Monday, 17 June 2019

Let down.

Oh dear! That's about all I can say about the market on Saturday :(

I set up with high hopes, it was a lovely place but the forecast wasn't great for the day. I was optimistic! Several monsoons later, I phoned my love and asked him to bring me a huge jumper and food supplies!
 The soaps were admired
 and I even took along a basket of tie dye baby grows and childrens tee shirts! No interest at all. I did sell a print and a couple of soaps which covered my costs but on the day I felt very negative. I had hurt my back and the cold made my muscles complain and I was close to ending the venture.

After a good nights sleep, a day of housework and an evening with friends helped to cheer me up. Now my perspective is restored I'm going to rethink my business plans.
I've begun sketching again, but this is for me, for now. I may start painting again, if I have the time!
Blodeuwedd, from the Mabinogion.


Sorry guys, I'm going to have to add a spam filter! I hate having to do that but some comments are just not welcome here!

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Bread and pizza

I love my new kitchen and baking here is just such a happy event. I don't cook every day because my lovely T likes to do most of the cooking. I tend to mostly do the baking.

 My shelves are groaning under the weight of Spices, jars of flour, surgar and lentils and of course many eggs :D
With all those eggs, I've become very adept at making quiche or flans depending on the filling.
 Bread is always on the go and I have another seeded loaf proving as I type.

A couple of times a month, Friday is pizza night, my favourite. On the left is T's rather sensible pizza while on the right we have my zen pizza (one with everything)!!!
 They were truly delicious and the point of making such big pizzas is that Saturday's lunch, or sometimes breakfast is left overs :D
I'm slowly starting to get my blog mojo back, so thank you everyone for dropping by, leaving a comment and writing such inspirational blogs <3

Monday, 10 June 2019

Bringing in the wild.

Rewilding - I've been trying to do this so much and for so long, it's almost become an obsession. But you know what? Taking care of our land doesn't just extend to what it can provide for us, but what we can provide for the land and our animals.
Over winter I left the vegetable beds to go dormant. The weather was so mild that everything just kept on growing, so I let it grow so that I could harvest the seeds. That didn't happen. We had mountains of flowers from the rocket and the kale and the bees had a huge harvest but everything just grew and grew. Now I'm sick of it all and want to plant our food for this year. I have little seedlings waiting to go in but nowhere to put them. What a mistake! I've been pulling out the plants, minus some of the seed heads and pods and feeding them to the ponies/horses. I checked first that none of it was dodgy for them to eat and they seem to have their own opinions on the matter in any case!

So while I drag our garden back up to scratch, I'm still making things out of wool and wood for the house, but not nearly enough as I'm just one person who functions at half the rate of a normal, healthy person.

Meanwhile my beloved is creating the Gite from our little Cidercott, that will generate a bit of income for us and I'm constantly in awe of his abilities. My main rule for the Gite is that it's refurbished with wood and tiles and is totally in keeping with our area which is largely a slate quarry! I'll be making the furnishings for inside and of course using my own soaps to promote my micro business.

Talking of furnishings, have any of you come across fusion quilts??? This is yet another rabbit hole I'm diving into. My golly do I love the combination of quilting and crochet!

This was found on Pinterest and I highly recommend you take a look :D

So for now, life goes on, ponies need attention and I have photos of soaps to edit. It's a very mixed and emotional bag in our corner of the world.

Thank you dear friends for your lovely comments, it means a great deal to know that I'm not just talking to the void.x

Sunday, 9 June 2019

A new start.

Oh May was a horrible month. I'm sure there were a few good days, but everything was overshadowed by the sudden death of our dear little Springer Walley. I can't say too much as I've cried so much and I don't want to start again.
We think he had a heart defect as he just died on a Sunday afternoon. He was only 6. We've been utterly heartbroken.

Somewhere during the month I launched my soap business at my first fair. I did ok and it was a big learning curve.

I have another booked for next week and hopefully I'll get more orders as I would prefer not to be setting this lot up every week. The stall was ok, but the gazeebo was a bugger, especially if I have to do that alone, eek!

That's all I have to say now, but I hope I can get back to blogging soon and back to whatever passes for normal in my weird little world <3

Sunday, 7 April 2019

What a week!

After feeling so great the week before, last week hit me like a ton of bricks! All was going well until a friend arrived to dig out our grey water system and as I helped sort things out, I knew I was pushing myself beyond a reasonable limit.
The friend left and I was left with my perma-garden looking like a battle field, complete with bomb craters and trenches! A long hot bath was needed, but first, the animals had to be fed.

It was still sunny, so I wasn't surprised to see Jerry having a lie down. The others took their places for dinner, but not Jerry! I was instantly alert and called T to give me a hand. Jerry is T's baby and he knew instantly that all was very wrong. He got Jerry to his feet and bless him, Jerry managed to come to me for a cuddle before collapsing again. We pulled him up and T walked him while I called a friend to call the vet. I know I could have managed it myself, if I'd had the time to work out what to say, but I didn't and my mind was shutting down!

We had to abandon the walking as Jerry was in such a bad way that we were worried he would collapse on the road. Luckily, I keep a little paddock seperate for emergencies and we put Jerry there. His buddy Toffee was beside himself with worry and when the vet arrived and began to treat Jerry, I was worried Toffee might have a heart attack he was getting so wild in his agitation.
9 years ago, I lost my wonderful horse Oliver in exactly the same way and he was Toffee's whole world as much as he was mine and I'm sure Toffee knew what was happening.

The vet gave Jerry very strong drugs, including morphine and thankfully, he stopped rolling, which is often the cause of a twisted gut, which is then fatal without surgery.  We sat with Jerry until he fell deeply asleep and then checked on him throughout the night. At midnight we were startled to find him quietly eating a little grass with Toffee nearby watching over the fence.

The next morning, he was well enough to go in with Toffee and eat some soaked hay. Toffee never left his side.

 Jerry (on the left) and Toffee.

Of course, after a weekend like that, I wasn't at all surprised to be hit by a big old fibro flare on Monday!!! It was a pretty wasted week!

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Glad to be home.

I was so happy to get home to my lovely animals. I'd missed the ponies sooo much and spent a wonderful day in the sun brushing and fussing them. During the winter, Maggie wears her mane in a long plait to stop it turning to dreadlocks. Brushed out it reaches her shoulder <3
Jerry is looking amazing as well considering that we nearly lost him the first winter due to the stress of the move, the awful weather and the others all stealing his food. Unfortunately Saturday night he went down with a terrible colic, but against all the odds, he pulled through and is now back to his normal cheeky self!
This is what happens when you decide to do some drawing in the house instead of the studio!!!
I was playing with ideas for my business logo but got bored and drew a stag! I am so out of practice!!!
I'll have more to say tomorrow, hopefully. I've overdone it this week and am in bed working on my business plans. I'm so tired that I just want to sleep! The cats think that's a great plan ;)

Friday, 29 March 2019

Stranded in England

Some of my posts maybe in all kinds of order as a lot has happened in the last few months and I'll tell you about them as and when I feel like talking about it all. Some things had quite an effect on me and my life, so I have to share them when I can.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was stranded in England! In February, we popped back to the UK for a big party for T and it was lovely seeing everyone but this happened!

I think it was probably one of the slowest crashes I've ever been involved in! It was in a car park and the person just kept driving, I had nowhere to go as he slowly crunched the front and side panel in!

So, anyhoo, he admitted full liability and his insurance company covered everything including a hire car. They said it would take three days. I came home, sorted out the animals and helped my son pack his things to move back to England. I booked the car in and expected to take my son back, have a couple of days with him and his sister, fill the car with tea and horse feed and return home to France.

Well, let me tell you dear friends, when an insurance company tells you something, check it with the garage as often they have no idea how the garage operates. So, long story short, I was stuck waiting for my poor little car to be fixed. I was lonely, homesick and although enjoying being with my children, dreading the day I would drive away again.

As it turned out, leaving them wasn't too awful, I survived, and they promise to visit in the summer.

Leaving Portsmouth easy, peasy. I can't stand city life or even rural life in England anymore!!!

 It was sooo windy on the ferry, but I had a lovely walk around the deck and just revelled in the feeling of going home.
 In my cabin, I had wine and a picnic. It was lovely :D
 St Malo was a welcome sight the next morning, it's a beautiful city and maybe one day I'll visit properly, instead of zooming through!
 My beautiful Manchee missed me sooo much. He followed me everywhere for the first day and just couldn't stop staring at me. He's still really cuddly nearly two weeks later. I do love this boy <3

I wasn't intending to tell the long and not very interesting story of being stuck in England, but I suppose I needed to get it out, like squeezing a boil. I still tear up when I think of my children, young adults starting their own life adventures and being stuck away from home and helpless really took it's toll on me. I haven't had black days like that since coming to France.

I'm home now and moving forwards, that's where I need to focus.  The Ormus continues to work and my morning routine of getting up early, doing my stretches and feeding the animals is still working for me. Even my Bursitis is easing and my pains are from working hard with soft, lazy muscles unacustomed to so much hard labour :D

Enjoy your day, friends.x

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Making Ormus.

I can't guarantee that I'll be posting daily but my new routine has begun, so it's looking positive so far.

This morning I got up, threw on pj bottoms and a jumper, drank my glass of Ormus and ran outside to feed the ponies and chickens. Then it was back inside for more plain water and a 10/12 minute yoga stretching session. In time I hope to build up to a proper yoga session but I'm still adjusting to the new routine.
The old routine was that T would get up first, put the kettle on, feed the cats and let out the chickens while I tried to grab some extra sleep. I could sometimes manage a good half an hour waking just before my tea got cold. Then I would drag my heavy, aching body out of bed to begin the day.

So here's what's changed, and I hope it lasts. I was stuck in England a couple of weeks ago, completely helpless and unable to return home after my car was held up in the garage. I was only expecting to be there a few days only to be told the car could take weeks! After a day of feeling very sorry for myself I decided to put my time to good use. I'd taken my son back as he wanted to get on with his life and it's too quiet and isolated where we live in France, so I managed to spend a lot of time with him and visiting his sister the Moomin who went back before Christmas.

I also wanted to catch up with my dear friend and Reiki master as she had lost her dog in January and was taking it hard and so I wanted to give her a hug in person.  We had a wonderful day talking and drinking coffee and it put peace in my soul. Then she told me about her healing project making Ormus. I've looked at this in the past and was a bit sceptical. Ormus is also known as Manna and has all kinds of health properties and benefits, too many for me to go into now, but I urge you to look into it and draw your own conclusions. So I took my first dose and to be honest felt really quite weird, light headed and a bit spacy. After the first couple of days that wore off and nothing much happened but I carried on taking it during my stay and on my eventual return to France.

Yesterday was exactly two weeks since my first dose and I was up with the lark and raring to go. My body felt light for the first time in years, like I'd been wearing a lead suit and finally took it off!   It was honestly like waking from a very bad dream.  It was the first morning I began the new routine and I managed to keep up quite a pace all day and even stacked the 30 bags of horse feed that were waiting for me when I got back from England! After that I cleaned the house and took the dogs for a walk!

Now, I'm not sure how long this energy will last and last night, every muscle in my body ached, so the pain is still there, and I had my typical cold like symptoms that warn me to slow down but this morning, I was again up, bright and early.

I also managed to do the next part of my Herbalism course, which I'd been delaying because of one difficult question. So it seems that my brain is more alert as well.  Fingers crossed this lasts because it feels great :D

Tuesday, 26 March 2019


I hope I can find my way back to blogging as I've suddenly begun to miss putting my thoughts into stories and snippets of my day.
I've been so busy looking after the animals and getting the house together on top of starting my new business that I've literally fallen into bed each night too exhausted to even think about getting up early to blog.  I prefer to blog in the mornings when my brain is still fresh and untroubled by the rest of the world.  However, living here, it's possible to avoid the world outside for good long stretches of time. It's very healing.

So, if it's at all possible, I will be writing a proper blog post with pictures and updates on the animals and all that we've been doing.  The ground floor of the house is almost finished, so there will be lots of lovely pictures to share and an update on where the 'no poo' and other hair stories has led me :D

Soon, dear friends.x

Wednesday, 30 January 2019


Where has the time gone? I can't say I'm sorry to see the back of January for so many reasons! Only 2 more days and hopefully they'll be kind ones.

The weather has been so mild and I foolishly put up a youtube about how wonderful it's all been and a couple of weeks later the cold hit us. The really bad weather just happened to hit on the day we ran out of oil, so an early fire was lit and the oil man came out to top up the tank. I love the services here, people work hard and we've rarely had any problems at all with poor quality, although I've heard of those who have been kept waiting for builders and roofers. Our oilman could probably be classed as one of our emergency services and he acts that way too!

So for many reasons, I decided to tackle Veganuary. I've bashed vegans many times for their closed minded attitudes to animal farming and although I agree with them on so many points regarding poor farming practices, I can't agree with their forceful attitude that everyone who eats meat is wrong. We all eat too much meat and modern farming is in so many ways a broken system that sereiously needs an overhaul. I struggle with how the animal is treated at the abbatoir, that system needs the biggest adjustment. You can give an animal a very decent life, but if at the last it's a horror show, then I would rather not eat meat.

That was one reason that led me to Veganuary, the thought of animals at their last moments, but also I've been having terrible digestive issues due to the FM and the drugs I take. I did a little research, ordered some supplements and grains online and off I went.

Luckily, we still had plenty of fresh salads and a few veggies in the veg garden. Even looking a bit wilted the lettuces were great.
 A typical lunch was a wrap filled with houmous and salad. I made different types of houmous and a few bean pastes, but the traditional chickpea is still my favourite. I also sprouted a lot of seeds for lunches and garnishes to add extra proten.

Evening meals were easy as I've always eaten a lot of plant based foods, so I just had to remove any cheese or eggs. I already have soya milk, so sauces were dairy free and I figured out a white sauce using oil and flour to make the roux, it was a bit bland so I added lots of herbs. I'm not sure why I didn't take any pictures, but I made bean burgers, vegetable chilli, puy lentil moussaka, sweet potato curry and lots of pasta dishes with garlic and olive oil. 

It was great until after about 10days when the headaches started. I just felt sick and hungover until I'd had some breakfast and then the pains would go for an hour or so only to come back mid-morning. I discovered that I was probably not eating enough calories, so I made some date and nut truffles and included a spoonful of peanut butter with my breakfast cereal. I should have made some biscuits or granola, but I honestly didn't have the time on top of the winter feed routine. I did manage to keep up with the bread making and that helped a lot to stave off the hunger pains. However, I began waking up in the early hours absolutely starving and unable to get back to sleep. This impacted on the FM and I just felt thoroughly rotten. I began dreaming of eggs!!! By the second weekend, I just had to have some eggs on toast. I was disappointed with myself but the headaches began to ease and this enabled me to carry on for another week after which I once again had eggs as a treat. After all, our hens are well loved and cared for and one of the Vegan issues is to do with the exploitation of animals, which just doesn't happen in our little farm.

So was the experiment a failure or success? Well, it helped me to deal with my issues regarding animals and how they're farmed, it showed me some huge issues with my diet and digestion and the outcome is that I'm eating far more vegetables etc.. I only intend to eat meat that has been ethically produced. We have a friend nearby who grows their own meat for the table and who slaughters their animals humanely in a barn behind the house. No stress at all for the animals and a product that I'm happy to eat.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Bouncing back.

I have to admit that lately my mojo has well and truly gone. However, it is returning slowly. Although the day had been looming for some time, taking my sweet Moomin back to the UK hit me far harder than I thought and the stress of the journey with her and then returning by myself has knocked me back more than a bit. However, just before we left, I managed to squeeze in a Christmas market. It was my first in France and it was a very quiet affair, aimed at building my confidence and quietly putting our name out there for future courses.
I was astonished at the warmth of the welcome and at the popularity of my paintings. I can see that the horses are of great interest to people here and the pictures were very popular. I sold several prints and some felted items. Most importantly though, I made some great contacts for next year including a very nice lady with sheep for sale (oops, don't tell T!). So all in all, a far more successful day than I was expecting :D
Yesterday and today was spent dealing with some pheasants and a couple of partridges that T's Dad got for us in England. They travelled on the ferry in a cool box and I was very grateful not to have my car searched! 8 birds in the freezer is a good feeling.
I don't just love birds, I adore them all and I saved many of the beautiful feathers and felt a little tearful when I had to take off the wings and feet. It was almost a push towards becoming a vegetarian!!!
However, I know full well that when I sit down to eat, my faithless heart will forget the guilt and I'll enjoy every mouthful!!! I hope I don't offend anyone, but what can I say? I'm so weak!