go slowly.

Slowly. One of the hardest things for me since moving here is learning to not to rush.  My entire daily life was simply rushing. Hurry, hurry, hurry.
There is currently no school run cutting my day up, the animals are all right here; no rush to drive to them and sort them then dash home. The alarm clocks do not need setting. The soft light wakes everyone, if the excitement of being here doesn't.

My body is aching from lifting, walking, unpacking etc and I have to remind myself there's no great rush. That I have all the time in the world to unpack, to garden, to organise cupboards. Days are not split by hours, but more by morning/afternoon/evening. I'm making myself stop. Rest. Do things slowly. My head however seems still to be on Hampshire time and doesn't switch off as easily. We are all working on it. (with exception the teenager who trust me does not need to become more slow/chilled/relaxed!!!! )

Thrilled that this gentle way will become our way.

Bleach or horse feed; there is no in between

Since moving in, I smell. I smell of bleach. Or of fresh garden earth, or horses. Of mint chaff horse feed, aloe vera horse gel, dog shampoo, bathroom cleaner, or hand cream. 

I also ache. From the slight hillside we are on - not so slight when walking it often. From the amount of walking required in this house to get from one room to another. From the lifting of so many boxes. (So many boxes. Sigh…) 

I am also tired. A good tired from fresh air and physically working hard. And from my head mentally sorting out the house even when I stop for the night. 


I am also happy.  A deep quiet contentment. Nothing is perfect, most things aren't even unpacked. A fair bit needs buying or fixing. But you cannot stand outside, surrounded by these views and be anything other than deeply happy with the world. 



One way or another.



In the blur that was moving day, a day of waiting, rushing and waiting and rushing again, I didn't think to write much down. 

The removal men were both great and yet vaguely annoying (can I say that? Well I just did…) They were brilliant at the job, but not without the grumbling and huffing and puffing about heavy things, heavy boxes, so much stuff etc etc.. I guess it comes with the job really.  They packed everything. Everything. Things that I had put to one side, things that weren't actually coming with us, and they even packed the pet carrier…. before the chickens could be put in it! (Chickens travelled in my pick up in a good old  cardboard box, they were fine, but the pet carrier is still brand new and unused hahaha…) 

They really did make me laugh tho, and I am grateful for their humour, even if it wasn't quite on the same level as mine.  I recall all of them stood open mouthed at me and one of my dearest friends who were stood sobbing, clutching each other, on the driveway as we said goodbye.  You’d think goodbyes were something they see everyday, but apparently not! 


In my car - the fun car ;) - was the youngest, the dog, the chickens, the iMac, the saddles and a billion little things I didn't realise I hadn't packed until the last minute. It was a very full car indeed. The playlist was mostly 80s and 90s old school - essential singing along stuff - and the sat nav was switched on. I’d agreed to follow my sat nav and not try to keep up with the husband. Follow it, he said, do not deviate. Got it. 


Sat navs, as you may know, are a law unto themselves. It began badly when it insisted I left the real road and head off down a single track road via a pretty favourite walk of mine. Whilst it was lovely to see this particular area before `I left, it was definitely NOT the usual way to Wales. Still, perhaps it knew something I did not, so fretting somewhat I followed my directions from the politest slightly snooty sat nav lady. Saw parts of Hampshire I had never ever seen, but hey, eventually we reached a real main road and I began to breath again. 


A handful of telephone check ins with the husband now and again to reassure me I was heading towards Wales and finally, after a lot of old school songs, Starbucks, such long dull motorways  and touches of road rage, we saw the big blue span of the bridge across to Wales. Hurrah!
but the sat nav had other ideas and suggested we turn left before the bridge got any closer.  Turn left…. Or head to the bridge I can just about see? Remembering I promised to follow the sat nav I turned left at the last minute……. And the bridge vanished from sight. Wait, what? Where was my bridge? Just as Daisy and I were freaking out about it, ta-da! the bridge came into view.  Carefully picking the right lane to pay the toll, and there we were on the blue bridge to Wales. Except, this bridge was white. And little.  Looking to the left I could see the blue bridge in the distance.   Brilliant; my sat nav had taken me across the old bridge, absolutely nowhere near the route I knew.  Probably not a good time to check in with the husband who was incredulous I could miss a main bridge like that. 



We did get here, we beat everyone else too, and got to collect the keys and be the first through the doors.  Which makes up a little for the fact me completely missing the big bridge is going to be one of those stories everyone in my family tells…




Making a list, checking it twice, losing it, making it again...

I am a list person. 
Not a very organised list person, but a list person none the less. 
Moving house creates some serious lists.  We have had the what kind of house would we want list stage, the what should we sort out before we chose an area lists, the shortlist of houses list, the what do we need at that house list, the schools list, the have you rung ... list, the what to pack list, and here we are at the frantic list stage.
Its no longer well thought out typed neat lists, oh no, now its random, erratic thoughts hurriedly scribbled on any old piece of paper.
"Defrost fridge!' and 'Pack bin bags!' shout at me from a post it note, theres a what to remember to pack in the car not the lorry list pinned to the fridge and theres a piece of paper just proclaiming 'Chickens!!!' on my desk.  (Luckily all my lists are aimed at myself, and I know that 'Chickens!!!' is an abbreviated way of reminding myself to clean out and hose down the chicken run before the removal men arrive) 

I am looking forward to throwing all these lists out. Cannot wait for that point where it is all done and too late to do anymore. Get in the car, shut the door and the only list is the list of directions the sat nav shouts on the way. I'm so tired of the 'almost time to move'. Just want to BE moved now.  T-minus 2 days!!

Excitement, worry and procrastination

If you could see my train of thought - terrible idea, my head is no doubt messier than my current house, but anyway - if you could, it would flip randomly from 
Oh my goodness can't wait, so exciting
how am I going to get all this stuff there!...
Its so perfect, Its amazing! we are so lucky!
will never be ready! have I packed the *insert random item  yet? where did I put...

And, incase you are wondering what you do when faced with quite a bit of pressure and an awful lot to achieve....

I create art. digitally.

Nothing like a head in the sand approach to the last few days of packing a house, right? 


{'painting' from a photo, created with a lot of work with PS filters, faffing with Nik filters, and some designer digitals details}


Haven't really got my head in the sand, its just that weird stage of 95% is already packed and its too soon to pack the rest/defrost the fridge/etc. From busy days where we are rushing about, packing, getting fetching, tidying and arranging things my mind doesn't really fancy just stopping and going to sleep, so I get to do soothing arty things on my beloved iMac in order to calm down. 


how do you pack...?

Help! how do you pack the last things? This will be my 14th house move. I know, you'd think by now I could pack up house in my sleep, right? To be fair I can pretty much. I know how to pack, what to pack - and how to unpack to reduce bedlam at the other end. What I am rubbish at is the packing of essentials. If I pack the kitchen up, I leave out 'just these few things' incase I need them. Only... how likely am I to need all my baking stuff in the week before we move? I don't have time to sit down never mind bake! Yet, ever the optimist, I leave out cake tins and scales, just  incase... I should also confess I left out my paints 'just incase' I had time to create something new. hahaha.....
I do not unplug my computer until the hours before we leave, and I have no idea how to begin packing the larder incase I need those ingredients for cooking something.... 

The husband is even worse, he refuses to acknowledge the move and the need to pack until oh, about 36 hours beforehand. So his man cave of musical instruments and business computer is untouched by boxes or packing tape.  I can't even look in there without breaking out into a cold sweat.

Make a box of essentials, they say, to take with you. Okay, but just the one box? I have essentials - kitchen, essentials - household, essentials - pet, and essentials -bathroom.  I essentially have a problem narrowing it all down. Maybe I need to stop thinking leave this out just incase, and start thinking pack it IN a case!!  T-minus 6 days. Excited. slightly panicky. 

Begin again

As I begin to pack up my family to move approx 166 miles to the most beautiful place on earth I thought I'd pack up my old blog too.

Didn't quite know what title to give this brand new blog. I thought about the not so lonely goatherd, except I am the owner of just two goats- and a lot of things that aren't goats.... 

I contemplated Keeping up with the Joneses, except I wasn't sure everyone would get the reference to the Welsh surname and simply assume I'm trying to 'keep up' as in pretend to be posh. hahaha. 
In fact, there's a list of about ten rejected blog names, before I settled on Views from a Hillside.  Views as in mostly photographs, but 'points of views' too, as we have plenty of those in our house. Insightful views too, incase you ever felt the need to put everything you own in a box and drag it to somewhere rural, thats without phone signal and famous for rain.

Hillside, because the house is indeed surrounded by hills, and on a hillside. And its also called that, except in welsh, and as soon as we can all pronounce it properly {ongoing battle to conquer welsh pronunciation properly and not sound so English} I'll let you know. 

 I can't believe, after * pauses to count on fingers * eleven (11!!!) years writing a blog I would dare to begin again, fresh blog, new pages, no archives. 

But... rambling family/photo blogs can go on a bit. Good points for fresh starts are hard to come by and this seems like the most perfect spot to do just that; begin again.


Here you can keep track of what we are doing, how we are doing and if we survive the snow, rain and antics of our ever growing animal herd. Moving from the edge of a city to the edge of a mountain. Piece of cake right? ;)