Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Wandering and Dreaming

I always feel close to my Mum when I'm wandering and dreaming. I don't know why. We scattered my Mum's ashes at Lake Windermere so of course I feel closest to her there because she loved it and she specifically asked us to scatter her ashes there. That makes it even more special.

But being out in the countryside with the dogs makes me feel that she is near, almost as though I could have a conversation with her. Even if I'm thinking about something else - I often find a walk helps me to clear my mind and see a problem from a different angle - it's as though she's walking along next to me, listening to my ramblings. Perhaps with a wry little smile

She loved the countryside you see, dogs too, and I often think that she would love the life I have now. My home, my dogs, the countryside, the chickens ... all of it. And Forrest of course, that goes without saying. It is unfair beyond words that she never got to meet her grandchildren. But sometimes when I'm doing something I know she would have enjoyed, it's almost as though I'm doing it for her. As if I'm experiencing it on her behalf 

Last week I took the dogs to the vet for their annual vaccinations and stopped for a walk on the way there. I went to a beautiful spot where I used to ride my horse years ago, it has a really beautiful valley which I used to explore as a kid on my pony too. My Mum had never been there - I feel like she has but I've just had a good think about it and she can't have been. But again, she has felt close to me there

I used to spend hours upon hours out riding and get home after settling my horse, tired, aching, hungry but brimming over with happiness. My mum would sit me down at the kitchen table with my heated-up dinner and listen as I regaled her with tales of where I'd been, what I'd seen, where I'd had a gallop and how Toby had been startled when a magpie popped out of the hedge in front of him and pretended he was going to bolt and we'd laugh because Toby would never do such a thing

My Mum wasn't a confident rider but I think if she had been, we would have ridden together an awful lot. I think that back then, she lived vicariously through me when it came to riding and perhaps that's why I feel that she lives through me now. Whenever I see a beautiful view, a bird close up, a country house, a pretty wildflower - I always think of her

What do you do to feel close to loved ones you've lost?

Saturday, 9 August 2014

July Round Up

July was woefully short of Friday Round Ups - woefully short of any blog posts in fact. It will go down in history as One Of The Busiest And Most Stressful Months Ever - keeping company with last September which saw the run up to the Big House Move, Matt in hospital and me 8 months pregnant. Phew. On second thoughts, July was a walk in the park compared to that ordeal!

I thought I'd have a look back at my photos from July to see what kind of story they told, so here's my July Round Up

Forrest learned a new trick involving pulling Jessie's ear when she sits next to him at mealtimes. She doesn't seem to mind

I learned a lesson about leaving my cereal bowl too close to the baby/edge of the table

We finished painting the office. It's Stone Blue with Strong White coving and Pointing ceiling/window (all Farrow & Ball) We're sleeping in here at the minute until our dressing room is shelved out, then we can decorate our new bedroom and get moved into there

The evening sun streaming in through the arched window in the kitchen. This is my view when I sit at the kitchen table of an evening, back to the Aga, laptop and cup of tea in front of me, candle burning. It's so peaceful and I feel so lucky to live here - even if the garden is a jungle!

I revisited a childhood favourite. At times when I feel stressed, a bit down or just weary, I like to re-read childhood favourites. It's like wrapping myself in a comfort blanket from the past. I love reliving old memories, I find it immensely comforting. This was a story I used to borrow from the library as an audiobook. I can still hear the voice of the lady reading it (it may have been Lynda Bellingham)

I started my new job in the family business! It's been a tough month, I've worked every available hour to try to get up to date with work and I'm just about there now. It's been difficult, tiring and frustrating but I can honestly say I've enjoyed every minute of it and there hasn't been a single moment where I've thought 'what have I done??' 

Jessie sporting The Cone Of Shame. Poor bear had an op early in the month and a very difficult recovery - I was seriously worried about her. By this point it was clear that she'd turned a corner and was going to be ok but she held a grudge about that collar. Look at those accusatory eyes ...

Forrest had a chest infection and was very poorly for a week. Poor little thing was even hotter and sweatier than usual and had a terrible cough. I hate it when he's poorly but I do like nursing him and enjoy his increased need for cuddles!

Red cabbage about to go into the Aga. We had family over for a Sunday roast twice last month and braised red cabbage is a must for me. I love a good roast dinner!

We had a day out in Harrogate. It was a failure on the shopping front (we bought absolutely nothing!) but it was a lovely day out nonetheless. We still don't get much time together as a family due to work and house commitments so days out like this are always enjoyable, no matter what we do

I made a little feathered friend. One sunny Saturday a little fledgling sparrow came along to eat some breadcrumbs I threw out of the French doors in the kitchen. He was so unafraid and looked really curious, he eventually ate all the crumbs and popped into the house! I started to feed him and he became a regular visitor, showing up a dozen times a day for more crumbs or to sit under Forrest's high chair and pick up any crumbs he dropped. Many times though he didn't even seem interested in the food, he just used to sit there and look at me. One day I was sitting on the sofa giving Forrest his bottle and the sparrow popped up on the sofa arm beside me! I nearly jumped out of my skin! He came for exactly a week then disappeared, never to be seen again. I still find it really odd

I took Forrest to a local beauty spot for a picnic with my sister and nephew. He had a whale of a time on his first picnic, eating sandwiches, cheese, crackers, quiche, cucumber and yoghurt. He even dipped his little feet in the stream!

How was your July?

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