Monday, 23 August 2010

After the storm!

Eeek, it's been a tough old week. I cannot say how much hard work and effort went in to preparing the Exhibition set up. Juggling art and egos has been tricky and I'm desperately looking forward to a few days rest afterwards.

I need to fit in a mighty clear up around the outside of the house and at the field, as we had a real life 'Dorothy' style storm last night and it's left everything looking thoroughly shaken up! I'd also quite like to take a couple of days out to do some decorating inside, as the house is looking sorely neglected and hasn't been touched since shortly after we moved in many, many moons ago. Then I'm going to sell up and move to Wales, haha!

A couple of lovely days out with the children are on the cards plus an awful lot of knitting. More paintings are swirling around in my head, but these will be for me, for my wall :)

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Thin on the ground.

I'm sorry that my posts here are very few and far between at the moment, but my time is so much in demand! The time I'm spending with the ponies and children leaves me little room for anything else and not much worth writing about.

The veggies are ticking along and I'm leaning more towards a low maintenance style at the moment, haha!
Sadly I lost one of my chickens on Thursday, my beautiful silver sussex, Oona. I think she had an internal prolapse of some kind. She'd had a prolapse before, but it went back in ok, but this time I think it probably twisted as it went back, as her abdomen was so distended. There was nothing I could do, so I tucked her up in a deep straw nest and left her sleeping. The next morning she was gone. She was only a young bird, but I just guess she wasn't as fit and well made as the others. The other 3 have formed a tight knit group and seem to be managing well now. They do feel grief and loss though, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I've had so many first hand experiences of the emotions of chickens!

Merlin has a mare visiting him at the moment, and that takes up a lot of time as I rush back and forth to the field making sure that he's ok. He's still my baby and I'm very pleased to see that he will come to me for cuddles and will even leave the field and be brushed and checked all over. Personally I think he's glad for the break from this demanding woman! It's been a steep learning curve for me and everything has gone really well, although I've had my hands places I would not want to share with you! I will be glad when we can get back to normal though, and I'm missing Toffee terribly as he's had to go and stay elsewhere for the sake of his sanity!

Merlin is behind his mare, who is much larger than he is, but between them, I forsee beautiful babies :)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

In and out of love - with my garden.

I used to be so in love with my garden that it was hard to imagine a time when I wouldn't be and yet the other day I took a long hard look and realised that I'd fallen out of love without even realising it! I guess life can be a little like that, things creep up or away from you and sometimes you hardly notice!

I think the change began with the arrival of the chickens many years ago. I fell so totally in love with them that I didn't mind what they got up to, how many bald patches they dug over or where they left their little 'bombs'. That was until recently, when I found I needed a retreat that I could get to in the silent hours before the rest of the world was up. Somewhere I could nurture my soul as well as my neglected plants.

The garden still has a long way to go yet, but I'm back to loving it and finding peace there and walking barefoot is such a pleasure now!

This is the front border that I've had an ongoing battle with. There is a particular plant that is so invasive that years after deciding to clear it out, I'm still swamped by it's cordlike roots and persistant regrowth! I'm afraid I've even used weedkiller, but it still survives. This Autumn I'm going to spray it again! This is just an example of how dried out everything has become, but some weedy little tomato plants (left over from all of my seeds germinating!) can have a go here and see how they do.

Finally some green beans have appeared, these are the Cherokee trail of tears from Danielle :)

Little Arnie cat in my favourite wild corner.

Here is my experiment corner, how much can you fit in to a small space? Well, the apples are doing well and I have more green beans growing in the tub. The pear and blueberries were a no-show, but under the hedge I have pink fir apples which are a small salad potato and they are well worth fitting in to any space :)

Another giant courgette, which is now the base for a scrummy ratatouille.

Finally some of my herbs, basil and coriander, which I use almost every day in the Summer and it's good to have my own fresh supply. These pots will come into the house in the Autumn and I'll keep them going all Winter if possible.

Finally, my Buddha in the front garden. So peaceful and calming, a reminder to me to stop once in a while and be mindful of the moment.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Flying past.

The days are truly flying away at the moment. The children and I have made a list of holiday activities to make sure that we fill this Summer with lots of happy memories. Memories have become very important to me lately and making good ones to cherish deep in our hearts has become something of a priority. After my own health scare earlier in the year, and now going through difficult times with loved ones, I've come to believe that strength comes to us in so many different forms. Cherished moments are one of them as are kind words and deeds. I told someone special just last week, that I cannot walk their path for them, but I could hold their hand along the way.

Still, this isn't to be a maudlin post, so I've posted another picture of my funny hen, Tao, whose name conicidentally means the Way or Journey! She is so sweet and affectionate, as is my other black rock hen Tiger. Tiger will run as fast as she can and take off to get to me when she sees me walking through the long grass at the field. It makes me feel great that these funny birds look on me as their mama :)

We have planned a few days out for the holidays and I've just discovered that Jane Austen's house is only a 40 minute drive from us. Moomin is totally in love with the TV versions of Jane Austen's work and so we've decided to take a drive over and spend some time absorbing the atmosphere.

There will of course be the annual pilgrimage to Glastonbury plus a few trips to nearby beaches, I also would like to go to Dorset and visit Durdle Door, which featured at the beginning of Prince Caspian.

I love the holidays and hope to take lots of pictures to share with you all.