Thursday, 28 March 2013


Not really motivation, more a lack of it. For months we have trudged through mire and murk as the sky has cried rain on us. After a while you stop looking at it; the reality is so demoralising your eyes stop seeing it. It makes me turn inwards, I know it's a lack of sunlight, too little vitamin D. It causes a lack of energy, crumbling nails, dry hair and skin. The endless sucking mud saps at your energy.

Running is normally my antidote to this, the exhilaration of it even on the rainiest of days is a mood-lifter, but tendinitis put paid to running this winter. Three months was the received wisdom, which sounded like a life sentence at the beginning, but now I'm at the end of it and I can't seem to get motivated into my trainers again. Perhaps after Easter the day will come when I want to and I'll go and it will be fine again.

In the meantime I'm vacillating between weeks so ridiculously busy I don't get anything done and periods of such intense loneliness it seems as if the rest of the world is out there having fun and I'm left out of it.

But this morning the sun is out again. The world is crisp and cold and bright. I have to use the old horseshoe to smash the ice in the dogs' water bowl. This stream, which has spent the winter months angrily carving out a new, deeper trench for itself, is now pretty and trickling again with diamond sparkling ice. The ground underfoot is hard and dry and the birds have struck up their orchestra again.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Inside we're blooming!

The UK isn't quite all covered in snow at the moment - despite how it might appear from the news reports! We've got sunshine today, although it's still pretty cold outside - and a houseful of yellow pot mums. Mum took advantage of an offer to give a good home to a bargain quantity of beautiful blooms from Wiggly Wigglers and a spectacularly huge boxful of blooms arrived on Friday. There are tulips, alstomeria, smoke bush and seven bunches of chrysanthemums. The only vessel suitable for conditioning the flowers was the bath and they filled it with their loveliness while I dug vases out of cupboards. Every room now has a burst of sunny yellow and the house smells like a florists. It's lovely. Spring may not quite have sprung outdoors just yet, but inside we're blooming!

NOTE: Just wanted to add a link to Wiggly Wigglers: and to mention the fact that their flowers are British - direct from the farm in Herefordshire. They sell their own home grown bird food too which our lucky Pembrokeshire birds are busily scoffing.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Bathing piggies and eating a very Beau Bunny

Spring sprung briefly last week and it was lovely (if a little cold) to be back out in the garden again. The puddles and awful sucking mud we've endured over the past months have dried and walking around is a much easier affair again. The garden isn't terribly photogenic yet though, so instead here are the piggies having a bath.

Guinea pigs are prone to itchy little skin infections so the occasional bath (in T-Gel, as recommended by Rodents with Attitude) helps to keep them healthy.

Meanwhile, another 'pet' appeared only this one was very edible indeed! The lovely people at Hotel Chocolat offered me the chance to review one of their Easter Eggs. How could I refuse?!

This is the handsome Beau Bunny egg, in all its wrapped glory.

Beau himself adorns the eggs, cleverly printed on in chocolate. 

 He's accompanied by six tasty little eggs. The gold ones are salted caramel:

And the dark brown ones are praline:

What can I tell you? We shared this between three - one adult (me) and H11 and R9. We're already fans of Hotel Chocolat but as there are no shops in Pembrokeshire, we regard our local branches as the ones in Taunton and Exeter. They're a reliable source of thank-you-for-looking-after-our-dog-presents along with never-mind-it's-raining-on-our-holiday treats.

Beau Bunny is lovely. A nice thick egg of creamy milk chocolate, which requires a good thwack to get into it, and the little eggs are, as you'd expect, absolutely divine. The salted caramel filling was definitely the favourite with H11 and R9, in fact I think they'd have liked the main egg to be full of it too! The egg retails at £15 and for that you're getting 190g of chocolate, so it's not cheap, but it's probably one of the better quality, tastier eggs. We all loved it.