Tuesday 28 May 2024

There is a Very Good Reason why Old People Shoudn't Have Babies...

 ...or take on young puppies.  

They are exhausting!  Really exhausting.  Routine life goes out of the window.

Yes, they are adorable bundles of fun but they chew carpets, rugs, furniture, fingers and clothes.  All with great enthusiasm and affection, even when they accidently draw blood.  Then there is the over enthusiastic gardening.  Not digging, yet.  Just grabbing any foliage, flowers or moss, along with a side-serving of bird poo, if available.  The careering around the garden, oblivious to the danger of a drop onto the paving slabs, or the danger of squeezing into a narrow gap by the wall.  

They also get between, in front, just behind and to the side of your feet.  Every footstep has to be monitored.  One develops a kind of 'puppy walk' widely spaced feet and constant scanning!  It looks weird, but it does work.  Very necessary when one is older.  Last thing we need is a tumble, or an injured puppy.

Winston was due to move in here on Sunday morning, but in the event he came at around 5pm on Saturday.  He is an amazing ball of energy who keeps on going, until he suddenly stops.  Snooze time.  Luckily he has plenty of naps.  I couldn't cope otherwise! 

Once he gets to sleep I spend time working with the old cats.  They are coming round.  Millie is still not impressed, but she is back in her favourite high-level spots and demanding food, special food because she is so traumatised.  Nice try Millie!  

Sparky has assessed the little chap, decided that he is a bit of a nuisance, but not a threat.  She has taken over the porch and insists on being fed out there, luckily it is quite large and has a very long window sill.  Between that, and the bench seat at the end, she is quite happy.  She has her own entrance, fresh air, a great view of the bird activity in the garden and access to all her facilities.  If she and Winston happen to come face to face in the garden, she stands her ground and he leaves her alone.

It has gone better than expected.  The length of my day has expanded, my knees have callouses from crawling around the floor playing with Winston,   I am grubby and worn out, but all my animals are happy and my husband is still getting fed homemade food.  The house even gets an occasional hoover - mainly because I am determined that the puppy will become used to all the normal household appliances, doorbells, telephones, and so on.

He is crate trained now and sleeps in it from 10.30pm until around 4.30-4.45am, when I let him out to do the necessary in the garden.  So far, so good.    He also takes daytime naps in there. It is his special place.

It is early days, but he is a delight.  Yes he has slightly weak back legs, but the vet has checked him over and is not concerned.  Yes he is rather brighter than my usual boys, so bright that I should be putting his name down for a good school, were he human.  Luckily he is not. 

Yes, our nice peaceful life has been radically changed, our routine totally trashed.  That is a good thing.  It is too easy to become set in our ways.  A little shake-up now and then is probably good for us.

Friday 24 May 2024

Finished with Dogs Forever

 Parsonage Cottage had a visitor today, Winston.   

My first problem was trying to pick him out from the little gang of ten puppies.  He is a little smaller, but when you have ten very enthusiastic, almost identical, puppies standing on their back legs wagging their tails, it is really difficult.

I failed with my first pick, but got it right with the second.  His mother came over and gave me a jolly good sniff, demanded a little bit of attention and then walked off.  She seemed quite happy that I was borrowing one of her boys.

Winston toddled around the kitchen, boot room and conservatory sniffing everything before settling down and having a play with his new toys.  He may be a little smaller than the others, a little weaker, but he seems quite a bright little thing and quickly learnt the difference in my tone from gentle disapproval to happy approval with his choice of chewing material.

Millie, the ginger cat, spotted the little invader.  She didn't hiss, but she did fluff up to twice her normal size then kept peering at the little puppy who looks so much like herself.  She couldn't decide what to make of him so she took to her favourite bed up on top of a sideboard, where she could spy on him. 

Sparky was disgusted.  She simply stalked off, didn't even bother to fluff herself up.  No doubt she had thought we had finished with dogs forever.  She came home when she was hungry, so did Millie.  The signs are good. 

Winston tucked into his lunch with great appetite and would have eaten more, had there been any.   I took him back outside for a few minutes of exploration.   We have a daisy sprinkled lawn and I ended up singing "Don't, don't, don't eat the daisies..." as I moved him on to a section which is free from flowers.    Sorry, Winston, the sooner you learn that I have a song for most occasions...

Back inside and the need for another nap came upon him.   We had one more play session then it was time to take him home.  He had been with us for three and a half hours.  

When I put him back into the outdoor pen with his brothers and sisters they all romped over and gave him a good sniffing.   He took it well.     The short time he had been away from them seemed to have given him more confidence.   He simply snatched up a few blades of grass and trotted around with them hanging out of his mouth, with the others in hot pursuit, they wanted that grass!  

The runt had become the leader.  It was so funny.

This is a photograph of him tonight, back with his mum (not in the photograph) and having a nap away from his livelier family. 

Eight o'clock on Sunday morning is when he moves into this place.  He will be the first one to leave home.  Most of the others will be collected later that day.  

In other news, the bread oven is progressing very nicely.  It should be ready for action in a couple of weeks, so expect there to be either biblical rain, or a heatwave as I give it some trial firings.  😉

Thursday 23 May 2024

Capturing the Essence

 A few years ago I had great fun trying to recreate the covers of some of my cookery books.   You could say that I had too much time on my hands, all I know is that I had a lot of fun.  

I posted one or two here, a long time ago.   

I was trying to capture the essence of the cover, rather than slavishly recreating them.  Some are more successful than others.  They were all fun, some of the simplest ones were the most difficult to capture.

I quite liked the way this one turned out, just a preserving pan, a cloth, garlic cloves, an old tankard and the look was there.

I kept this one simple.

This one was photographed outside against a hedge because I couldn't magic up a house lookalike.

I used one of Frankie's dolls to do this little bit of fun.

I had to abandon the little wicker basket for this one, it was impossible to fit it in without obscuring the book cover.  I quite liked the result though.  It was inspired by some large plums in the fruit bowl.

I had a large quantity of red apples, padded my largest soup pan then put apples near the top, and the job was done, once I had found the right place to position it in order to capture the wooden surface.

I'm not quite sure where I was going with this one, but I quite like it.

Impossible to recreate this cover, so I gathered up all things mustard and hoped for the best.

Once again the cover was impossible to recreate, so I just threw in a few country elements.

The same with this one, just Mr Fox and a hunting horn.

I remember doing this one, it was ridiculously difficult trying to prop the book at the correct angle without anything else showing, then the lighthouse wouldn't sit correctly.  I was quite pleased in the end.

This one came about when I had been having fun with baking some fancy rolls.  Out came my picnic basket, pile in the rolls.  Job done!

Sparky decided to assist on this one.  I am not sure that I ever managed to finish this particular photo shoot.  

No, I haven't taken up the crazy suggestion of eating insects, but I did my best to extend the cover, using a silk scarf from my collection.  It does a reasonable job, I think.

I don't suppose I will do any more, that phase has passed.  It was fun while it lasted, and it has been fun for me to look back at the nonsense my brain comes up with.   My head is a restless place!

Wednesday 22 May 2024

Walkies with Winston

 This area is perfect for walking.  

Of course I have my favourite routes, but I also like to mix things up a bit.  Sometimes I stick to tracks through and around the local farms, at others I venture out to neighbouring villages and along the lanes.

A quick visit to the church reminded me that I still haven't been up there with my polish and dusters.  Add it to the to-do list.  Somehow I find the thought of dusting and polishing the pews and rails rather more appealing than doing my own housework.

Country lanes and country cottages.   Always beautiful, but a spot of sunshine and warmth makes them even more so.

I always stop and have a chat with any of the livestock which takes an interest.  This splendid new gate has only recently taken the place of a very old and decrepit railway gate strung with barbed wire.  Just as well, the bull is also in this field, and he is a beautiful and very powerful beast.  He was too far over the field for me to be able to photograph him.

Splendid walking, even on the cloudier days.  I can't wait to eventually be able to share these walks with Winston.  It will take quite a while, but in time he should be enjoying them as much as I do.

Meanwhile, this was him yesterday.

I love that serious little face but I really hope to be able to put a smile on it soon.  Those little legs need to grow and firm up before he is ready to tackle a real walk.  Owl Wood and the gardens will be fine for quite a while. 

He comes from a long line of gun dogs, that's not what lies ahead for Winston.  I think that is just as well, he really is the runt of the litter, a little less strong, etc.  Perfect for being my walking companion, rather than a working dog.

Sunday is the day he comes home.  

Tuesday 21 May 2024

A Cup of Parsonage Soup

 No, not a recipe.  Just listing some of the ingredients which have made me so busy for the last few days..

I have made several visits to see the puppy, of course.  Added to which, I have spent far too much time looking at the extraordinarily long list of puppies' requirements.  Goodness me.  If one were to follow those lists it would be almost as expensive as preparing to welcome a first baby.  

I have managed to mow all the lawns again, and done some seriously boring housework.  No more need be said about that.

Granddaughter, Frankie, had a stall at the annual plant sale of a local church, so we went along and made some purchases from her.  No family discount, apparently business is business!

I hasten to add that we didn't ask for any discount, she has been doing these plant sales, as well as having a plant table outside the house, as a way to raise money for when she is old enough to undertake a World Challenge.  She has done remarkably well so far.  

The local church is the one Frankie attended Sunday School for many years.    She is always very comfortable at events here.  I think she enjoyed it more than ever this year because she had just come home from a school trip to France.  She has discovered that travelling is wonderful, but home is a great place to come back to.

We all got the most enormous bear-hugs and a lengthy discourse on her time away.  France was fine but she didn't like all the school work they had to do, the food was okay, but home cooked is better.  Only five people were up for trying the snails and frogs legs, one of that number was Frankie, of course.  Mussels taste much nicer was her opinion, though whether she was referring to the snails or the frogs, I don't know.  

Frankie has never been short on confidence, but she seems even more self-assured and more mature.  Appreciative of even the little things we do.  How long will it last? 😇

I also visited an exhibition which looked at the animal myths in the religions of the First Nations and pre-Columbian culture of the Americas.  Fascinating stuff, but difficult to get any good photographs.

If memory serves me, this is a clay figure, possibly 9th Century, from the Honduras.  

A llama bone carving,

 900 bce, Chavin Culture Peru.

A Navajo Tree of Life Rug, 20th Century.

I have been working on my painting, when Sparky allows me access to my work table.  She has ignored it for weeks but as soon as I began putting out my paints and setting things up for painting, she decided that it was the place to be.  Not only that, it was imperative that she streeeeeeeeeeeeetch right out, almost the full length of the table...

She won.  I went away and got on with other jobs.  She got bored and went outside.  I got to do a little painting.  Honestly, cats!

Saturday 18 May 2024

My Folk Art

 Real artists look away, this will hurt your eyes.  

This is simply folk art, for my family.  The story of our time at Parsonage Cottage, a converted old cow shed/cart shed/stables.

It is a year or two since I last did anything to it.  It was around the time I had to have Toby Too put to sleep.  I painted his shadow self in pale grey, but then I felt too sad to continue.

This morning I suddenly found myself taking the painting off the wall and rummaging for my acrylic paints.  The time has come to do some more work on it, to continue the story.

My beloved dogs feature, of course.  Here we have Pip leading the pack just as she always led the boys into all things naughty.  What a girl.  It was the terrier in her.   The two boys she ruled were Toby and Ned.  Poor Ned was deaf, and Toby was gullible, always fell for her tricks.  

The fourth black dog is Toby Too.    Toby Too was a singleton, he didn't know the other dogs but he was my boy so he can roam with the others.

I have  painted out several hens, but there were many.  Rescue hens, they arrived almost bald but as they grew back their feathers so their cheeky and friendly characters grew.  They were enormous fun, we let them roam in Owl Wood all day, once they had become used to having space instead of a cage around them.   

So far I have roughly blocked in two of the cats, Sparky and Bennie, just Millie to block in somewhere. 

The owl box is tucked up on a tree, no owls painted in so far, although I have begun painting our frequent visitor, the woodpecker.  Many trees bear the scars of his visits!

The little red tractor is there to represent Mrs T, the farmer.  She used to whizz around the barley field in her little red tractor or driving the trailer as her son drove the combine harvester.  They were a great team.  It is also there because young Harry adored the stories of The Little Red Tractor, especially the one which featured the Muddy Man, that one stimulated a mixture of faux fear and giggles.  It worked every time.

The sunflowers are there because we used to have a sunflower competition.  Lily-of-the-valley because I am forever trying to grow it in memory of my mother.  And so on.  All the elements tall a story.

This is where I have begun blocking in Winston.  I decided that he could sit and watch the big black spirit boys romping by. 

The house now has two very beautiful wisteria growing along it, and there is also a grapevine, so lots more to add to the house and no doubt there will be other little tweaks and additions.  

It is a story with a few more chapters to go yet, I hope!

I know it is rough and ready, the point is that it tells a story.

Friday 17 May 2024

Rough and Ready or Carefully Planned?

 I admit that I am very much a rough and ready blogger.  I squeeze blog writing and reading into a few minutes here and there.   My real life is busy, I just don't have the time to spend hours on the internet, which is why it can sometimes take me a while to read your blog posts, answer comments and so on.

Even if I had all the time in the world I think I would probably still blog at speed.  An idea pops into my head and I dash off a post.  Grammar and punctuation suffer, because I often don't read things back until after they have been posted and then when I do get the chance to read them back I sometimes blush with embarrassment at the silly mistakes!  Ah, well.

Posts are written on my laptop, which is handy because my photographs can be accessed from there, although if I have taken them with my phone I have to email them to myself and go from there.  I won't allow my devices to talk to one another.  It makes things a little more complicated but that is the way I choose to do it.

Think it, or see it, dash off a post and publish it.  Walk away and get on with other things.  Slap dash, but if I were to try another method it wouldn't be me, it would be me trying too hard to be someone I am not.

Which leads me on to wondering about what kind of blogger you are.  Do you plan carefully, write and rewrite, plan your posts?

I would love to know.  As far as I am concerned, whatever method you use is the right one for you.  I am not here to judge.  I am just curious, although some may call me a nosey parker!

Thursday 16 May 2024

Going, Going & Gone

 Several years ago, I mentioned to my husband that I thought the big log store was starting to tilt.  He took a look and assured me that I was mistaken, all was perfectly as it should be.

To be fair, the winter storms have done some extra damage, and as you can see, that particular store has now become nothing more than a dumping ground for rat traps, pickaxes, tools, tubs and anything which doesn't have an official home.  It is now a wreck and he has had to admit that yes, it is tilting!

Never mind, it is set to become a project for Grandpa and grandson to work on during the summer.  That should be fun and a good test of their relationship.

That is where it fits into the garden, down by the vegetable beds.

It looks so much better from a distance.

A few days ago this beautiful, old ramshackle shed was taken down.  Not one of our sheds, I hasten to add.  This old place used to be home to a beautiful Barn Owl who would perch on a beam, just above the head of dear old Arnold, a horse who used to take shelter from the midday sun in there.  The two animals were perfectly at ease with one another.

Of course Arnold is long gone, so is the owl.  Goodbye old shed, it really was good to know you.

A little further into the village, although just across a couple of hedges if you go the field way, was this cottage.  It had been empty for several decades while there were discussions about what to do with it...

It had a huge garden at the front, and it looks as though there used to be an archway through the middle of the cottage(s).  It had some charm about it, but it was in a dreadful state.

Another building gone.  Demolished and a new build in there.

Typing this, my eye keeps getting drawn to the enormous chimney stack on the cottage.  In all the years I walked past it I hadn't noticed how out of proportion it is to the size of the cottage.

All these little changes, old buildings gone and something rather less charming built in their place. Change happens, even in a tiny village.     

I need to remember that chimney, keep it in proportion!

Wednesday 15 May 2024


Last Saturday my oldest grandchild was 16 years old.  The request for a Victoria Sponge Sandwich cake seemed a little modest for such an important birthday.  So I made it a triple decker, pulled out all the stops and gave it my best effort.

 No finesse, but it made my grandson's eye open wide with delight, and that was the aim.

On Tuesday, I paid another visit to Winston.  When I arrived there were nine puppies romping around their pen, wrestling with one another, dragging toys around and generally having a great time. 

Winston, next to the toy, this photograph makes him look larger than he is.

The tenth puppy had fallen asleep by the water bowl.  Young Winston came over to see me, had a bit of fun and then just keeled over with tiredness.  The remaining puppies continued to chew my fingers, clamber all over me and generally have a good time.  As the minutes ticked by, each one flopped over to sleep.  Full tummies and tiredness did their work.  Peace for half an hour.  Their mothers (the canine one, and the human) were delighted.  

I left them to it and came home to get working on the list of things I need to do before the puppy comes home.

Back to today.  I did a little housework, then walked into the village to have coffee with a friend.  

A retired farmer, R is a no nonsense, straightforward woman.  We have known each other for well over a decade now.  She worked her own farm in a neighbouring village, sheep mostly, with a few head of cattle.

Our friendship really began at the village hall, not long after she sold the farm and retired to this village.   This was back in the days when we used to have a  'TED' meeting once a month.  There would be some kind of activity - local history, cards,  craft talks...all pretty excruciating, apart from the local history,  but the people who gathered together were a nice bunch.  It was just some of the activities which were rather cringe-making.  

The virus put paid to all that.  When things got back to normal we changed to monthly coffee mornings, with cake, or soup and a roll.  It has proved popular and brought in some slightly younger faces.

This is R's Bill.  He was a feisty little dog who turned up as a stray, at R's farm, many years ago.  After a week in the dog pound, with no one interested in him, R took him home and he lived very happily with her until he became ill a couple of years ago.

R and I took a while to get around to discussing politics, probably around two years!  It would be true to say that it was a pleasant surprise to find that our views aligned.  It was good to see her today,  we both had a rant.  My blog is not a soap-box for my political/world views,  but there are times when I wish it were!  

In a little over two months it will be time for the annual village show.  I'm not sure what we will have ready, but we will do our best to enter some classes.  I must see if I can get my hands on a schedule and do some planning, jam, pickle, curd and cakes are fairly standard.  It would be good if there was a bread category, I could have some fun. 

I noticed today that the elderflowers have begun to flower in reasonable numbers, time for me to get making some elderflower cordial, perhaps even an elderflower and ginger one, for variety.  Elderflower champagne is easy and delicious but I do not want to risk having any glass bottles explode in the pantry, not with Winston around!

Finally, the drizzle has stopped, a good breeze is blowing the grass dry, so I hope to be able to get outside and do an hour of mowing before I decide that enough is enough for today.  It is May, lots of people like to do No-Mow-May, really not practical in this place, far too much lawn.  We always leave a large area to go wild through the summer, plus there is all of Owl Wood, which pretty much does its own thing until much later in the year.

Sunday 12 May 2024

Coming Soon to Parsonage Cottage


This is Winston, he is just six weeks old and is still with his mum at the moment.

All my previous dogs have been second hand, rejects from dog rescue centres, usually the special offer of the day.  One or two had had extremely rough lives.  They all required lots of love and patience and ultimately they grew to be the most wonderful companions, they learned to live with cats, chickens and my grandchildren.

I wanted to do the same this time round, but it has proven to be very difficult, for various reasons.

Long story short, this little fellow is the smallest, the runt, from a litter of 10 puppies born just a couple of fields away from here.  Long time readers will know where I mean, when I say that he was born at Old John the beekeeper's place.  

Saturday 11 May 2024

Bread Oven, the Adventure Begins

 Books and online information have been consulted, discussions held, measurements taken and retaken.  Plans drawn up, calculations made. More discussions.  

Finally, the ground is being cleared and footings dug.  It will take time.

That was a few days ago.

Very old much used bricks have been cleaned and are being reused.  I particularly wanted to use old bricks, because I do not like perfection and newness.  I like things to look a bit battered, old, settled.  It makes more work, progress is slower, but I am thrilled with how it is going so far.

This is the raw state, the bricks will have to be pointed and that will have to be done carefully.  So far, so good.

Too much of my time lately has been spent in trying to find a second-hand dog to fit into our family.  Again, I don't want new, or perfect, I want to give a new life to a dog which may have had a hard time of it.

I also have to make sure that it will be able to fit around the two cats, the grandchildren, not upset my husband.  Most of all, I really need one to take out on my walks.  It has been two years since I lost my walking companion, Toby Too.  

Time is ticking, and the feeling that I need another dog just won't go away.

I have enough room in my heart and in my home for one more dog to share my walking adventures with.

Wednesday 8 May 2024

Unwelcome Visitors

There have been two occasions in my life when my sleep has been interrupted by extremely unwelcome visitors.    The first occasion was when I was a teenage schoolgirl, living with my family up in the Western Isles.  

We lived almost smack bang in the middle of the island, in an old croft house.  The house had electricity, peat fires, an old Rayburn and water was pumped up from a well for all things other than drinking or cooking.  Safe water had to be brought in from town in some very large containers which my father filled when he was at work at RAF Stornoway.

Living conditions were fairly basic but I loved it there.  We had our dog and several cats, plus I was allowed to help out with the animals on the croft next door.  (School life was another matter!)

One night I was tucked up, fast asleep in my little sloping-roofed bedroom, when I felt something heavy on my feet.  Half asleep, I thought it was one of the cats come for a visit.  Then I remembered that they had all gone out for a night of hunting...I sat up, put on my bedside light just in time to see a large rat jump off the bed and scoot away.

No one got a great deal of sleep that night.  The rat was eventually caught and the cats all received a strongly worded lecture about failing in their duty.

Last night I had another nocturnal visitor.  I was woken by something dropping onto my bare shoulder.  Half asleep, I initially thought it was my hair, then realised I haven't had long hair for quite a while now.  Quick as a flash I put on the light and saw a spider in bed with me.  Eeeek!

I wasn't quick enough to catch him, but I did send him off with a few dark words.  

To think that only yesterday I had rescued a spider which was trapped in the bath.   I may have to reconsider that policy.

No doubt everyone has similar tales to tell, I would love to hear some.

Monday 6 May 2024

Growing Like a Weed

Thank you very much for all the help in identifying the Wych Elm.   Jabblog-many thanks!  The Wych Elm will now be protected from nibbling deer and will, I hope, spread through the hedgerow.

This weekend has been warm and sunny which is very unusual for a Bank Holiday weekend.  I have begun packing away some of my winter woollies, so we could have snow next week!

*     *     *

My granddaughter had a friend stay over for the holiday weekend.  

They get on really well and don't need to be entertained.    However, as the end of the visit loomed they began to get a bit downhearted.  Granny to the rescue.  I got out the "dressing-up box".    Two newly teenage girls playing dress-up?  Sounds a bit childish?  

Aha!  But I had two special dresses for them to try on.   Two wedding dresses.  

One is my daughter's wedding dress, the other an unused medieval-style wedding dress from a charity shop -  a £5 bargain from about a decade ago.  At the time I was looking for fabrics for dyeing and sewing and all that silk for £5 was too much of a bargain to resist.   My daughter doesn't believe in hanging on to clutter, I am a bit more sentimental, I wasn't going to let her wedding dress go to a charity shop.  Both dresses have been in my dressing room in their zipped bags.

This is my granddaughter, wearing her mother's wedding dress.  She was thrilled that it fitted her so well, so did the wedding shoes.  

They had a great time wearing the dresses and pretending to get married.  Both girls are very sporty, very slender and tall.  They wore the dresses well.  

I think my daughter was delighted to see her dress being modelled so beautifully.  It made her realise that she made a great choice all those years ago!

This is my little flower fairy just a few years ago.  How quickly they grow.

Saturday 4 May 2024

A New Plant in Owl Wood, but What is it?

 Wandering around Owl Wood a couple of days ago, my attention was caught by something I haven't seen in there before.  Just one single vine of this:

It was sprouting out of the hedging, a new addition.  No doubt it has been there for a few years and has only just reached a height where it has become noticeable.  

Can anyone identify it?  I should get my Observer's Book of Hedges, or an Idiot's Guide to Vines, out and have a read.  On this occasion I have too many other things to do.   

I have high hopes that someone will come back with the answer.

Wednesday 1 May 2024

Owl Wood Today

 The weather has been warm and sunny, even the breeze has been warm.  Not too hot, just perfect for us, as we start to come out of winter hibernation.  We need time to adapt, and this is a beautiful way to do it...not sure it will last, but that is England for you.  East coast England.  We often get a cold breeze off the sea.

Owl Wood never looks prettier than on a May day when the sun is shining.  

You can just about see the owl box in the middle of the picture.  No owls again this year.😞  

Forget-me-Nots are romping away in the north-east corner, they arrived by themselves a few years ago.

The wild garlic is in full bloom, spreading quite happily.  This is in the middle of the wood, but there are two other patches over on the south side.

Queen Anne's Lace is growing taller, it will be in bloom any day now, then it becomes a sight to behold.  It grows to over five foot tall in some areas and hides a multitude of secrets.  The wild pheasants who have taken refuge in here take full advantage.  We know they are in there, we see them emerge a couple of times a day to head on down to the bird feeders in the garden.

The day started badly for me.  I haven't been sleeping well (back pain) despite trying all my usual methods to reduce the pain.  I can cope with a couple of nights like that, but today I got up feeling nauseous and with a migraine.   Once the grandchildren were safely fed and seen onto the school bus, I had a nap.

I still have a headache, but more like a 'normal' headache than a migraine now.  I can live with that, especially as the nausea has now gone.

The little walk around Owl Wood helped, along with the warmth and the atmosphere in there.  It really is a magical little place.