Sunday, 1 December 2019

Don't look back!

I have to say a heartfelt 'good riddance' to November! What a thoroughly horrible month!!!

I stood in our field a couple of nights ago and the sight of the new moon filled me with absolute relief that the month had come to an end and a new one was beginning! I had a good cry and then walked around the farm in the dark thanking my blessings for what I have here and now in my hands.

November was a month of confrontations and saying goodbye to toxic relationships. I wish people had walked away with grace, but there were some unpleasant scenes, most notably from the two women who turned up at a Christmas fair and verbally attacked me. I looked at one and wondered how I'd ever considered her a friend, the other I never liked!

Moving here has stirred up a lot of emotions for people who knew me before, resentment seems to be the big cause. Facebook is another, I fear. Of course I mostly talk about the good things that are happening, who on earth wants to read about how difficult it is to force myself out of bed some days. I'll say that I have a cold when in fact my body has seized up so much that I'm hobbling around until nearly lunchtime because I don't want to bring people down with my pain. Of course, that backfired when I cancelled a lunch date and was reminded that I  'Only had a cold'!!!

People are very odd and for now I'm happy to be without friends, especially as I seem to be lousy at picking or keeping them! It's fine all the time you behave the way they want you to, but the minute you say no, well, that's when it kicks off!!!  I'm trying not to feel lonely but I'm missing my children immensely. What I have realised is that in my rush to avoid missing them I made some bad friend choices, but that won't happen again!

I've been in the studio a lot lately and it's the perfect antidote to drama :D

Monday, 28 October 2019

Dirty Paws.

What a day I had today!

All night Sunday, and I really mean all night, I worked on a painting in my head. The composition, the layout, the creatures. I slept, but woke up exhausted. After feeding the animals, I noted some were off colour again, but nonetheless, I headed for the studio, mulling over my problems while I sketched. The main character just flowed, others not so much and I rubbed out one fox/wolf/coyote three times, it just looked like no animal I was happy with. I began to get annoyed, then Dexter started playing the inside/outside game that cats are so good at! He sat on the sketchpad and then walked across the laptop, setting the images flickering again. I threw him out, gently, but out all the same.

This is the kind of anarchy I have to deal with!!!
As usual, he is unrepentant!

I had radio 4 on and the interviewer was talking such utter dribble that my temper was rising, I gave up on the sketching for a bit and went inside to make a cuppa. Suddenly I realised that the rain had stopped and I rushed back out to rug up Toffee and Jerry who were clearly struggling in the unrelenting rain that has been with us all weekend.
I managed to put together a seclusion paddock so that the poorly ponies can have special treatment without the healthy ones pushing in and taking over. It's near on impossible rugging a nervous horse with several other silly idiots all vying for my attention. A game of shove between big horses and ponies is not something to be stuck in the middle of! Jerry thanked me with a big wave of muddy slurry up the back of my legs but Toffee at least was grateful and Jerry had stopped shivering, so it was all worth it.
I finally had my cup of Earl Grey with lunch and managed half a dozen acceptable animal sketches using my big old trusty laptop, I do love it. Then, I just had time to feed the horses their supper, grab my dear man and take to the woods with the dogs. It was getting dark by the time we got back but the chickens weren't quite ready for bed so I made a steaming mug of mulled wine and sipped it by the fire while I thawed out!

So here is what I'm working on,  Dirty Paws by Of Monsters and Men.

I won't reproduce all the lyrics as I don't have permission, but you can look them up on Google. This song has so much meaning for me as it always reminded me of my son's beautiful cat Tokhi. She was born in my wardrobe, on my favourite jumper, she was tiny but fierce and we called her warrior cat. She was often dirty from fighting, so when Dirty Paws was released, I used to sing it to her. One day 5 years ago she didn't come home. I'm only ready now to tackle this project.

'Her dirty paws and furry coat
She ran down the forest slope
The forest of talking trees
They used to sing about the birds and the bees
The bees had declared a war
The sky wasn't big enough for them all
The birds, they got help from below
From dirty paws and the creatures of snow'

Sunday, 27 October 2019


Three posts in one weekend, have I broken my writing slump? I hope so. I much prefer blogging to most other social media, although I do like browsing Instagram when my brain is tired.

So last nights dinner was so good that I almost forgot to take pictures of the cooked pizza!
This is how mine started, totally loaded!
 I only ate half and then remembered to take a picture! I'll have the rest for lunch today. My pizzas always remind me of the joke about the Dalai Lama. Sorry if you've heard it before.
The Dalai Lama goes into a pizza restaurant and says 'make me one with everything', hehe, simple jokes always get me!
 I had enough dough to make a small loaf for todays breakfast. It's not cooked in this picture! My lovely man is making a cooked breakfast, it's a new Sunday tradition. It's not always a full english, it just depends on how we feel. Today we have kidneys from the lamb we bought from a farmer friend, tomatoes from our neighbour and eggs from our chickens. Food miles about 5 for the lamb!
Sundays are always so quiet here as everything shuts down for a day of rest. In the bigger towns some shops open until lunchtime, but we flatly refuse to get into that routine of last minute this and that! We shop once a week or fortnight only and that's usually because we're low on cat food!

Edited to add: Our breakfast.

I hadn't realised we were having a sausage and as that came from England, food miles out of the window, haha :D

Have a lovely peaceful day all.x

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Trash tonight!!!

What a difficult few weeks it's been but, slowly, and with optimism the mojo is returning :D
So when my lovely man asked if it was trash night tonight, I readily agreed. I'd gotten the dates all muddled on the other post anyway, just a product of an over bothered mind, I suppose!

It's not really trash, but it's a treat for us anyway, so we're having loaded pizzas. Usually I just make bread for breakfasts and sandwiches, so pizzas get left behind. Today though, we're out of bread, it's been raining since four pm and I've been in the kitchen.

I didn't even get to the woods for the firewood, instead I started collecting chestnuts and was interupted by neighing from a neighbouring field. Odd, I thought, sounds very close to be the far off neighbours horse! Then my boys started calling back and my suspicions grew. I went to have a look and sure enough, Flash The Naughty was in another field, not ours! 20 minutes later and order was restored but the rain was coming down in sheets! I quickly filled the bucket with chestnuts, helped by Dexter on my shoulder, sheltering in my hood, and struggled back to the house to unload. Dexter had gone in search of dinner and I had a long lie down with the kitten <3

Have I mentioned how much I love the kitten?  All of my animals are very special and have a huge place in my heart, but the kitten just gives me such a warm and fuzzy feeling <3

Tomorrow I'll share pictures of our dinner :D

Blog hopping.

I've been visiting some blogs today, it's helping to fight off a case of the blues. I'm having fun and getting some of my mojo back :D

Earlier I went Gleaning. This is the ancient tradition of peasants walking through the fields after harvest and picking up the leftovers. The field opposite was cut for corn on Friday and I saw my neighbour walking through with a sack, gathering up the last of the cobs. I guessed that it was probably ok for me to do the same and I still managed to find two large bucketfuls of corn and some already chopped corn and chaff. This chickens turned their noses up at first, but the ponies thoroughly enjoyed a few handfuls of the chaff. I now have 'treats' for them for the next few days.

Later I'm heading to the woods to pick up fallen branches. It's been so windy here lately that I'm sure to get some good ones. I simply don't see the point of paying for logs when we live on the edge of a forest, no one else goes up to collect any and it just rots on the ground. I know this is good for the wildlife, but they can spare me a few branches.

I've been back in the studio this week and did a little carving. It still has a long way to go!
 I started the sketch for this painting back in england! I needed to finish it and it helped get me back into painting.
 A sleepy squirrel is next to be painted.
Hope you're all having a lovely weekend.x

Tuesday, 22 October 2019


I've just spent the last hour loading photos from my aging laptop onto the tiny one to use in the studio! Now the tiny laptop is refusing to open any of the pictures!!! I knew there was a reason I hated the bloddy thing!!!

Normally I suppose I would post this kind of comment on FB, but I'm giving that a break, I hate all the politics and sad posts and stress and arguments.....

Monday, 21 October 2019

My kind of Samhain.

Lots of blog friends have been posting some pretty scary pictures! This is about my limit :D

 I absolutely loved Corpse Bride, even though I really didn't want to watch it, my children, quite young at the time, insisted and I'm so glad they did.

When I was in England, I bought the new version of IT as my daughter said it was so good. I hate Clowns! Seriously hate them. I had nightmares even without seeing the movie. I tried to return it, but Moomin was adamant that I would enjoy it. It's still in the wrapper, in the car!

I love this image and at one point I did manage to track down the artist. However, I've since lost the name, but I'll try and find it again.
I adore this season and how so many people celebrate. I'm looking forward to browsing other blogs and seeing what you all get up to.

Today I bought a real ale brewing kit, that's what I'll be getting up to soon :D

Late to the party!

I know many people refuse to even hear the word Christmas before Halloween and bonfire night are out of the way, and I used to be the same. However, Christmas markets are my biggest times for earning and promoting my business so I need to be on the case right away. I think I've left it a bit late again! So much has taken priority over my work this year, not surprising really.

The Potager has been wonderful but has kept me so busy all summer. Yesterday I cleared out the squash bed and harvested everything for winter. Lots of soups and curries for us :D
I replaced all the squash with a kitten, not that I need any more!!!

Not a bad harvest really, although I would have liked more butternut and I'm not even sure what the green ones are! They came in an Heirloom mix!

We've started a new tradition in our house, Trash date night! I bought my darling man the Guy Fierri triple D recipe book and we love it. It's too heavy to eat that kind of food regularly, but once a month is perfectly fine!
Here we had totally overloaded hot dogs with onions and mushrooms with a spicy corn relish and very spicy baked wedges.  It was divine :D
We're due another trash night next week as it's usually the Saturday closest to the end of the month, but this month is a little messed up as the big party in the village will be on the 31st and this week is too hectic. Anyhoo, trash night will be on the 2nd October and we haven't yet decided what to make. Best get that book out :D

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Whoosh part 2.

This week has gone with a whoosh as well! I had every intention of finishing my story of my trip to and from England the next day but when I got up I could hear a terrible coughing coming from the field. Poor Merlin pony was having a very hard time and the vet had to be called. A cold in a pony with breathing problems can quickly get out of hand and Merlin had developed a bad chest infection. It's been a difficult week indeed!

So I got back to find the little Talie had not only hung around, but had moved in as well. The other cats grumble sometimes but on the whole he is allowed to be with them. This is the late night supper of biccies, they get very upset if I don't do it. I'm not sure it will continue when we get the new floor down!!! The only cat missing from this line up is the very shy and also new Solo.
 At first Talie was bright and lovely but after just a day or two I noticed a huge change in him. He stayed in his bed all day and suddenly lost his voice. I wasn't going to take any chances and rushed him to the vet. My usual vet wouldn't fit me in, so I sat outside another where I knew they took in emergencies and waited for a slot.
 We sat in my car and Talie walked pee all over me and the dashboard while I cleaned out his cat carrier! By the time the vet saw me, I stank like a crazy cat lady. The vet was very gracious! Talie was diagnosed with early symptoms of cat flu, it was lucky that we caught it early!
 Lots of antibiotics and money later, he was almost back to normal. I love this picture of him, but I look utterly wrecked! I was!!!
Soon after Talie got sick, Piper also went down with the flu and thankfully the vet had given me extra antibiotics in case any of the others caught it!
So it's been a week of sick animals all round and I'm almost dead on my feet!!! Thankfully they're all on the mend at last!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Another whoosh!

Really? Am I only able to post once a month? Well, I must try harder!!!

So much happens all the time and I just can't keep up with living it, let alone writing about it!

The potager is ticking along and the pond is starting to naturalise, thank goodness. I managed to get some tasks finished before taking my son back to England, but we didn't get it all done! Just before he left a little black cat turned up and my son told me that I must stop taking in strays, silly boy ;) I name the cat Solo which of course meant that I'd fallen for him and hoped he would stay. My lovely ginger tom Finbarr sealed the deal with a mouse laid carefully at Solo's feet! Solo was woefully thin and we could see the skin along his spin where his fur was patchy, a sign of malnutrition. He was just a fluffy head on legs!
A few weeks later a small bundle of white fluff over bones turned up and my son was stern but also smitten! I've not had a kitten for years and I soon found out why, they're hard work!!!

 I fell very much in love and as I was still reading Moonheart, I named him Taliesin.
I made him promise to hang around while I took my trip to the uk and set off. It was such a difficult visit with so many mixed emotions. I was so happy to see my lovely Moomin but sad to be taking my son back. I enjoyed the luxury of a hotel but missed my farm so very much!

 We walked along the shore where Manchee and Walley used to run and play and I shed a few tears for our lovely Walley.
We also took lots of silly photos :D

I had a great day refreshing some Reiki training and had a much needed treatment. Soon the week was over and saying goodbye to my lovely young people was absolutely hell. I'm so proud of how they've grown and taken control of their lives <3  I'm surprised I didn't crash on the way to the ferry as I was trying to focus on driving and not crying!!!!

More tomorrow, it's late, I'm tired and have a nasty old fibro flare threatening!!!

Sunday, 15 September 2019

The end is nigh!

Of all our hard work, well for now at least! The Gite is on the last lap, just a few painting jobs to finish and this week the Terrace will go up and we can get tidied up for Winter.

We couldn't find a bed at a reasonable price so my lovely man took the old bed headboard that we kept and made a frame himself at a fraction of the cost of a new bed!

The kitchen cupboards just need to be painted white and the tops varnished (that's my job!).

The bathroom is just about done, just a couple of items to add to personalise it.

The upstairs of our house will be decorated next year and all that's left to finish is the lounge which needs a new fire and a back boiler for our heating system. I'm not sure when that will happen as I'm just looking forward to a rest in between jobs. I need to start earning some money as the budget is coming to an end, eeek!!!

I was beginning to get excited about Autumn as we had a few cold and stormy days, but as seems to be the habit here, summer popped up again and I'm back to wearing vests and shorts.

That's just as well really because we needed to get the pond and grey water gravel garden sorted and neither my son or I wanted to be doing it in the cold and windy rain! I made so many mistakes and have learned so much from doing this. The biggest thing I learned was to thoroughly prepare and then prepare some more! I watched some youtubes about ponds and realised that we should have put more shelf levels in the dirt! Ooops!

Between the picture above and the one below, I frantically pulled the liner back and did a bit of digging and shifting earth, mostly with my bare hands as I didn't want to puncture the liner!
T came with me to get some bags of special pond gravel (no sharp edges) but it wasn't enough! The pond is looking a lot better now but I'll wait until a few plants are in before sharing the next pictures. To me it still looks bloody awful!!!
I'm excited about how it will look in a few weeks though and as I re-read my Moonheart book by Charles de Lint, some ideas formed about this magical little pool :D

On Rain's blog she asked about harvests. My Squashes are once again my biggest successes. My tomatoes either failed to grow or once again developed blight! The peas and beans have been amazing and I have a few tiny aubergines, but that's it!!!
 I'm so looking forward to having a bit of space and time soon to focus on my art work and to be able to get back to blogging. I'm feeling more calm now that I can see the results of all our hard work :D

Monday, 9 September 2019

A hot weekend.

You have to be careful how you talk about hot over here. It's easy to get it wrong and a young farmer who brings us the summer hay often teases me about being hot! Saying it a certain way has less to do with the temperature and is more akin to 'being on heat'!!! Apparently I said it the wrong way last year and he hasn't let me forget it!!!

The bean arch has been great and the beans have enjoyed it despite a slow start. Next year I hope they cover it. I have some noodle beans for 2020 and I'm quite excited about those.

The wonky wigwam will be mainly for sweet peas, but also some yellow beans as they look pretty. It's more of a pollinator feature than a practical growing support!

The area in front of the studio was a disgrace as the potager had to take priority. 
 Using some of the stakes cut by my son, it looks so much better now and the weeding was assisted by the two rogue chickens who WILL NOT be contained!
 My little crystal bowl is for the toads and wildlife (cats) to drink from. It leaks terribly, so that needs to be remedied.
 My lovely man had a bit of spare cement left over so I made this on a whim. I love it :D
This was the potager when we first moved here. Two tiny raised beds that somehow morphed into the enormous squash bed!!!
Now look at it! What a difference!

Well, I'm having quite a lazy morning with just some housework and breadmaking ahead of me. I have an apple press that needs to be put together too, but for this afternoon, I just feel like a few hours of spinning or knitting, or both :D

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Autumn is creeping in.

I love this time of year, the chilly mornings and evenings with warm sunshine in between. I'm getting so much done in the garden as the weather is perfect for it. It was just too hot a few weeks back but I'm still adjusting to the climate and how to get the best from it.

Autumn here is a long drawn out affair a gentle slide into shorter days and cooler nights. I've got my wool out and will be finishing a blanket for the dogs. I'm trying to get away from using the cheap blankets we bought as they seem to disintergrate after a few years. We have a big fluffy blanket on the bed, the dogs love it, but each time it's washed a big cloud of fibres fills the air and the blanket is beginning to look quite lifeless! I'm planning a big cream and grey one from my homespun wool. It will have to be squares though as I just don't have the patience for knitting large pieces!!!

This wool was from a farm friend here and as with many sheep bred for meat, the wool is hit and miss. However, despite the huge amounts of VM (vegetable matter), it's wonderfully soft and has lovely colour variations.
 The stripes will probably even out when this is plied and will look a little like tweed.
 This wool was another gift and another surprise. It's as soft and luscious as it looks in this photo. I began knitting a small test swatch, but instead it turned into a glove! Now I have to spin more for the other glove, haha :D

Some sad news, that's really knocked me this week. Our darling little Fae cat staggered home barely able to walk on Thursday. I made her comfortable and left her for 24 hours as I assumed she'd been fighting with the new cat. When I took her out to go to the toilet I was horrified to see that she was much worse. The next day we took her to our local vet, who as it turns out practices Reiki, Homeopathy and is training as an osteopath.  She's awesome!
A thorough examination revealed shredded claws on all feet, a sure sign of a car accident. I'm so shocked as we only have one or two cars go past our house and our neighbours are always so careful. Thankfully Fae is beginning to improve and hasn't any serious injuries other than a misaligned spine. She may need to have another manipulation treatment tomorrow.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

I live in a Make Believe World!

A few days ago Social Media showed it's ugly side once again, or should I say, allowed a bully to show their nasty side.

I have my political views to which I'm entitled but when someone verbally attacks my friends and family on FB for sharing my views, I have a right to respond. I gave one reply to the person, a fellow blogger that I've followed and respected for many years, in response I had a tirade of insults calling me fake and living in a Make believe world! I have a temper and I have my limits, that doesn't change because I'm spiritual and care for the environment and animals. Sometimes you have to be strong and stand up for those weaker. Being spiritual isn't all about being hippy dippy and fairy flowers! You have to know when to be a warrior and when to take a stand.

She went on to call my friends Smartass and threw insults left and right because no one would give in to her viewpoint. That's the behaviour of a bully and says more about her than the rest of us.
Unlike Keyboard Trolls who like to shout insults from the safety of their living room, I prefer to fight my battles face to face. Thankfully as the person stated, we are unlikely to ever meet in person which is a good thing as I'm flaming mad!

My life is neither fake or made up. It's damned hard work keeping everything together with a chronic illness and so many animals to care for with more turning up all the time!

Thankfully, my lovely son is still here, helping and working his socks off!

And lastly, in response to what it's all got to do with me....  I may live in another country, but I'm still Patriotic. I hate to see so many people in the UK turning on each other because of the Brexit shambles. My family live in the UK and I'm deeply worried for them and for the outcome of a No-Deal Crash out.
If the deal had been accomplished right away, with the best interests of UK citizens in mind, none of this mess would have developed. However, it didn't happen and many citizens have changed their mind about the vote. Many young people are now eligible to vote and they would prefer to remain. They're the future of the UK, not the old nostaligic people who think life will return to some imagined rosy idea of the past. I remember being very poor when I was young, both parents worked, we had coal fires and constant power cuts but we DID have the NHS! We should be moving forwards not backwards!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

A few days off.

I switched my laptop off a couple of days ago because I realised that there was just too much drama coming at me from the internet. I wanted the mental quiet of just living in the moment. It's helped a lot and now I'm back but eager for another break.

The politics of our world and how it's turning friends against each other is just out of control. I lost a friendship of over 9 years because this person felt that her way was better than mine and that I was a cruel individual because I wouldn't adopt her lifestyle. She had been reading far too much by an online person of propaganda and instead of doing the research, she just reproduced his speeches parrot fashion! That was two years ago and it still smarts that people can be led so easily with a few fake photos and some strong, cleverly written phrases. I don't miss the friend, she was hard work!

This wasn't intended to be a rant, but instead a comment as to why I feel better taking a step back!

I've begun painting again and I'm loving it. I need to get back to being the authentic me that's gone missing lately. Dexter thought he would give me a hand and I shared the picture on FB and someone on my friends list contacted me.
 It would seem that there are two Dexters, almost identical in appearance, but not quite in nature!
 Our French Dexter is on the left and is so sweet and cuddly, English Dexter on the right is a bit of a pickle and only loves his mum when she's feeding him!!! Both are rescues! They now have their own Instagram account called dexterdeux :D

Merlin dog has settled so quickly and some of his fur is even growing back around his eyes. He's a happy, delightful little dog even though certain things trigger panic attacks and we're very careful to keep the atmosphere nice and calm. Not that he's calm, he skips around like a Tazmanian Devil, literally spinning on the spot, haha :D