Friday, 30 September 2016

As the Seasons change.

My two Eriskay boys, Merlin on the left and his son Bo on the right. Poor Merlin is no longer a stallion, but I can't say any more about that as it's subject to a court case!!!  At least he survived and is still with us!
Bo is much bigger than Merlin, but then his Mum was a big girl!!!
Toffee is our New Forest pony and has been been with us for 14 years. He's very precious <3
All of our animals have been enjoying the last hot days of the year, but this week has been stormy and I doubt we'll have many more like this.
Fae loves to sunbathe on the front step.
And here she's joined by her brother Finn and at the bottom of the steps, her Aunt Piper.
Bambam has to get in most of the photos, she's Fae's cousin and probably half sister, haha!
So the courgettes went crazy and I made huge batches of rattatouille with lots of herbs from the garden and cheap veggies from the market. I think I have at least 8 containers in the freezer for pasta sauces or just to have plain on couscous :D
Blackberry and elderberry wine on the bubble! The blackberries this year seemed to have an unusual amount of maggots, so no jam or pies, no way!
Autumn is my favourite time of year and a good excuse for steak and kidney pudding and lots of stews and pies. Plus, some of the wine will be drinkable by Christmas ;)

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

We found water!

You might wonder at us finding water on our trip to the coast, but you see the tide was far out and we wondered at the fishermen we saw walking out towards the mud. How can they fish here? We followed.

Being a Spaniel of great need for water, Walley was far ahead of us.  Several sinkings in the mud later he led us to this man made causeway and it was here that we found the fishermen with their lines deep into lagoons of trapped tidal water.

You can see in this picture, the mud on the left of the picture (green and slimy) and the lagoon on the right.
Walley was having a great time, dipping in and out of the deep pools while Manchee tried to relieve the fishermen of any lunch or snacks in their bags. That's his usual style and we know now to look out for the signs of him slinking off in search of food! The rocks slowed him down as his tiny Whippet feet struggle with uneven ground!
The rocks were mostly chalk and flint, probably brought here a long time ago to make the lagoons. We couldn't work out why though. Were these for boats or another reason?
Finally we came to a point where the sea was rushing to escape from one lagoon to another. My companion bravely stepped across the stones, trusting his rugged walking shoes on the weed and kelp.  Of course, I discarded footwear and waded across, much to Wally's delight as he tried to involve me in a game of chase. I was barely keeping upright, so no pictures of that!
We later found out that the lagoons were used as oyster beds and while most of them have maintained their unnatural, square shape, some have just become deep pools, slowly being returned to the sea.  It was beautiful here and I can't wait to come back. Neither can the dogs :D

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Shawl challenge.

So here is the look I'm going for, Claire's shawl from Outlander. I found a very nice pattern on Ravelry called When in Scotland and even better, it's free!!!
So I've started it, but I'm not sure how it's going to end up looking like it should! I'm not a great knitter, so it's hard to imagine how something will turn out from reading the pattern. 
If anyone good at knitting could comment on how this is supposed to work, I'd be very glad :D

Monday, 26 September 2016

Llandovery part 2.

We made sure that we visited Drysllwyn Castle on the edge of Llandeilo before we popped in for our visit with BB from Codlins and Cream. The weather was so beautiful and the views stunning.
I last came here in 2010 with my children. It all seemed so long ago and yet just like yesterday! How is it that memories are that way sometimes?
This view of the Fans (part of the Brecon beacons) was from the churchyard in Llanddeusant. I came here looking for the burial place of Jeanine McMullen whose wonderful books inspired me and brought about my deep love of Wales. The books were sent to me by BB and had led her to love Wales in the same way that I later did. The books also led me to buy my darling goats, something I swore I would never do, and if you read the books you would know why!!!
My image is reflected in the stone, something I only noticed when I got home. I have to say I was deeply moved by the grave and wished I met Jeanine in person. I left a handful of wildflowers, and someone had left a little unicorn card, which was Jeanine's favourite animal.
We then went to visit the foothils of Llyn y fan fach where the river flows down from the magical lake nestled in the heart of the Fans. I'm quite certain I saw Jeanine's little cottage on the drive to the lake, but was still too emotional to stop and take a picture. Besides, it belongs to someone else now and they may not have been too happy!
The stream was beautiful and very cold, yes of course, I kicked off my shoes and socks and got right in there! By now, my companion was beginning to get an idea of how much I love water and being in it! I'm impressed that I didn't slip up as the rocks were very slimy in places.
The scenery was just amazing.
With so much open sky,
and real life Welsh mountain ponies. They were gorgeous, but very wary.
Finally, we returned home to a very put out dog, who had missed me and was upset to have been left behind despite the very best care and attention!
Also, a rat had moved in! It was unhappily hiding behind the Welsh dresser in the kitchen. Such a coincidence! But what kind of crazy rodent would enter a house with a hunting dog and 6 very accomplished cats? They were all lined up waiting for him to make his move, so I shut them out and managed to get him out to the garden. I had intended to take him away from the house, but he leaped out of the box and I ran the other way, haha!
Life is getting back to normal now and we spent the weekend walking along our lovely coastline. I do miss Wales though <3

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Llandovery part1.

Our walking took us on an adventure all the way to Wales.
Wales has been in my heart since my early 20's but became a good deal more special after reading 'My Small Country Living' by Jeanine McMullen. My dear friend BB from Codlinsandcream sent me the first two books in the series and I fell instantly in love with Jeanine's writing and description of her chaotic life. Her animals featured largely in her tales and despite swearing that I would never own a goat, I ended up buying two! Sadly my divorce meant that I couldn't keep the goats and they are now living at the Butser Ancient Farm in Chalton.  But I digress!
We booked on a whim and found the Kings Head in Llandovery had a vacancy for dates we wanted.  What a surprise awaited us. The little town square was so sweet and charming. Our Inn is just visible in the left of the photo behind the fountain, a little white building with a low hanging roof.
 We walked back and forth and up and down twisty corridors to find our room. It was a bit like the Inn in Harry Potter (In Diagon Alley)!
Finally, at the very top was our room.
This was at the top of the fire escape which was a quicker way in and out, but we still got lost!
From our window, the town was just sooo pretty.
We fell in love with the little lanes and there were plenty of shops selling antiques and bits and pieces.
The weather was perfect and we could have been sat in any little European town abroad. We got quite sunburnt too!
After coffee we hiked across the hills to visit BB in her beautiful farmhouse. First of course I had to have a play in the river that she so frequently posts on her own blog.  We were a little late arriving and she instantly guessed that I'd been in the river!
Ooops! Evidence that she knows me so well :D
The we had the most amazing sponge that was every bit as delicious as it looks :D
Then it was back to our rooms for another gorgeous meal. The following day we went on a bit of a pilgrimage, but that's for the next post.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Shawls and a challenge.

This is an old post from my other blog, which I closed as it no longer reflects me and who I am. The Holistic Home was about cherishing and nourishing our home, but as I've realised (finally) home is where the heart is and my heart is in the woods and along the shores.  My real, solid home will be changing in the months to come, so I feel more like a wandering gypsy until I once more put down solid roots.

Back to the old post. It's about wool :D

'So is there anyone left out there who hasn't been taken over by the Outlander obsession?  I was late coming to the series as I hadn't enjoyed the books as much as many of Diana Gabaldon's fans, but one evening, I was browsing my 'Prime' options and decided to give it a go.

The acting is good, the scenery stunning, but the costumes are the show stealers, especially the knitwear!  I'm not a great knitter, I've admitted before, but suddenly I had the drive to sit down and get out the needles.
I couldn't find a suitable pattern for Claire's wrist warmers, so I made one up, why not???  I've already finished one and the next is halfway, so I'll post pictures and the very simple pattern soon.
Meanwhile, my attempts at Fractal Spinning have produced this!  I would have liked more orange and brown combinations, but it's fairly pleasing and may end up as another pair of simple wrist warmers!  The wool was dyed with food colouring, so I'm testing it to see how colour fast it is.  Apparently the shades fade over time and some of the blends have already lost their brightness.
Now I have two large fleeces to finish processing, as moths got into my stash and I've had to be brutal and throw a lot of it away.  I have my lovely Manx Loughton and Romney fleeces left and that's all!!!  However, I have heard whisper of a black Shetland fleece going for free, so that could be mine soon. '

Now for the challenge:  Lets make a Claire Fraser shawl.

I found this pattern for it as a free Ravelry download and thought it might be fun to have a knit-along and share our pictures. Feel free to share this post and invite as many blog friends as you can. Maybe some bloggers have already made the shawl above. It would be great to see those too as it might keep me going when my needles start to slow down!

So here's what I suggest. If you want to join in, add your name in the comments and then each week post photos of your progress, then we can all visit each other and be inspired.

  My latest shawl is really a very wide scarf and as you can see, I've had to fill in with a different wool as it turned out I only had one ball and not the three that I thought I had! I think the wool faeries have pinched it!

I have some links to other patterns that I'll be trying, but for now, I think I ought to go to school as the children may notice I'm not there :D

Thursday, 8 September 2016


I've been walking my way through the Summer holidays and now it's back to school time. I have so many pictures to share and I still have so much to do here in the house. That's the problem with having so many adventures, finding the time to write about it all comes second.  I will be back later :D