BLOGGING & AWARDS, Uncategorized

Back to blogging….

It’s been literally months since I last wrote… we were just edging into spring, watching the first daffodils open; and since then the busiest few months have tumbled by, leaving us with September just around the corner – the new start and fresh notebooks of the academic year and the first yellowing leaves in the air. ❤

We’ve had such a full few months here – one nursery year drawing to a close, six weeks of summer holidaying with both girls home (and even a short holiday away down to Northumberland, our first in sooo long), and another year beginning – with a whirl of work and family twists and turns weaving through it all.

I was just beginning all 3 of my new ventures when I last tapped out a blog entry (which goes some way to explaining why it’s been so long!) and am settled in to all now, very much at home at my care home, settling to bank shifts at the NHS, and properly bedded into the playgroup, all of which have complemented each other really well and been such a learning experience individually and together – challenging, rewarding and fascinating – and have kept me very busy as I’ve tried to get up to speed and find a balance that works for family life.

I’d love to write a post when I can about our summer holiday away – it was only 4 nights but was our first proper wee holiday as a family of four, and first since summer 2019, and we all loved it so much. But there’s been so many wonderful experiences too just here at home over the summer – in woods, at wildlife parks, having picnics and explores. Been so grateful for the extra time with the little ones. 🥰

Can’t blog without mentioning the pets too – our beloved rabble. Just after I last wrote, it was Charmer’s 26th birthday, which he celebrated in style ❤️❤️ , closely followed by the cats’ 1st birthday – our little kittens no more! – and then a couple of months’ later by Sparkle’s 2nd, making him approx 100 in his little dwarf hamster years. We were lucky to have him to a wonderful age, especially he was already in his older age when he first arrived with us last November, but we said goodbye to him earlier this month.

Charmer turning 26!
… and Rosie and Teddy turning 1 ❤️
Stitch Sparkleworks “Sparkle” ❤️

Charmer, Rosie and Theo continue to be thriving, as well as Fish ❤️ who moved to his new tank not long after I last wrote and seems to be enjoying life!

Even young Pidge (for anyone who remembers our short term stint as pigeon owners!!) is doing well. He was actually due to leave for a sanctuary in Derbyshire at the beginning of the summer who take pigeons and lots of birds, Linjoy Sanctuary. I’m sure it would have been fantastic, but in the end Pidge had so charmed the pigeon rehabilitater who had done so much to help him, that he has ended up staying there among other his pigeons and birds. ❤️ A happy ending for our handsome arrival into a winter barn if ever there was one.

We’re looking forward to new chapters here – the little ones are hitting their stride again, the oldest beginning her deferral year before school next year, and the youngest back to toddlers, music classes and soft play. I am also starting my HNC in Social Services at college next week, which I’m really excited about, first time as a student since I left uni in 2009!

It’s lovely to have a chance to tap out some thoughts again, and I hope to again very soon!

Hope you are all well ☺️ xx


Blog birthday 🎈

3 years ago today I wrote my very first blog post all about our lovely rats – in the three years since we’ve had the joy of owning Reuben, Perry, Marley, Jasper & Jet to add to the rest, having so many more adventures; and it’s now nine years this year since our first little rats joined us. Enjoyed a wee reminisce today of all our old lovely souls from my first post. Happy Sunday all. X


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. ♥️

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. ♥️

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


Real Neat Blog Award

real-neat-awardFirstly would like to say a huge thank you to Sophia (violetsnailgirl) at The Violet Snail so very much for this kind nomination – and apologise for taking so long to take it up! Been struggling to find the time to blog in the last couple of months but still been enjoying keeping up as much as I can with reading, and have had a go at answering your very interesting questions here:

  1. Do you have any pets now? If so, what kind of animals are they/what are their names? ~ Yes, I have two pet rats – Jasper, a dumbo roan, and Jet, a black and white hooded dumbo – and a 22-year-old Fell pony, Charmer.
  2. What is your favorite flavor of cake? 😉 ~ That’s definitely a difficult one! I think fruit – my nana’s fruit cake made for all birthdays and Christmases is a family legend so would have to be that!
  3. What things do you want to advance in your writing? ~ I’d like to improve on structure and punctuation but just love to practise all aspects of writing in blogging and journalling.
  4. What parts of your writing do you think are really good? (this is a tough one) ~ I’m not sure about good but I certainly find it easiest to write when I’m writing about what I know and most of all something I’m passionate about.
  5. Is there a really moving piece of writing that you have read? If so, what is it? Provide a link to it if you can. ~ Oh, so many, would struggle to think of just one, but have really enjoyed reviewing a couple of my favourite books on here in the past especially favourite childhood books where there’s so much well-loved and beautiful writing.
  6. Tell what you hope people think about you. I began this blog a couple of years ago to enjoy sharing stories about the pets and reading others’ too, and now love reading and writing about all aspects of life and just being part of this little WordPress community – so hope others enjoy a few little snapshots from our corner of the world as much as I enjoy all theirs!

Thanks very much again Sophia and really enjoyed reading your answers to your questions too. Have a great week. X


Liebster Award


Absolutely delighted to have been nominated for a Liebster Award, by – thank you once again so very much. I really enjoy reading your posts on everything from art pieces and DIY to pets and relationships. Loved especially the beautiful insight into your wedding plans and day, and being introduced to Brisket and Cricket of course! ☺️, so am so very glad you have enjoyed reading my posts too.

One of the things I love about this blogging community is all the many different worlds a browse through my WordPress feed can take me to. There are so many writers from so many corners of the world that I love to dip into the lives of, and it was very hard to choose both an ultimate favourite blog to write about and other favourites too to nominate (and also to find those who met the criteria with under 200 followers, as a couple I love to read were just over.. Well done you!😉) (Rules below)*. 

I started blogging about our pets and our home life simply because of my love for the animals themselves and my desire to share some of the joy they bring and enjoy the scribbles and photos of others doing the same. While that remains very much the case, through being here I have discovered another passion too simply for reading and watching stories unfold, post by post.

My favourite blog of the moment certainly falls into that category – Amazingly put together and absolutely captivating, I am currently hooked on the daily installments of Linley’s story. I would really recommend reading this from the beginning and watching it pick up pace, before it reaches its “Season Finale” on Friday. I don’t want to give too much away but this is a spine-tinglingly unsettling story, full of mysterious twists and turns but tempered by the warmly-described Scottish scenery framing the action everywhere from Glasgow to the Islands, and the affectionately drawn, well interwoven characters given a depth, humour and truth that makes them impossible to forget to check back in on. It really is an amazing read, and a blog is such a good platform for a story that reveals itself with so many unexpected twists, piece by piece.

I would also like to nominate some of the others I love to follow: – I really enjoy reading about ponydreamer’s adventures with the handsome Galahad, can always relate to them so well as they’re often similar to mine with my own native pony – so many lovely tales and photos, especially the through-the-horse’s-ears shots! – I started reading Nikki’s blog because we had our “mischiefs” in common and enjoy hearing about her rats’ adventures – they are such a lovely little group – but I also really enjoy all of her crafting posts too and seeing her beautiful blankets and creations. – Sunshine and Starlight’s adventures never disappoint, such a gorgeous pair of Westies who write so very wittily about life with their “manservant” and “womanservant” in Madison, USA. – Have learned so much from Oroano – tortoises are an animal I know nothing about but it is amazing to get an insight into the habitat, care and personalities of these amazing pets – and really love their Lego house!!

Thank you so much again afrilly for the nomination and thanks so much all for reading and for writing and posting so much that I love to see! 🙂


*The Official Rules of the Liebster Award 2016

(Official Rules of the Liebster Award 2016

Back in 2011 the rules were a simple case of acknowledgement of the nominator and to nominate 5 more. Now in 2016 it is a little more involved!

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
  1. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.) At the bottom of this post I’ve included a whole lot of images you can use for your 2016 Liebster Award.
  1. For the 2016 Liebster Award I will be shaking things up! Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  1. Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (This year I’m making this optional. If you wish to engage with your readers it’s a great idea to include random facts about you.)
  1. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  1. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  1. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post or mine if you don’t have all the information so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)