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

AT THE STABLES, HOME, NATURE & SEASONS

Winds of Change 

This week brought with it, at long last, the Spring Equinox, and the weekend when it rolls around will see the clocks spring forward, setting the seal on the already lightening nights once and for all. It has been beautiful in the past little while to see the nature around us come back to life. I am so happy to see bumble bees back on the heather in our front garden, and share a morning coffee with them keeping themselves so busy and doing such good work. 💛🐝

 

The birds too are out in force, lining rooftops and trees and singing their morning awakening as the weather improves and the breeze warms up around our little part of the world.

At the farm, all the horses are whole-heartedly embracing new shoots of grass and lighter evenings, Charmer now staying out until 9ish every evening and just coming in to enjoy some extra hay while the fields catch up with the horses’ enthusiastic grazing! 

Last Sunday, got to the farm about 6.30, still with some unexpected daylight ahead of us, creeping in more and more to our evenings, and although didn’t quite have time to tack up and head out riding, did squeeze in a walk, rope in hand, just down to the water straight from the field, Charmer pausing to take in the view on the way down the hill, and at the bottom, by the sea’s edge, where I love to just look out over the ruins of a beautiful old church – and he loves to just munch all the normally untouched grass! – we stayed a while, making our way up as the sun set.

At the farm, on the tracks around, and in the garden, where I try to spend as much time as possible on these lovely days, daffodils are in full bloom; so bright and sunny after winter’s grey hues. First blossoms are budding and blooming, and the temperatures are rising. It is so wonderful to feel the winds of change in the air, and see spring come to life. 

Hope everyone is having a lovely week. X

AT THE STABLES, HOME, NATURE & SEASONS

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.

HAMSTERS, HOME, RATS

“The Little Things” – In praise of pets, the joy they bring and all their little moments

“Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you’ll look back and realise they were the big things.”

I read this quote years ago on a typically happy Pinterest-and-coffee morning, no doubt with Simba or Pipkin – our most dedicated bed-lounging former pets – on my feet, enjoying time and thoughts on an easy Saturday. It really struck a chord with me, as someone who has always enjoyed the little things in life the most and seen in them so much of value. Those quiet weekend mornings, the first few moments of fresh air and daylight in the morning, beauitful views, cosy coffees with family and friends and time with our pets.

Over the years, I have found so much strength and inspiration in some of the everyday moments in life and in huge part this has been contributed to by my relationships with my animals. Of course to a massive degree with my little horse Charmer, my partner in crime for sixteen years now; or my mum and dad’s collie Ginny, with us since I was living at home as a teenager, our loyal companion for over thirteen years. These pets have shaped whole chunks of my life and times spent with them have been the cornerstones of my growing up, in all the little moments that do really and truly add up to be one of the biggest blessings, “the big things” in life.

Yet it is not only those who are lucky enough to have this longevity that I feel this way about – over the last five years we have had the pleasure of owning thirteen little bundles of fur and love, and each and every one of them has brought so much joy. I am well aware that many people would wonder quite how rewarding these very small pets can be and whether they really give much to their owners – to me, they always have, more than I can say.

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

The hamsters, rats and rabbits we have had the pleasure of sharing our home with in the past may have been small things in size, but have deserved – and often ethusiastically demanded! – a huge space in our hearts as their lives with us have unfolded. The first time Pipkin ran to the cage door to greet us; the first time Grace saw her new cage and wheel and had to be persuaded to take a break after an alarmingly long gym session; the day we moved into our new home and Simba settled himself on the rug in front of the fire to set the seal on our new life; the day an elderly Chae surprised us with an uncharacterstic leap up on to the settee to join us; the first time Lizzie was afraid but didn’t bite and cuddled into us instead, in one little action turning a big corner for her into a happier way of life. All of these memorable moments – and even more than that, each and every boring, normal night watching Friends with Harvey on my knee, Ty playing with my hair and Rosie’s wheel rattling down in the kitchen; are the moments – the little things – that often provide me with everything I need for the more challenging aspects of life.

Our pets may be in some ways the smallest things, but they do truly take up an enormous space in my heart, very often being some of the highlights and biggest blessings in my days; and I will always be grateful for them.