Thursday, 28 October 2010

Introducing Danny

 It has been a while coming, (or should that be threatening?) but it looks as though I've gone and gotten myself a horse! What am I thinking?

So this is Danny, a 15.2hh thoroughbred cross.

He's a 16 year old ex-showjumper. He has arthritis in one of his fetlocks so can't compete any more but is supremely fit and able to do what I have planned for him.

We've done a couple of long afternoon rides out together and he's a really comfy ride; lovely paces, plenty of go but also a reliable stop and lots of character.
I can't wait to get him home and start going out having adventures together. Welcome to the family Danny x

Friday, 15 October 2010

North Pennines Wool Event

Chris and I took a trip into the wild lands of the North Pennines this Tuesday to join fellow wool enthusiasts, including our esteemed Chairman of the Shetland Sheep Society, in celebrating all things woolly.
North Pennines Wool ran an event featuring many different types of fibre craft including weaving, spinning and felting, as well as showing different types of fleece and demonstrating how to sort them.
 I was very happy to catch up with some old friends and update them on how the flock was getting on. It was particularly good to see Jean who sold me five of my original flock members.
The real highlight however was when Chris, being eagle eyed, spotted a bargain.
A beautiful second hand spinning wheel.
So now there's no excuse. I've been spinning away in the evenings and have signed up for a knitting course so that soon I might really be able to go all the way from sheep to jumper... or perhaps just to scarf for starters! I've got an awful lot of lovely fleece just waiting to be turned into something exciting.
Coming soon on this blog...
A very important horse!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Bare feet and mobile bones

Life can't be bad when you can walk three miles barefoot along a beautiful sandy beach...
But that's exactly what Chris and I did with my parents a week or so ago when we took a long stroll around North Walney Nature Reserve and beaches.
It was a simply beautiful day as we strolled through the yellow sand dunes, across the salt marsh with it's fascinating flora, and out to the end of the island where turnstone foraged along the shingle and where we found the perfect place for a sit down and a brew.
Chris is getting used to the fact that my family are impulsive foragers. I was brought up to know many sources of free food and uses and appreciation for things that you find lying around.
September is prime time for finding one of my very favourite mushrooms, the Parasol. These are big and we only needed to take a couple for Chris to make into a fabulous soup when we got home.
Mam and I found a very useful length of rope littering the beach which we tidied off the sand to use in the garden and I found this amazing bone...
I think that it must be a dolphin or whale bone, but am happy to be corrected. It looks like the bone at the base of a flipper; so perhaps it is a large seal.
The concerning thing about it is that it has clearly been neatly cut through by some implement. I wonder what the poor animal's fate was.
When I insisted that it was coming home with me Chris nicknamed it my "mobile bone".
With these and various other useful things and bits of fishing gear that ought not to be left on the beach, where they are a hazard to birds and other wildlife, we had rather a lot to carry. Luckily, the beach provided the answer in the form of an old fish box washed up on the shore.
It's good to see that Fox appreciates the gravity of such a find!
 My bonkers family and I carried that box for over three miles across the sands of Walney Island.
But it was a wonderful stretch out and the dogs were delighted.
Not to mention absolutely knackered and just a tad sandy!