The first buds of spring ðŸ’š

The last couple of weeks have seen some very extreme weather round these parts, with the “Beast from the East” snowing us in for several days as March began and warranting the first Red weather alert in UK history as our landscape disappeared under a thick blanket of white.

After a couple of days spent entirely indoors, watching the flakes fall and venturing out only to feed the birds and take in a steadying breath of fresh air; a neighbourhood driveway-digging session was required to get the village moving again – and even then only the main roads were passable. I was determined to get along to the farm as soon as it was safe enough, where thankfully those more local had kept hay topped up while the horses too holed up inside – but a gloved and wellie-clad hike was needed to get up to the top of the hill and finally be reunited with my fluffy boy. 💙

It’s always such a hard balance to strike in very bad snow between keeping the horses warm and fed and keeping them moving enough to minimise their colic risk from standing in one place too long – something I always fret about with my normally decidedly outdoor pony. We have not had to contend with weather so extreme since the winter of 2010, and for a couple of days I was only managing to get Charmer out for a brief walk around the yard once or twice a day – tottering carefully to avoid slipping and ice compacting in his shoes – before the thick drifts shifted enough to let him get out to his white field – where he was still in places up to his middle.

The volume of snow has taken its toll on the farms and land in our area, giving way as it melted to extensive flooding, and our turnout is being restricted and managed at the moment to try to let the fields dry up a little.

We are all hoping for a turn in the tide sooner rather than later; but, in some small ways at least, it’s beginning already, and I’m so very glad to see it. Getting out for walks the last few days I have been so happy to see the very first daffodils beginning to open, crocuses appearing in the garden, and the snowdrops gradually becoming the only white again at the roadside.

It’s only the odd flash of colour here and there, hardly enough to count, but it’s a promise that the vibrant seas of yellow daffodils and cascade of cherry blossom will come again before too long. It’s amazing that those little shoots could have survived under a foot of snow, and it makes the spring flowers on their way all the more special that they’ve managed to weather that.

For our lovely birds, it’s exactly the same. Having watched them struggle to find food and shelter in those days, flocking to the seeds scattered in a desperate attempt to keep them ticking over, it’s wonderful now to wake to their carefree singing, and watch our resident robin hop busily around the garden, fending for himself again.

I’m so very glad to see the first shoots and buds of spring, and looking forward to the new season arriving properly very much. 🌷

Hope you are all having a lovely week. x

#5photos1day #Horsebloggers

Decided to do something a wee bit different today as came across the Hay-net #5photos1day challenge and #horsebloggers network the other day while reading a lovely post by Gadding About With Galahad. Loved the idea of telling the story of a typical day in 5 photos and getting to see so many glimpses of others’ too, so thought I would join in and give it a go!

Started from the very beginning yesterday, getting up just as it was beginning to get light and grabbing my flask of coffee and keys, pulling on my cosiest jacket and leaving the house to head to the farm for the early shift!

The first flakes of snow of the much-anticipated “Beast from the East” storm were falling as I drove along the road, and by the time I got to the farm there was a light dusting covering the yard.

Charmer was waiting by his stable door as normal when I pulled the big barn doors open – always tuned into to the sound of my engine rumbling in – and I made his breakfast while he tossed his head and banged his stable door in his trademark morning impatience! (Tried to take a photo of this particular moment but just a blur of furry neck craning over the door and being thrown about at high speed!)

While he eats his breakfast I skip out round him, filling the barrow and throwing his bed up for the day to give me a head start for the evening visit; when I can just pull the bankings down and let him in for the night, filling his bed up and adding in hay once he’s in happily dinner-ing and playing with his ball.

I always really enjoy the wander out to the field in the morning light with my boy, taking everything in as we go; generally serenaded by the cockerel, sometimes the farm cat trotting up to say hello too and without fail having to pause to watch the pretty mares gathered around their ring-feeder at the top of the hill.

Charmer is an outdoor pony through and through, and ambles off happily on reaching the field in the morning whatever the weather; but by night in these temperatures he is usually to be found at the gate, another day done and anticipating his stable comforts!

Got him in and settled down for the night, enjoying some time with him before we parted ways; and headed back home, where snow had continued to fall steadily and had settled into a very beautiful and peaceful blanket.

Today the weather is due to ramp up a notch, and not quite sure what the next couple of days will bring! Last night though it was very still, completely tranquil and just gorgeous.

Really enjoyed snapping away all day and capturing all the little moments with the pony, and look forward to reading others’ too.

Hope you are all wrapped up warm and having a good week. ❄️

#5photos1day #horsebloggers

Stepping into the new… and the freshly fallen snow â„️

In the last few days, we have taken our first steps into this whole new year before us, returning to work, school and day-to-day routines after the suspension of business as usual the end of December always brings.

Over the last week I have enjoyed the settling back into the normal – the dark evenings at home with dinner cooking and the rats clamouring at the cage door to join in; the mornings curled with them on the settee, drinking the first coffee of the day and watching light ebb into the world outside; the peace and solitude of the barn after work, horses ushered in early; the warmth of meeting with friends for catch-ups at the end of the day, fingers wrapped gratefully round hot chocolates in glass mugs; the brand new notebook open on my desk at work; and the easy reading of book after book in wrapped-up lunchbreaks.

Today, in our little corner of the world, we are not only metaphorically stepping into a new and untouched world stretching ahead, but physically too, surrounded as we are in a bright white blanket of snow.

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I love living somewhere where the weather is unpredictable and changeable, where rain bounces off the ground, wind rattles at the barn roof, the sun rises crimson, when the mood takes it, and clouds cast shadows across our days. There’s possibly no weather I love more, however, than the slow tumble of snow to the ground in a peaceful swirl, and the hush that seems to arrive with it, suspending everything else as it falls.

One of the things I love most about snow is the way it changes everything, adds a brightness that otherwise doesn’t exist – you don’t even have to open the curtains in the morning to know that snow has fallen, the light of the room is so completely different, unique to these few days when everything around us is changed by nature.

This morning, slowly and carefully stepping Charmer out for his day in the field, we only had the first hint of it – icy ground, frozen water buckets, a light dusting on the tracks and a white in the sky.

By now, we are surrounded, and have spent the morning watching the flakes fall from the office window.

As I write for the first time in 2017, and first time in a good few weeks, I do have a new (and appropriately snowy) face to introduce to this little blog.

On Christmas Eve we welcomed home a new member of our little animal family, Marley, a gorgeous pink-eyed champagne dumbo rat. We were not expecting to add to our brood, but circumstances had changed for the lovely girl we adopted Reuben and Perry from back in November and she needed to rehome Marley too, who had previously lived with our boys, and asked if we would take him on.

It wasn’t something we could possibly have said no to, and as it happened he was the easiest new acquisition we’ve ever had by a long shot, clearly remembering R & P well and happily curling up with them within ten minutes, no re-introducing required! With us too, he’s been a gem, he’s a total softie and absolutely loves a cuddle.


There’s been a lot going on in our little world of late, but all of the pets, Charmer and the little ones, have been so lovely to have, and all have been doing fine.

Our old man Ty is continuing to live alone for the moment, not managing to settle down with any of the others, but enjoying his time out with us, and his limited contact with the others in their neighbouring cage.

Reuben, Perry and Marley are very settled in their new group and forming an increasingly playful rabble on their adventures round the living room at night.

As we step onto the new path ahead of us, I am looking forward to time with all the pets, enjoying both the crisp snap of winter and the first hints of spring, and writing and reading here.

Hope you are all having a good week. X