30 June 2012


All the ponies were at the bottom of the drive again early this morning so, as I started climbing the hill, I thought I would be having an uneventful walk. Two minutes later, I heard a whinny and whipped out the camera to record foal number two having a frisky moment. Here it is:

Just back from my stint at the school fair. I managed to swap from the coconut shy to the plant stall which was much more pleasant! It rained quite a bit but went very well. It's still going on actually. Going round the blogs, I found Country Rabbit's lovely sounding give-away so will be entering. She has so many followers I probably don't stand a chance but worth a go!

I must do something similar with a print......perhaps the sleeping foals. Let me know what you think......

Betty and Lizzy yesterday

29 June 2012


What strange weather today; dark skies but no rain; fierce wind and a real chill in the air. I've just got back from a short walk with Snippet where we encountered every pony I've ever featured careering down the road and ending up at the bottom of the drive that leads up to our tiny group of houses. They all have the wind up them and I took a great film which, for some reason, refused to download off the camera. Technology....

Included in the herd were a mare I don't know very well and her foal, who have slipped through my foal directory net! Another coloured one, probably born a couple of months ago but new to me. Here he is.

Foal number nine with five (I have done the foal directory and very useful it is too!)

I needed a break today after spending a great deal of the morning getting the Etsy shop up and running. At least I think I have. I've managed to get two drawings in so far: Sleeping Foals and Dartmoor Lamb. Both have printed really well but the Sleeping Foals image on the Etsy page is dreadful. I'm going to have to see if my partner (an expert in these things) can try and do something with it in PhotoShop or no one will ever order it. I'm loath to put a link here for you to look at because it looks so rubbish but here goes anyway...

I don't have very high hopes but you never know, this time next year.....

A couple of people have asked about the chick pea recipe I referred to in the last post which was very delicious, despite the lack of bacon. I've just worked out how to put it on a separate page so it's on the right near the top under 'PAGES': Spicy Vegetable and Chick Pea Casserole. Highly recommended. If you like sultanas in your meals (I don't), feel free to chuck in a few at the cashew stage. 

I took Trigger out for his first walk as the new dog and to do his prescribed barefoot tarmac work yesterday. A couple of little cracks have appeared on one hoof so I'm having to be careful and resist the temptation to start major rasping myself. He's being done next week anyway. Pictures are more of a challenge with a large equine on the end of a rope but here are some other shots from this week.

Yellow flag on the way to Trigger's field

Trigger in the distance from out on the moor

Foals 3 and 5

Foals 4 and 6

Foal 8

Foal 5 playing hide and seek

Trigger's new gate

Dewy, cobwebby gorse this morning

And finally, this is a hardy geranium I've waited well over a year to see. I bought it on ebay from a lovely lady who specialises in dry shade plants without actually seeing it. the name 'Splish Splash' appealed so I took a risk. Isn't it gorgeous? A risk worth taking and a really good healthy plant now. 

Geranium Splish Splash

I've signed up to help at the school fair tomorrow writing signs and running the coconut shy for a couple of hours. I'm not sure being around small children throwing heavy balls around is a great idea with my back.....what was I thinking of when there was a book stall to work on? Have a great weekend. 

26 June 2012


Yesterday I walked over to see the herd over in the marsh that they've been frequenting so much. When I got there, I could see Betty but not Lizzy, which was very odd. However, as I was on my way out, I heard the tiny thunder of hooves behind me and there she was, covered in mud and, I would say, suffering that flush of adrenalin one gets after a brush with near disaster. The above picture shows how deep she must have been in the bog. I have no idea how she got out. I managed to take a little, very inferior quality movie on the camera of her careering about. When she stops at the end, she's having a face-off with Snippet who did very well to just sit there as asked. She was asking for something! Here it is.....specs required for those of us who've got to the stage of wearing them around our necks!


She was being very feisty with foal numbers two and (just off to do a reference check....) five. I really need to do a foal directory but it's finding the time. Here she is....

I witnessed an interesting thing as I was walking to the marsh yesterday. Foal number four, a little colt, was hanging out with three geldings about half a mile away from the rest of the herd. They followed us over there and he returned to his mum but it was as if he was being initiated into what will very likely be his future if he doesn't get sold for meat. I do hope not.

Foal number four with one of the lads

Today it's very misty and muggy and Snippet and I just went for a short walk with no purpose. He's a bit off colour and doesn't have his usual boundless energy, so I decided to let Trigger settle in for one more day before he becomes the second dog. He's doing well by the way. 

Misty rocks

Heather beginning to flower

Off colour but still happy to go for a three mile hike


I've just heard that the injured yearling filly is doing really well and will be turned back onto the moor once she's fully recovered. Great news. 

Time to sign off and go and create something with chick peas, shallots and cashew nuts and resist the temptation to pop in a bit of bacon.....

24 June 2012


At last my childhood dream has come true. 48 years in the making but here he is, within a hundred yards of the house. I've gone from seeing him once a day to just popping in whenever I feel like it and I've just got back from checking on him for the night with my son. We actually did the move yesterday and the above picture was taken during his crazy few hours of galloping about like a mad thing. He's much more settled today, but still follows me as I walk alongside the field boundary. I think he's missing his friend a lot but tonight he seemed better. We had licking and chewing which is encouraging.  Rug on last night; it was raining hard and blowing a gale. The field is VERY exposed and only about 200 yards from the open moor across another field. Lovely views though I'm not sure he'll appreciate them. Am sitting here with the football on with a sense of inevitability as the commentators try and make us believe England can win. Hmmm. I will hope to be proved wrong. Just a short post tonight to welcome Trigger. Here are pictures of us leaving his old home and arriving here.  Nothing as we crossed the moor as  my photographers were driving to get home before me.....



Arriving my defence, he was going very fast in the rain

More galloping

Tense and alert. You can see the moor in the background here.
His new field is a proper meadow with masses of wild flowers.  Beautiful. 

21 June 2012


Jo's bunting

Put out the bunting! Made by my very talented friend Jo by the way, who seems to be able to run it up in half an hour whereas it would have taken me a whole day. I can't quite believe this is happening but Trigger is coming to live here in one of our kind neighbour's fields with our other kind neighbour's three lovely sheep. At last I will be able to dedicate the time I want to his training and chuck a rug on and off whenever I like, rather than scouring the weather forecasts and hoping for the best. The weather on the Today programme this morning didn't mention the persistent rain we're having or the 8 degrees centigrade that our car thermometer was reading earlier! Anyway, I'll be walking Trigger over here on Sunday. I'm concerned about lack of horsey companionship but we'll look into that soon. 

Break in transmission this week due to the fact that I've had a paintbrush pretty much fused to my hand trying to reinstate the loveliness of the kitchen and bathroom (more water problems there since we moved in four years ago). Yesterday I came as close as I'm likely to get to being my comic hero, Oliver Hardy, as I plunged my cutting-in brush into my cup of tea. Five minutes later after much cursing, I proceeded to take a swig of the abandoned tea without thinking. Not nice. 

From 'Towed in a Hole'

No news of that injured filly by the way. I haven't seen the person to ask but they probably would have contacted me if there was any bad news. 

My partner took this fabulous shot of a huge adder earlier this week, when there was some sun to bask in. He surprised her, hence the defensive stance as opposed to just slithering away. She was on an established path on one of the main tourist tracks down to Scorhill stone circle. What a stunning, if rather dangerous beast. Nice that she was alive too, given my previous encounters with dead ones.

By Mark Thompson

Like many others, I'm having terrible slug and snail problems on the vegetable patch. Just look at these runner beans. The weird stuff around them are last years failed leeks as what turned out to be a tasty snack barrier before moving on to the beans. Lettuces have disappeared totally. Good gooseberries and currants though. Autumn raspberries are looking fantastic at the moment but am  feeling a bit defeated. 

Decimated runner beans

Here are some pictures taken on our walks this week.

Pony on Middle Tor, alerting me as to the herd's whereabouts

Foal number four and mum

Lizzy and foal number five

Skylark (I think....those small brown ones can be difficult!) at Middle Tor

Foal number one sleeping 

Snippet cooling off

Jacob's Ladder starting to flower in the garden

Unopened thistle flowers. Close up they are stunning

Early morning shadow

Lizzy and Betty

No photos from today I'm afraid; too horrible. Spots of rain on the lens. I'm currently waiting for the Dyson engineer to come and tell me I need another new brush head for the machine. Fourth one but I must say, the service has been impeccable! Hope it's not raining too hard where you are.