THE RAMBLINGS OF A STRUGGLING ARTIST ON LIFE WITH TWO TERRIERS, A PONY WITH ISSUES AND OTHER WILDLIFE AND BIRDS THAT CROSS OUR PATH

8 May 2015

APRIL BITS AND PIECES


I've had no internet for four days now; it's been very challenging, especially as I'm in the midst of a mother crisis. On Tuesday, she was in a panic and said she couldn't cope any more. Since then, I've been in a whirlwind of arranging carers and looking for a respite place to bridge the time before her hip is replaced. Now, with a delightful commode and people coming in to help her (and me), the respite is no longer needed and she feels capable of staying in her lovely bungalow. I'm relieved as I can't manage it all on my own, especially as it's lawn mowing and gardening season as well as all her paperwork and, well, everything else too. Aging can be a terrible thing. 

OB takes his SATS next week and is very nervous about them poor love. There's so much pressure on kids these days. I never had homework OR tests at primary school. Did you? He'll have a room on his own in case of tics distracting the others, and a dedicated teaching assistant with him. We're so lucky to have such a supportive school.

I will be 51 next Friday. Rather an anti-climax after last year's fabulous day I fear. Slightly concerned that, the usually incessantly pestering M, hasn't asked me what I'd like as a present. My childhood birthdays were always pretty awful and, as an adult, I make a show of not caring whether I get nice things or even, perhaps, a party, while my pathetic inner child is screaming "Where's my ****ing present!". Perhaps I need to talk about this.....it's been a hard week. I'll try not to back the car into a wall the day before if you remember that eye wateringly badly timed incident last year. 

Trigger is going on holiday for about four weeks from Tuesday, to some friends whose ponies I've been helping get halter trained over the last couple of months. It will be a walk of a couple of hours but worth it as he'll have grass and company and his little paddock might recover a bit. I'll try and take pictures on the journey for next time. 

Time for a selection of pictures from April. they would have been nearer the end of that month had it not been for crises and internet issues. I didn't think it would be back till the middle of next week so I'm amazed to be posting at all. First a couple of sheep. Eyes and ears....


That bit of grass looks like white wool coming out of her mouth:


Fresh green of new Beech leaves. I do love that curve of more in the distance coming out too:


Fresh Hawthorn leaves and an old berry:


Remember the Dun pony I thought didn't look like the rest of them out there? Well here she is a couple of days before I managed to catch her and return her to her owner, who was delighted to have her back. Her name is Tilly:


New foals......this one has a mark like a tick and, since OB calls his tic supressing exercised 'tic tac's', that's what we've christened her (that means she's probably male knowing me): Tic Tac:






Another one....no name yet as I haven't got a decent picture of it's markings:



One of the gelding protectorate rolling a bit too close to a drop:


This year's herd on the move:


Skylark refusing to look at the camera:


Beautiful Buzzard:


Meadow Pipit singing and doing its Skylark impression:


Closer to the ground:


A lone Pheasant out on the moor looking a bit lost:


Kestrel about to drop on its prey:


Metal bird (Lynx I think) over Chagford:


Crossed vapour trails over Kestor:


This hasn't come out quite how it looked....I was trying to show the impact of a field of oil seed rape in an otherwise green landscape. Someone is stealing the show:


I love the colours of the trees in this one:


A few extra pictures from that day in Westwood Ho!....

The pebble ridge:


Jack and Finnian, who has a distinct height advantage!


The surfers prepare:


Scuba Jack?


Don't know what possessed me to take this. It was a beautiful day at a remote part of the river where I knew there was no chance of anyone disturbing me, my back was killing me, so I lay down on a rock and took this:


Then I heard some quacking......


All on his own in the middle of nowhere:


Mr Woodpecker giving me a hard stare:


The Bumble-footed Chaffinch is still going strong. 


I have a million things to catch up on so I'd better get on. I have no idea what you're all up to but will try and catch up over the weekend. Some more followers which is fantastic. Welcome and thank you. So, until next time, here is Snippet just after his haircut and Jack out cold, or warm, on my new wood-chip area. Have a lovely weekend!



48 comments:

  1. I love seeing all your beautiful photos.
    We have more yellow than green around us this year it's everywhere. My favourite photo is the herd on the move and how amazing to be as high as a helicopter.
    Good luck to OB with the dratted SATS.

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    1. I think may have taken a better oil seed picture today but the light has to be JUST right.

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  2. I hope that all will be as well as it can for your Mum. Exhausting times for you I know. I hope too that all goes well for OB in the SATS, the only test I remember at primary school was the 11+. Most of all, I hope that you have a WONDERFUL birthday and a FABULOUS present!!! If all else fails, do what I do. Buy yourself something!!! I figure that I am pretty important in my life, and I buy all the other important people in my life a gift, so why not me too! Happy Birthday for your birthday!! xx

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    1. I never took the 11+ but went to a grammar school. When we were applying for school places for OB, we put Torquay grammar second to Okehampton College (a state comprehensive) and they rang to ask why OB hadn't taken the 11+. I had no idea they needed it these days!

      Thanks so much for all your lovely good wishes Amy. xxx

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  3. Scrolling through your beautiful photos was like going on holiday. Thank you. Dartmoor is such a special place you are so lucky to live there. We've had many holidays staying at Sanders, Lettaford, a longhouse owned by the Landmark Trust and we've got some amazing photos of the ponies coming right up to house to graze and socialise. Climbing Tors, surfing at Saunton, pony trekking, swimming in freezing rivers and sinking into bog - we've done it all. Unforgettable times. So pleased to have found your blog via Countryside Tales.

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    1. How interesting....we are VERY close to Lettaford and our lovely Chagford dentists live there. I don't know if you've had time to look at the sidebar where there's a drawing of sleeping foals and one of a sleeping mother and foal, both of which were at Lettaford, outside the house where you were staying. Lovely to have you following; thanks so much.

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  4. As always you delivery with your blog posts and the great photos you take - always a delight to see. All the best for your mum and also OB and his tests. No I never had tests at that age (thank goodness). A big huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY in advance for next week, I feel the same about Birthdays and presents...I usually have to choose my own present, yet I really like surprises! hohum.

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    1. I've decided to go to Exeter on my own and buy myself some new socks. Maybe something else too....I like surprises too but only when they're not a let down!

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  5. Such a chock full post. I am really happy life before hip has settled out for your mother.And, a very happy birthday to you, next week. To be 51 again. Well, perhaps not. My oldest will be fifty soon.

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    1. You would never know from your little profile picture Joanne!

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  6. I was wondering where you were. But I knew you were very busy.
    And I just found out how busy you are.
    Your weather looks lovely, take care and enjoy.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Sorry to have neglected you Parsnip. I need to pay a visit to check up on a certain Dug.

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  7. Tic Tac is gorgeous!
    I hope all goes well with the SATS, wish OB good luck for me.
    And have a lovely birthday x

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    1. Thanks and we REALLY must get together soon. Just so snowed under. I'd love you to see the garden at the moment. It almost looks lovely! x

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  8. Happy Birthday, Em. I agree with Amy - buying yourself something you really desire is perfickly acceptable, if none else has bought it for you!! And OB, we're all wishing you all the best for those dratted SATS. Lovely photos again EM - hassn't Tic Tacs an interesting coat!

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    1. I'm definitely going to buy something on the day and even treat myself to a slice of cake. I've been off the cake for months now!

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  9. Such beautiful pics, as always! Good luck to OB for his exams, happy birthday to you when it comes, and hope your mum's hip op comes around soon too. Onwards & upwards, lovely - hope this week is a better one.
    Hugs xx

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    1. Thanks Gilly. She's wondering about going through the NHS private system which is about a third of the cost of a private hospital. I don't approve but I'm afraid principals often go out of the window in the face of personal adversity!

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  10. .First of all tell that OB to stop worrying about his SATS. In ten years time he will look back and wonder why he ever worried about them.

    Secondly, I do so identify with that present thing and like you I feel I should talk about it. Maybe we have left it too late.

    Thirdly - your photographs always blow me away.

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    1. I have passed on your message and I hope it went in - difficult to tell. I did come close to talking about it with a psychotherapist some years ago but bigger issues got in the way. I really wish I had though; it feels so silly to be transported back to those early birthdays EVERY year without fail. Last year was genuinely the first really great birthday I've ever had.

      Happy to blow you away Pat!

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  11. Wonderful photographs and I feel as though I have escaped from this rainy, post-election morning. Thank you!

    Tic Tac and friend are so pretty. There will be fewer New Forest foals born this year and I haven`t seen one yet.

    Hoping that the SATS go well for OB and that your mother will cope more happily at home, now that some support has been organised.

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    1. How lovely to hear from you DW! What a depressing post election morning it was....hence my not even mentioning it.

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  12. A great Blog Em. For OB I wish a good SATS. For your upcoming birthday lots of presents. Hope things will work out for your mother. The young foals are lovely Tic Tac a well chosen name. Love the captures but one is my favorite with the pebbles on the beach. Great perspective.
    Take care Em and a good weekend.
    Roos

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    1. That pebble ridge really is as long as it looks!

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  13. Well done recovering Tilly Em.
    No I didn't take any tests like that, apart from the 11 plus which I didn't have a clue about.
    At least you got a shot of a Skylark on the ground, not easy.
    Um! the Lynx is a Wildcat.
    Not the most appealing shot of you, Oh! I don't know though.{:))

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    1. There were Wildcats everywhere today as the Ten Tors Race is on over this weekend. When I went to collect Trigger tonight, I forgot to take my camera, which generally means I'll; see the Dartmoor equivalent of a Golden Eagle, and there it was.....a Cuckoo on the ground, with two Meadow Pipits trying to guard the gorse bush that obviously contained their nest. It took off after plenty of time for me to get a great shot had I had a bloody camera and then flew around, pursued by the Pipits until it got bored. Great to see.

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  14. Beautiful photos as always. Hope things go well for you with your Mum and her staying in her home. Lovely to see another post from you, take care, J9 x

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  15. Wonderful post and photos, loving the sheep, most of the sheep photos I take they have grass hanging out of the corner of their mouth. The young foal looks cute, same age as me, gave up on birthdays years ago as I stopped growing inside when I reached 21, trouble is I get a shock some times when I catch my self in a shop window and getting of the sofa gets harder :) have a lovely week.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Know what you mean about the sofa Amanda! x

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  16. Glad you are back online and everything is settled for now with your mum. Good luck to OB. No I don't remember tests, until secondary school.
    Great images of the beautiful ponies.

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    1. Sadly everything is not settled any more with mum.....hence no posting or comments for a while...x

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  17. Your pipit shot is incredible, wonder if they sing like Vaughan Williams!

    Tourette's in exams...I found it more difficult mentally than physically. I have a hard time concentrating.

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    1. I think, at secondary school, we might be able to get an extension in exams fro that reason. His psychologist at GOSH said she spent the week before SATS writing to exam boards!

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  18. Gorgeous photos as always Em, hope your mother is happily settled now, and try not to be greedy about presents, I hardly have any at the beginning of January for my birthday...

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    1. It's not greed exactly Thelma, just a sense that I'd like the past to be put right. Deep psychological stuff!

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  19. HI Em,

    I do hope your mum is settled and comfy. Old age is terrible and we all have to face it sooner or later - not just parents but eventually ourselves. I hope you are not too tired out by looking after your mum. And OB's exams... Poor thing. We certainly had none of these pressures when I was his age.
    Birthdays... Now there's a subject. Mine is December 20th and completely overshadowed by Christmas. Frankly I see not point to mine and try and ignore it. But yours is in my favourite month and I really hope celebrate and enjoy it.
    The photographs are, as ever, a real joy to see.
    Love Lily xxx

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    1. I won't write too much here having emailed you! xx

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  20. Getting older isn't fun and I think you are a wonderful daughter and your Mother is very lucky to have you! I'm glad all is falling into place with her situation. I hope OB has good luck with his tests. I don't remember having all those tests until I hit my senior year of high school.

    I'm not much on birthdays, a lot of bad memories here and there about them. I hope yours turns out okay!

    Glad Trigger is getting a 4 week holiday and change of scenery! What about the Madams?

    LOVE the sheep photos and all the ponies on the moor.

    So behind on blogging...

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    1. Me too! Just no time at the moment. Hope you;r pain isn't too bad at the moment Gail. x

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  21. Dear Em.
    I hope this pops up on your reader today... The right day.

    Happy Birthday girlfriend !
    Let there be cake.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thanks Parsnip.....sadly, there wasn't - just a strip to a care home with my mum! x

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  22. I missed your birthday Em, so sorry. Hope it was a happy one. Heading your way soon. Marvelous photos!

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