on our rambling rose bush, winding upwards and standing tall. It reminded me so much of seeing it emerge this time last year – when we had only been in our new home a few weeks, everything still felt very strange and new, and we were just at the very beginning of settling in. I had been waiting to see what colour the roses would turn out to be when the buds opened, and I remember loving the vibrancy of them when they did.

Seeing them at the same stage again just transported me back and it’s strange to remember how different everything was then. When we moved in I worried I’d never love it like our last little house we’d been in so long – and yet in the one short year we’ve lived here it has been so poured full of memories and family life that it feels like we’ve been here forever.

We’ve had our first summer; watched the rowan berries appear – and the delighted starlings “disappear” them as quickly as they did; the autumn colours creep in, with the busyness of harvesting going on in the fields all around; our first Christmas, lights twinkling in the windows; an extra-long winter with history-making snowdrifts and village efforts to get dug out during the “Beast from the East”; a long-awaited spring, white and yellow daffodils lining the fence… and are now back in the season of days in the garden feeling the warmth of the sun.

Home in all its seasons

I remember the first time I watched the sun rise over the town in the distance – up early for a flight for work and needing to leave for the airport, but not wanting to look away for a moment.

Now, I’m so used to the view, watching the sheep graze outside the window and the windmill up on the hill whir and catch the fading light while we’re settling the little one down every night.

This year has been a whirlwind and there have been lots of changes as we’ve made our house our own. The utility room has become a totally practical space for laundry, storage and most of all our little rat boys – it’s the perfect home for them being so cool and set apart from the rest of the house but still accessed all the time, and they enjoy the coming and going so much. Upstairs, it’s been lovely to transform the spare room (briefly host to an air bed and a grand total of two overnight guests) into a bedroom for our daughter, enjoying decorating and adding new little bits and pieces all the time. There’s been a flurry of activity in the garden too since the weather improved, much-appreciated family team efforts to a build a shed and a fence to make it safest for when the era of toddling begins – and adding brightly coloured flower boxes, which caught Jasper’s attention on an early morning coffee in the garden before the rest of the house woke!

Life moves on at such a pace it’s hard to keep up with the passing of time, and I can’t believe it’s a year – and a good bit more now – since we arrived here. It is so lovely sometimes to pause and look back at the journey and appreciate it all – and catching sight of the bright pink of our roses once again gave me a jolt and a moment to do just that.. β™₯️🏑

Have a lovely week all xx


Three-Day Quote Challenge ~ Day 3

“‘If she’d just get rid of that cat I’d speak to her again!’ Ron said angrily. ‘But she’s still sticking up for it! It’s a maniac and she won’t hear a word against it!’ ‘Ah, well, people can be a bit stupid abou’ their pets,’ said Hagrid wisely. Behind him, Buckbeak spat a few ferret bones onto Hagrid’s pillow.” – JK Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’


Wasn’t sure what to come up with for day three of this challenge, but had a browse through lots of my favourite quotes and passages from books and found myself dipping back in to the wonderful world of Harry Potter – one I love so much. This little extract is full of JK Rowling’s trademark humour and sentiment – through friends talking cosily in Hagrid’s little home, with warmth and understanding, it casts a light on Hagrid’s, Ron’s and Hermione’s unwavering devotion to their animals (a sometimes interesting mix!) through thick and thin. It’s a lovely tribute to the love of pets – and coming from the book this blog’s name is borrowed from, seemed very fitting. β™₯️

Thanks again Ava for nominating, I’ve had good fun taking part!

Have a lovely day all. Xx


Three-Day Quote Challenge ~ Day 2

“A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where life’s true priorities are clear. When you take a step back, it’s not just about horses – it’s about love, life and learning.” – Lauren Davis Barker

Today’s quote is one I love for its touching on the peaceful and beautiful “sanctuary” a life with horses brings. Standing quietly in the barn – with just the crunching of hay, the rustling of straw and the occasional snort or whicker, set so far apart from the world outside – is one of my very favourite places to be. β™₯️

Have a good day all. X


Three-Day Quote Challenge ~ Day 1

Thank you very much indeed to Ava at Vegan Cooking and More for nominating me for the Three-Day Quote Challenge – sorry it’s taken me a while to take it up but glad to take part!

Day 1: “It’s a human need to be told stories.. we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from and what might be possible.”

– The wonderfully talented bringer-to-life of so many stories, Alan Rickman

Have a lovely Sunday all. Xx


Pony love – the little heroes restoring the Fells, and all our cheeky companions πŸ’™πŸ΄

I have always loved ponies of all shapes and sizes. It often seems that, for a lifetime now, I have been shaking my head fondly – hands on hips – at example after example of the irrepressible character of ponies that knows no bounds. A swiped mouthful of hay here, a ripped rug there, a pinched sandwich, a stable toy planned to keep boredom at bay for the winter worked out within seconds… Ponies’ intelligence, their resilience and their spirit are second to none and throughout my life with my own boy I’ve become very well acquainted with that unique streak of stubbornness, mischief and loyalty.


I really enjoy learning more about Charmer’s breed in particular and following other Fell ponies – easily done as I’m by no means alone in my love for them. The Queen herself has a soft spot for them and chooses them for her riding horses. At 92 years old she is still spotted hacking out her pony Cartonlima Emma regularly – a high-profile testament to Fells’ reliability and temperament.

Cartonlima Emma – Bob Langrish

I like to keep up with my boy’s own breed lines too, tracing his ancestry through the Fell Pony Society and following his family – to my amazement learning that several of his half brothers and sisters do very well on the showing circuit, his half-brother in fact champion at the Horse of the Year Show the last 3 years running.

Horse & Hound

It’s absolutely amazing to see and I love to watch them excel while enjoying life at home with their scruffball brother, as defined by his big character as he is his donkey-like ears, shaggy mane and jaunty trot. ❀


Most of all, though, I just love to see ponies being ponies, living as natural a life as is possible, their hardiness another of their admirable traits. I try to create this in miniature for Charmer as much as possible, letting him live out with his fieldmates when he can and enjoy ambles through the woods; but there is nothing like seeing it on its biggest, truest scale. A blog I absolutely love to follow is Mitch McFarlane Photography, documenting journeys to find and photograph British native ponies in the wild – from the Shetland isles to the Dales to Exmoor – and giving a beautiful insight into ponies at peace in their own little worlds.. β™₯️

I would love to visit some of these places myself and have the chance to observe these amazing animals in the wild – starting in Cumbria to get back to Charmer’s roots. Recently, Fell ponies have been making headlines as part of the “Fix the Fells” project, carrying equipment up the hills to restore popular footpaths and keep trails open.

It’s amazing to see these incredible animals doing what they were born to do, so ably finding their path and carrying loads.

Back home, I’m sure my boy would argue that he contributes to society in his own way, entertaining walkers along the coastal path, keeping the grass under control in his field and enjoying a little downtime too…

…Still, we stand in awe of those ponies contributing to such a huge project and harnessing their heritage in their task; and all the beautiful ponies around the country and world flying the flag for our lovely native breeds in so many different ways.

Happy Friday all and have a lovely weekend. X