Saturday Rambles ❤️

Started our weekend off with a lovely wander in some local woods, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, gathering sticks and twigs and admiring the nature surrounding us.

A beautiful and sunny “leap day”, this morning felt more like March than February and gave a lovely taste of times to come. Just love these days on the tipping point between winter and spring when the first buds appear and the warmth of the sun breaks through even just in small doses ☀️💛

Our little one couldn’t have enjoyed the exploring more, wellies on, branches trailing along behind her and wrapped up in her woolly hat and gloves.

It’s lovely to be able to spend Saturdays like this – I’m so enjoying settling into maternity leave and really loving the opportunity for slower paced weekends and family time all together.

This afternoon too I had a lovely chance for a bit of time with my biggest boy, who is doing very well at the moment and at his most recent vet check on Thursday they were really pleased with the progress of his mouth healing up. Still unsure of whether his second operation will be needed but everything going in the right direction and really pleased with how he seems.

By the time I got along to the farm, the weather was back to more January-esque, as it has mostly tended to be recently; and it was in between sleety showers and with a thick coat zipped up to my chin and the lead rope in my hand pushed deep into my pocket that I wandered Charmer round to the field. Took the long way round, enjoying a bit of time with him and stopping off at the snowdrop- lined grass to let him have a munch on the way.

It’s definitely been a mixed day, and the heating is on now as we settle in back home for the night, but it has been a lovely day for bursts of the outdoors in the tug-of-war between the early spring sunshine and the winter chill.

Have a lovely night all. X

🌺

Waking this morning to the light filtering in through the curtains and the sound of the birds outside, I could feel the shift in the season almost before I opened my eyes. As I boiled the kettle and rattled the rats’ cages to drop off their breakfast (all waking with an excited start to grab weetabix cubes and carry them off to their four preferred eating corners), the sense of spring and a change in the air filled the house.

Out in the garden, the snowdrops lightly peppered the ground just as they had yesterday, but they stood in altered surroundings somehow, the sunlight playing with their shadows at only 7am and the breeze lighter, full of promise of a spring and summer to come.

I love spring and autumn – those seasons of change and a spiralling cascade of auburn leaves or cherry blossom towards the new – better than the other longer ones of winter and summer, where we find ourselves settled into mainly light or mainly darkness. They are also both wonderful in their own way, but there is nothing like feeling the winds of change in the air and watching life evolve.

The pony was waiting by his stable door, the last of his four stable mates to go out today, and as we wandered he blinked at strong sunlight and stepped into a dryer field, the grass to mud ratio now beginning to turn in our favour.

One of my favourite parts of the day, full of calm and the space to enjoy my surroundings, is the drive to work. This morning – with crocuses and the first few daffodils lining the roadsides, the jagged hills above me glinting in the sunshine and still patchy with snow – it was more beautiful than ever.

Earlier, out in my short sleeves with my coffee cup, packing the car to start another working week, the sun warm so early; I had been surprised to still need to use the last of the kettle’s warmth to slick a thin but persistent layer of ice from the windscreen – winter still hanging around, in its annual tug-of-war with spring.

Yet today, it is clear it is finally loosing its grip; and with the blue skies, the warmth in the air and the birds singing new songs, we are on the cusp of another spring-time at last. 

Winter’s Charm ❄️

At this time of year, I look forward so much to the arrival of spring. I smile at every new bud on the tree, every snowdrop in the ground, and we watch happily every night in our office as 5 o’clock creeps closer with blue still in the sky, counting down to the time when we drive home without headlights on and spend energised evenings in the fading light. I love the idea of being rid of the mud at the field gate, wandering out to check the horse with pumps on across fresh grass, the smell of fly spray filling the air again; and can’t wait to wake to daylight every morning, out to the garden for coffee, feeling like a whole day’s living’s been done before work even begins. 

And yet sometimes, like this weekend, in the midst of the usual February countdown to spring and summer, the romance of winter just catches hold of me again, and I remember why I love it so much and why I count down so keenly to it too when the last days of summer come. ❤❄️

Last night, walking out to a further away field than I usually have cause to go to on our farm, bringing in a friend’s horse for the night, I unlocked the icy padlock on the far-away gate and walked along the grass strip above the fields’ edges, the horses all gathered in clusters around newly-filled ring feeders. The sweet wintry smell of the fresh bales of haylage filled the frosty air, the sky that deep midnight blue of just-before-darkness, the colour always richest just before it turns to black – stars already dotting it and the moon casting light as wellies and hooves picked their way back to the bright lights of the barn.

By this morning, the temperature had risen enough for the rain to return so it was swooshing windscreen wipers and rain bouncing off the car roof as I drove into the farm again. Leading the horses out, frozen fingers wrapped round lead ropes – only warming up when gratefully tucked into Charmer’s cosy turnout rug, where he’s like a little insulation heater in spite of the weather, or wrapped round travel mugs of coffee chatting to friends in the barn doorway – while the ponies began to stamp their feet impatiently, making us laugh.

Their battle finally won and the meander to the field done, find myself standing at the gate in my usual weekend morning routine, Charmer on one side and me the other but both still standing together for the brief few moments before our days begin. Sooner or later he will inevitably spot something more interesting further down the field – where the boys are tussling with each other and the prettiest mare shaking her head as she trots along the fence – but for the moment it’s lovely to have a lull in the morning’s busyness; and it is so easy to be thankful, in spite of looking forward to a new season, for these short cold days and the cosiness they help us find. X