A memorable week #R2BC

Monday evening last week I was busying myself in the feed shed mixing Max’s tea, when I heard it. Could it be, I thought? Straining my ears, I stopped what I was doing. There it was again. My heart soared. They’re back, I thought. Then I heard it again… the unmistakable chattering of swallows. My swallows, back from Africa to spend the summer with me. I went out into the yard and there they were, a pair of them swooping and soaring,  chattering away. What joy, I was thrilled.

They have staked their claim on the stable next door to Max’s. The more dangerous one, I feel, where marauding cats are concerned, as the nest is on the gable end right in front of the door. Whereas Max’s door is on the left of the stable, the opposite end to the nest up in the pitch of the roof.

How lovely, now my family is complete!

Swallows born summer 2011

Swallows born summer 2011

Thursday was my last day working for Orchard Toys, after 5 years plus.  It was also the last day of my working life. I am now a retired person! Wow, my life is now my own. It still hasn’t really sunk in. Will now have time to ride Max, garden, grow my veggies, take photos and sort everything out. Whether I’ll have the energy is another thing!

At 11 am on the Thursday everybody was ushered into the canteen for my presentation. My boss said some really lovely things about me and I mumbled a thank you, not having prepared anything to say. Silly me.

I was gob smacked when I opened my leaving gift… It’s a Nikon SLR digi camera. I was, and am, absolutely thrilled. How kind of everybody!  I will now have the time to leisurely snap away and maybe drive off somewhere to get some shots. Hitherto, because of time constraints, I have had to take photos around the cottage or up at the field. Now, the world is my oyster! Can’t wait.

Another surprise was my card. Especially designed by Nicki one of the company’s illustrators, which shows me in my favourite cardi holding my mug. Apparently she has captured my stance perfectly. I had no idea I stood with one hand in my pocket!  What a lovely keepsake to remember my happy days at Orchard Toys!

P1000960

Another event that made this a very positive week, happened on Friday night. I was sitting eating my dinner. It must have been about 8 pm and it was dusk outside.  I heard one of the cats trying to get through the catflap. It kept going ‘click’ but the cat didn’t come through. (It’s one of those that is operated by the cat’s microchip. So every time they get close to it, it goes ‘clunk’ and it opens.) I went to investigate and it was Maisie, with a baby bird, or a small bird, anyway. I managed to scoop it up as it wasn’t flapping around, unlike the bird she brought in the other month.

It looked like a dunnock. I put it on the tray on the bird feeder. Maisie followed me out there so I picked her up and shut her in the bathroom.  I kept watching the bird feeder until it got dark. The bird remained there. I really thought that I would find it still there in the morning, dead. The forecast for that night was for frost.

This morning I went to check and it had gone. So I hope that it flew off. I haven’t seen a sparrow hawk in the garden for several years, so I’m confidant that it is still alive. Hurrah!

Then today when I was digging bean and potato trenches on the veggie plot, I saw a peacock butterfly, the first I’ve seen this year! Hurrah again!

Lots of reasons to be cheerful, which is kindly hosted by Michelle at Mummy from the Heart

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

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365 #17

A few years ago I noticed a little clump of primroses in my turnout paddock. Nothing strange about that.  But this year, the little clump has turned into a large patch of not only yellow primroses, but pink ones too and cowslips!  What a pretty picture they make.

Pretty as a picture 2

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365 #16

Every six weeks the farrier visits to remove Max’s shoes, trim his feet back and replace the old shoes with a set of new ones. But, as he has not been ridden this winter they are not worn very much, so this visit I got off lightly as his old shoes were replaced.

You couldn’t wish for an easier horse to shoe, Max is such a good boy, perfect for my farrier’s new apprentice, Sarah, to practice on!

Although, in case you should wonder, this shot is of Steve burning the shoe onto Max’s foot.

A visit from the farrier

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Photo of the Week 20th April 2013

This photo, by no stretch of the imagination, is a good photo, but I just had to record this brave little daffodil for posterity! As you can see, I had quite a bonfire this afternoon. At times the heat was so intense I couldn’t get within six feet of it. This little daffodil was barely three feet from the fire and I really thought it would melt in the heat. But no, there it was still erect and pert after over two hours of ferocious heat beating down on it. I marvel at the wonders of nature!

A tenacious little daffodil

A tenacious little daffodil

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365 #14 Photo of the week

Today, 6th April really felt like the first day of Spring. Out of the wind it was quite warm. Such a change, from the previously freezing days we have been enduring. Had I not had an appointment with a chippy and a good friend that was dropping in for a coffee, I might have, finally, saddled up Max and gone out for our first hack since last October!

So I took him up to his field instead and came back to take out all the wet shavings from his stable, the usual Saturday job.  I never have my mobile switched on in the cottage as there is no signal, so while outside I switched it on and saw that my friend that was due to come around, was in bed with the flu! My chippy dropped by to say that he couldn’t due the scheduled job until Monday. Oh botherations, I thought,  I could have ridden afterall. Ho hum.

I set to digging up a plant that must have been secretly growing in one of the flower beds for the last few years. At first, I thought that it was spindle, but soon realised I was mistaken. God knows what it was, it had no thorns so wasn’t hawthorn or blackthorn. Whatever it was, it had already thrown up three new plants from its roots. I can tell you, it was a swine to dig out, its roots went very deep, but I finally succeeded in getting it out and felt really quite triumphant. Not bad for a pensioner, I thought! The deeper I dug, the more layers of clothes I took off, it really was rather hot work! But very satisfying. Continued digging, attacking the nettles with fervour.

As ever, when I am digging in the garden, the hens aren’t far away, a few inches in fact! Of course, they are after the worms and grubs that I turn over with the fork. I feel quite sad as they gobble up the worms! The hens are enjoying their last few days of freedom in the garden, as my next job is to get the sheep netting (wire) up on the post and rail fencing so that they will be restricted to the paddock. I will then be able to get on with my garden restoration without them destroying all my good work! Hens are lovely to have, but they are garden destroyers!

Dotty and Winnie slaking their thirst!

Dotty and Winnie slaking their thirst!

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365 #13 and Photo of the Week

Little did I think that three weeks or so ago, when we had that lovely mild spell, that we would dive head first back into a freezing winter. But we did. It seemed so unfair to be tempted with the joys of spring to come, to have 48 hours of torrential rain, followed by a big freeze and a few days of snow. Max’s paddock was like a frozen paddy field!

Thank goodness that awful, freezing wind has dried the ground out. At least we have to be thankful for that. But it’s still freezing at night and frosty in the morning, with no sign of a change on the horizon.

A frosty morning

A frosty morning

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