Pooch pics

Just a few pics of a typical dog walk. I have my three: Tag ( whippet), Chuggie ( pug cross) and Peaches ( fluffy cross breed)…plus my younger son’s JRT puppy, Max, ….and a dog who is here on holiday, Charlie. He is a Golden Retriever.








Transitions and a cottage full of furries and not so furries.

As many of you may be aware I am growing out the remains of my hair dye and allowing my grey/silver to finally grow through. I am 45 and have been dying my hair for over a decade. It has been 9 months with no dye so far and a transitional time in many ways.  Not only are my roots growing out but I am growing as a person. I have the confidence to love myself just the way I am, dye or no dye.


9 months no hair dye..and the grey really shows!

I am still encountering some negative comments about the way my hair looks. About the fact that I am not ‘old’ yet and should dye it a bit longer as I am too young to go grey.  But I am taking it all on the chin and smiling.

I am HAPPY with my hair just the way it is. I am happy with my life just the way it is. I am happy being me, grey hairs an’ all..and for me that is a major milestone, having spent a good chunk of my life trying hard to be something I am not and not particularly liking how I looked. Even when I worked hard at my appearance, I still spent far too much time worrying about my weight, clothes, hair, height etc . ..but I have finally let go and become confident enough to just be!

I see my grey hair as a visual sign of all the wisdom and experience I have gained over the years and I am proud to show them!  🙂

On another note, as you may know I have quite a menagerie of my own here at Riverside and I often look after dogs for friends and family when they go away on holiday or on business. I currently have a beautiful Golden Retriever, Charlie, staying here with me,  and my son’s Jack Russell pup, Max, is here most days whilst he is at work too! So this tiny cottage is currently housing 5 dogs of varying sizes, my two cats and H’s collection of invertebrates and small furry critters. Haha!… It is positively bursting at the seams…and yet all is quiet and settled and life still has a gentle peaceful feel about it..


My eldest sons German Pointer, Chester, spends odd days here when Ben or his fiancée have to work long shifts.


. ….and despite this influx of non-resident dogs into my own dog’s territory, they all get along just fine.


My own dogs often come along with me when I do one of my gardening jobs and they spend the day at my parents house whilst I work, as their cottage is opposite the garden I look after. My dogs (and quite often a few extra ones too), spend the day with my parents dogs, Benji the dachshund and Lila the whippet.  All these dogs get along. There is no aggression, dominance or jealousy and I love it!

I think it is rather special that they all like one another!

Benji and Lila have stayed here at Riverside a few times and even get along with my cats which astounded my mum as Benji was not a cat lover at all!

Lola my sphynx cat  ignores visiting dogs totally. She is totally unfazed by extra woofers sniffing her and she simply donks them on the nose with her rubbery paw if they get too pushy,  and  then she goes about life as normal.

Aurora my odd eyed cat is slightly more aloof and will hide in my bedroom for one day until she has checked out the visiting dog from a distance but even she soon gets used to new animals in the cottage.  There is no cat chasing, no spitting or hissing..nothing.. xx

We could learn a lot from the way these dogs and cats accept one another’s differences I think.



Sun rays and doggy days….

I think this photo say it all.


Yay!… Sun!!


We had some much needed sunshine today..and the dogs made the most of it and had a fabulous time running and playing in the field.

Tag my whippet truly loves to run. Chuggie my little liver-shunt pug cross, went investigating in the long grass and Peaches our new little rescue dog had some proper muddy fun, acting like a real part of the pack. She has gone from being a timid quivering girl to a bouncy confident dog in no time at all and today gave her the opportunity to really run and play.

It has been great to see the transformation.


Tag my whippet just loves to run!


Chuggie Chugster surveys his estate


Peaches enjoying the sun on her ears


Excellent recall.. Tag is such a good boy.


Happy Peaches




Her tongue hangs out a lot . Bless her.



Peaches can run!


A shaft of sunlight lit up a dusting of chaff, as we scooped into a feed bucket for the ponies and it floated and sparkled like glitter in the feed room.


….and we found sunny yellow lesser celandines, lifting their golden faces up to the sun,

Imageand the ponies seem much happier now the rain has stopped although NOTHING stops them eating 😉



Ponies enjoying the sun on their backs.

All in all it has been a wonderful day 🙂



The heart of a home. Love and a log fire.

Well my daughter and I are finally over the nasty virus that laid us up for almost a fortnight. Thank you for all the lovely get well wishes. I have caught up with all my jobs…..at last. Hurrah! Happy me.

Hannah is back on track and is starting a new entomology project, so please feel free to link to any useful resources that may be of use to an insect mad ten-year old 🙂

My heavily pregnant goat, Tansy, is now settled in her newly washed out and disinfected kidding pen. Her sister, Marigold, is settled in the pen next door, so they can still see each other. I have the kidding kit ready by the back door. It includes a bright torch, lamb reviver (they don’t seem to do one specifically for goat kids), emergency colostrum/ milk replacer, bottle, syringe and tube, lambing ropes, lubricant, iodine, towels etc……and a hip flask with a small drop of whisky in…….but that’s for me! 😉

Fingers crossed when the time comes it all goes smoothly. This is her first kidding . I am currently doing a late night check on her and her sister, who is not due to kid until June, every evening, before I go to bed. I remove Tansy’s water bucket overnight,  just in case she manages to drop a kid in it, even though it is raised in a bucket holder. Better safe than sorry. Then I check her again at 1:00 am, again at 4:30 am, then again first thing in the morning. I drag myself out of bed on hearing my alarm go off, put on a thick towelling robe over  the top of my jim-jams and push on my old faithful welly boots and  sleepily plod across the garden to the girl’s sheds, torch in hand, to quietly peek in and see if anything is happening.  Then I head straight back to bed (removing the wellies first!) and set the alarm for 3 hrs time. I must say that I love my sleep and getting up in the middle of the night is not my idea of fun…….but somehow when you have animals due to give birth it doesn’t bother you at all.

Her ‘official’ due date is March 6th but they can kid a week either side of that date. Hence me being prepared 🙂

You can click on any photo on my blog to enlarge it.


The girls, Marigold and Tansy.

On a less bright note:

I have had a bit of upset with a ‘neighbour’ that lives in the next lane in the village.  She arrived at my door in a foul mood and promptly went about telling me in a very abrupt manner, how my geese were on HER land and she wasn’t putting up with them or their poop on her property.

I must add that my tiny property here is bordered by a river along one boundary and my three geese are indeed loose on this river all day as I cannot afford to fence the entire river off  and they had managed to get across to the other side of the river, climb up the steep riverbank and onto the farmland that this lady owns and had then travelled through her farmyard onto the lane where this lady lives.  She was VERY angry with me. I apologised profusely.
What she hadn’t waited to hear, before getting cross  with me, was that I had been out looking for them all day. Even though they live semi wild here on the river, I do in fact feed them every single day in my garden. I missed them  instantly that morning as they never arrived for their breakfast and after hours looking for them I had come to the conclusion that they had been either stolen or being caught by a fox.  I had no idea they had travelled so far!
I would never intentionally allow my geese on another person’s property. I felt awful. I do not cope at all well with confrontation and it really upset me.
This lady then insisted that they had to be put in her neighbours paddock with her geese as that was PROPERLY fenced in 😦   So it appeared that I had inadvertently lost my beloved geese.  I cried my eyes out when she left.

However my son then arrived to collect his dog Chester (I look after Chester a few days each week ) and my son insisted that we go find the geese and get them back and that he would help me construct an escape proof run for them to prevent further problems.  So off he went and back we  all came some time later carrying three full-grown Embden and Pilgrim geese in a huge crate!  They were VERY heavy!

My son is my hero!

But I am incredibly sad that this means they are no longer allowed to swim on the river. It seems such a shame. They loved it  so much. If they seem unhappy I will have to consider re-homing them 😦

The geese on the river..click to enlarge photos



The week has since got a bit better.

Our new rescue dog, Peaches, has finally mastered walking on the lead. She used to just collapse and lay on her back when we put a lead on her. She didn’t seem to have a clue what she was supposed to do. But she  has learnt very quickly! The other dogs helped loads and she eventually followed them and got to grips with the whole going for a walk thing.  She also had some fun ‘off lead’ time with the other dogs in a nearby field and she had great recall! I am thrilled with her progress. She is gaining more and more confidence each day. She fits in here perfectly.  She is so willing to learn and so well-behaved. We love her to bits already. The other dogs seem to love her too x

SAM_3409A pile of pooches

On another high note:

My chimney has FINALLY been rebuilt, after many difficulties fitting the chimney liner. My wood stove has been reconnected to the chimney, a new chimney stack has been built up on the roof and a new cowling fitted on the pot at the top. I have heat and hot water once again! It feels like home again. Hurrah! A real fire really is the heart of my home.


It really has been a lovely week ( despite the earlier upset) My daughter received a surprise parcel in the post from a lovely friend of mine this week  and one of the items was a beautiful apron. I love it so much.  My daughter  plans to wear it when she bakes shortbread this week. I want one in my size 😉

I am so grateful for all the wonderful things in my life and for the ability to ride the waves when things get tough (which they inevitably seem to do) and I am so thankful for all my amazing friends and my fabulous family, who love and support me  and accept my eccentricities 😉

Thank you all xxxx

SAM_3461Bumblebee says “Hello”

…..and right on cue to top the evening off with yet more loveliness the sky painted a beautiful picture for me tonight. I took a photo. Enjoy! xx

Red sky at night……..Goatkeeper’s delight 😉


Goodnight x