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

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Time flies too fast!

It's been another month since my last post and I just don't know where the time is going.
I'll admit that I've been quite directionless of late, not being able to settle to anything and flitting constantly from one project to another. I think, if I'm really honest, I've been suffering from depression. It varies from mild to almost a deep black pit.

Since my son came back a few weeks ago, things have improved and I've been tackling some long neglected jobs, like my poor garden. The trouble is, I've overdone it again and now I feel worn out! This earnt me a thorough lecture from both son and partner so I sulked a bit but they are right!

My son helped me to build this arch for the beans, which are finally romping away since this photo. Nettle fertiliser and rain have heped.

 This was the state of the front garden which has been thoroughly neglected in favour of the potager! It took me the whole weekend in searing heat to clear it.
 I also built a low dry stone wall to stop the grass from encroaching again and it was good to find the original path below all the weeds! The rest of the garden is still overgrown, but the ponies will eat that down in no time!
So, today I'm feeling a little better, my lovely son has been so sweet and I'm being a little gentle with myuself. I have a craft group to go to this afternoon which will do me good. They're lovely ladies who just natter and paint or sew. It's good to be part of a group again.

Where I go next with my business plans though is anyones guess!

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Screw that!

Those last  posts have been real downers! I'm not going there again. It's late, I need my bed and hopefully tomorrow will be brighter and I'll have more positive things to share. It's not all bad at the Wildewood, just sometimes it feels that way.

Sorry guys.x

Edited to add: Feeling brighter already, lol!

Friday, 21 June 2019

a bit of an odd post!

This, I suppose is just a ramble through my thoughts at the moment. I've been thinking a lot about pets and their impact in our lives. When we lost Walley it was such a huge and sudden shock. He meant so much to all of us people and animals. I'm still grieving in a huge way and not a day goes by without a tear or two or more! I really thought that I could never have another dog but Manchee was so lost without his buddy and adopted brother. He was just so low and unhappy. The house was such a sad place to be.

I've come to the conclusion that there can be no rules and it's not fair for another person to say what's too soon and when the time is right to get another animal (or person in fact if that's the situation). There is no limit to grief and it is absolutely possible to love another while still grieving for the first. This is what I've found to be true for me.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw this sad, skinny and wounded little dog on FB. I scrolled on by but a couple of days later a friend posted his story. His name caught my attention as I'm pretty superstitious about names. He'd been renamed Merlin. My lovely Eriskay is Merlin and we took him under our wing after a dodgy start in life. I read the story about this little chap and a seed began to grow. The following day, I clicked on his picture and re-read the story. I won't go into details but he was horribly wounded and beaten by his previous owners. His face will always bear the scars and so will his ears and what's left of his tail.

I mentioned it to T but he was less than enthusiastic, of course, Walley was his baby. I left it for a while, but the picture popped up on FB and Merlin was to go to an open adoption day. Suddenly I didn't want that to happen. It was a huge surprise to find out that he was in a foster home 15minutes away from us. This is rare as the dogs are featured from all over Brittany. We went to meet him and he hid the entire time. We went back a few days later and took Manchee to see if there was any hope. He attacked Manchee and bit him a couple of times. I was ready to give up, but T suggested one more meeting with the dogs on neutral ground. We went to the woods and Merlin went for Manchee again. Manchee is Mr Mellow in just about all circumstances however, he was ready and turned and growled full in Merlin's face. It was a huge turning point and Merlin suddenly had this whole hero worship thing going on.

So, to fast forward to today, Merlin has been living with us for two weeks! I can't believe he's been here so long!!! His personality has blossomed and he's so eager to please that a simple snap of the fingers will bring him up short. He adores Manchee and has begun to overcome his fear aggression with very quiet but persistant commands.

He and Manchee have suddenly in the last few days really bonded, although Manchee does still do a lot of eye rolling!
 Merlin is probably half Jack Russell and we're convinced the other half is whippet from his body shape and love of blankets :D
 Today they both got matching lurcher/whippet collars embossed with celtic designs. I think that means he's staying. He's certainly cheered up the household a lot.
 This week in honour of Walley, I had a star added to the top of my Elen tattoo, which I finally had finished. The footsteps and tiny stars are a symbol of the winding path we all take, never fully glimpsing beyond the next turn.
 Despite a really bad back, I spent some time tidying and planting Walley's little garden with wildflowers and forget-me-nots.
 I didn't want a stone marker as it just didn't suit his personality so I inlaid some stones and crystals into cement then decorated the spaces with swirls and a few hearts. It took me forever as I smoothed it all with a small paintbrush. It was worth it though as it's dried out perfectly <3

I suppose what this post is really all about is that it's possible to feel love in an injured heart and  maybe Merlin is bringing healing to us as he finds healing of his own  <3

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!