around and about

welsh ponies

Wild welsh ponies are very different from the 'wild' {not remotely wild, owned and cared for} new forest ponies back in Hampshire. For a start these are often actually wild... unhandled, utterly wary of people and not remotely likely to pinch your picnic like the New forest pony.
 Rather beautiful, short, and with the trademark dished faces and big, big eyes, they are one of the oldest British breeds. I come across these ponies occasionally when out hiking across the uplands and moors. They really do hide, and appear randomly, only to be gone again moments later. 




These three hung around and watched me go by, not at all impressed by my offers to come and live with me cheery hellos and friendly comments, they eyed me suspiciously all the way. I turned back to check just as I got out of their sight, and yep; they were still watching me go. 


make do and mend....

I had to laugh when I saw this gate - or more accurately three gates and a pallet. 
I feel their pain. I wonder if they too have goats? I have patched a fence with many a thing in order to contain small, deceptively cute looking, ninja goats. 

Plus what the hell did we all do without baler twine? 

Patched gate

seeing red...


Noted this red tree whilst out walking and had to take its picture... lets all celebrate standing out after all. Not until I downloaded the picture tho, did I notice its kind of heart shaped in amongst the trees there... always a sucker for anything heart shaped :)  {Click on the picture to see it bigger}

left and right


Early morning, if you look left from the top of our land, you see sneaky peeks of the sunrise over the black mountains. And sometimes the most amazing thundery cloudscapes too.


If you look right {and go through a gate and through the wooded part from the first view...) from our land you see the Beacons, (or the famous collection of the horseshoe group of mountains in the beacons, to be exact) 

Its never the same view twice, but first thing when the sun just begins to hit the slopes, is my favourite.  



little bits of this week

I now know what the burglar alarm sounds like and how to set it off..... and luckily how to turn it off, even tho the instructions are vague descriptions that don't really match the buttons in front of me.  I now also know a power cut will reset the alarm, causing it to go off once the power comes back on and anyone opens a door... and scare the hell out of you.

Isolation can hit you at weird times. I do not/will not have trouble making friends and I do not mind my own company.... but sometimes you just crave a friendly face and a proper conversation. Despite the fact I am now a recognisable face to a handful of people who say 'hello how are you' theres no cup of tea and a gossip people I know locally yet.  If your husband is at work, your  girls at school and you find yourself in town with free time.... its a bit mad to go up to a person and say 'hello, will you be my friend?'  Texts, phone calls, emails - all lovely, but not the same. It will come, but yes I had a day where I wobbled a bit.  
If you want to know how I solved it - best friend texts, a sister conversation, a word with myself and a bloody good walk in the hillsides.  

The list of people we need/have used here is ever growing. I found the Drs surgery and we are finally all registered. I have found but not yet registered at the dentists, I need to find a farrier and register the herd at the vets. However I am on first name terms with the pest control man {not, as my husband supposed, actually called 'mouse man' but Roy), we have a plumber, and an electrician. Not to mention the fencing/chainsaw man, who transformed our land. The skip man, who is a regular here. And the postman and the parcel delivery man who-thanks to me,  find themselves working more hours and being here every day pretty much ;) Husband is on first name terms with the garden and land machinery store owner... 

The small community is a lovely if a surprising thing for us townies... I keep finding people in the local town and villages who know exactly who we are already - 'new people in the barn conversion on the so and so road'

There will be a lady in one store who has a relative  in the next farm down from us, a horsey person at the show who has a neighbour who is doing up the cottages in our lane, and had heard we had moved in.  We are part of it, sort of, and I like that. I like the word of mouth recommendations, I like the advice and I love the banter and comments.  Love the fact the postman told me I was 'definitely doing it wrong' when he saw me creosote the main gate a couple of weeks ago, and how now the other day he let slip a passing comment about how I'd 'done a good job on that front gate'.  Like to wave at the farmer of the next field, and see him stop the tractor for a brief chat. Knowing that all these people would help us, if we asked. 
People genuinely talk to you too. Ask to stroke a persons dog { I can't help myself, I do this all the time} and before you know it, they are asking about your kids, your dog, and telling you their kids stories.  It leaves you with a smile and a good feeling. That no doubt reads a bit silly to anyone who lives in such community and tasked it for granted, and cheesy as hell, but honestly, its so nice, I appreciate it. 

There are so many places to go. So many places to eat, to visit, to walk. You'd think - well we did - it would be less so, outside a city. But no, there are events, seasonal events, tourist attractions, local knowledge kind of places, a billion restaurants and coffee shops in hidden quirky places. There are views in every direction, hills, mountains, walks, hikes.... I am in awe.

Teenagers, and those nearly teenagers, are hard work, no matter where you live.  

A woodburner lit on a chilly wet day is a joyous thing. 

I am, much to the amusement of some, missing my Waitrose.  Nothing wrong with the local supermarket. Just far more attached to some particular food items than I realised... 

If everyone around here says 'oh I know where you live, that barn conversion on the so and so road, I remember when that  was just a barn!...' then everyone back in Hampshire says 'do you own any sheep yet' or asks if I know welsh yet.    {no, and no} 

The animals are all genuinely happy.  Cheeky fun personalities showing up, regular eggs from the hens {technically in retirement and not really in laying prime... but hey} , confidence from the nervous 'baby' goats and a much better life for our super dog. 

The excitement of the mud here being 'pink' {it truly is, slate rock and clay mud equals pink mud} wanes slightly with the learning that it stains.  hmmmm. Jeans, coats, ponies white markings... all now tinged dirty pink. 


Picture of Puzzle pony for no reason, other than he's so damn handsome... 

cheese issues...

After being rather off colour this week due to a dodgy toasted cheese sandwich in a touristy cafe, {I know, how on earth can they screw up a cheese toastie??} I've got super fussy about what I am eating where. Its an interesting turn, as I am fussy enough already ;) {not a subway kind of girl..... ;) }
We eat out a lot, when I say eat out, I mean eat out of the house, not a swanky meal, more a breakfast/coffee break/family lunch.  I've been here three weeks or there abouts, and have already found some great eating spots. Yes, there are the chain coffee houses and restaurants here too, tho a bit further apart than in the city, but I'm loving the little people, the individual businesses. Or some of them anyway.... dodgy cheese sandwich cafe aside...

So two parts to this post - firstly I bet you too know the best places to eat in your neck of the woods. Maybe now is a great time to tell everyone, leave Facebook reviews, trip advisor reviews and tell the business themselves that they rock.  I work with smaller businesses online, and trust me, incase you don't already know, you leaving a good review, or saying hey you're so good at this to their face means the world to them, and can help their business so, so much. We all mean to, we just forget. Go do it now!

Public service announcement over, I also intend to give a shout out to great eating places I find around here.  

If it is swanky you're looking for, you cannot beat the Griffin pub just down the road from us. Its not cheap, its not an everyday kind of place but oh, its very good. 

If its ice-cream you need - an ice cream is sometimes a 'need' right? - then we have the very very best ice-cream parlour. And you get to support welsh milk production/British farmers too. #winwin. 

Hours is a favourite cafe for me, I tell you reluctantly incase you all go there and fill up the tables..... but then the Guardian told everyone already! 

Oh and of course, if the dog is welcome I already like it, and generally if its off the beaten tourist track I really like it ;) 

one from the show...

'Tis local show season, and all around us local villages are having their annual shows. Its my idea of heaven  - from the ponies and horses classes, to the not that official dog show, to the 'best of show' veggies and jams in the big white tent. wasps hanging around the scones, and billion cupcakes for sale with overly bright icing. I love all of it. Quintessentially British, the very cherry on the top of the end of summer.  

Unfortunately for my other half, now we have land a plenty and live somewhere where almost every animal at the show was for sale... he's pretty relieved we don't have a trailer yet so I can't bring home everything!! ;)