29 December 2012


I am one of those many people who get totally confused at Christmas. I have no idea what day it is when I wake up what with bank holidays, weird and mostly unwatchable telly and bin collections on strange days. I'm fairly sure now that it is Saturday but my mind is in a state similar to these pictures I took of Origami Boy's remote controlled tiny flying UFO that he got for Christmas. Feel familiar?

The rain, as we all know, is getting ridiculous. People who have lived here all their lives are saying they've never seen anything like it. Up as high as we are I feel we are at the source of the downward deluge. The quantity and speed of what is cascading down onto the lower ground is terrifying. I can hear it hammering against the window again like gravel in its intensity. I managed to get out with Snippet today in an hour's respite. We haven't managed to get very far up till now and I stupidly forgot my mobile so decided not to go down to the river, which I could see from afar had burst its banks. My mobile saved me when I had the accident so I feel very unsafe out there without it now. Water is not very photogenic but here are some pictures of the sodden moor.

The path

The path, increasing in length by the minute!

This is the normally static puddle which has now taken on a flowing life of its own

The river Teign, twice its normal width in the distance; normally you can barely see it from here

This morning I saw a Goldcrest hopping about in the dead hydrangea bush that is normally filled with sparrows. I rushed for the camera but it was gone by the time I got back. I had the same experience with a Jay this afternoon. The birds are laughing at me again. Here are a few of the more bold ones, including the less ostentatious female Spotted Woodpecker through a rainy window, hence the lack of clarity I'm afraid....sorry:

Sparrow/chaffinch showdown 
Sparrow wins

Yesterday was slightly less wet but made up for it with the wind for a few hours so we all went up the hill to be blown around, Snippet included. What a ridiculous sight...his tongue was flapping in the gale.

I took this one morning; the tips of the trees looked like sails in the same high wind. 

I have to admit to hoping for normality to return as soon as possible. I'm afraid I'm usually in bed on new year's eve by ten thirty! When Origami boy gets up at 6.00am on new year's day, I really don't want to have had three hours me a square but I love my sleep. Talking of which, it's way past my bedtime now so.....until next time, we can only hope for a break in the deluge. I hope none of you are flooded. Have a lovely Sunday and I'll leave you with a slightly less windswept Snippet.

26 December 2012


I had asked for Rotring pens for Christmas and they were duly given. I used to draw with them all the time when I was younger and then as an architecture student in very much pre-CAD days, they were part of my essential tools. At one point as a pretentious teenager, I used one as my writing pen. Up till now I have found Snippet virtually impossible to get right with a pencil but today I feel I've cracked him. I can't be precious with a pen and I have to be confident with the line. I might put him on Etsy and see how he never know! The original is going up in the kitchen I think. I'll definitely be doing more; I've missed it. Much quicker than pencil too!

On Christmas day, I struggled out in the rain with Snip and found every available pony out there in frisky mood. I managed a few pictures:

Christmas was lovely. Origami boy had a great time, despite it just being the three of us. He's getting a bit bored now and I need to get organised in the friend visiting department before he goes stir crazy. It's been raining all day and we have eaten nothing but leftover chicken (we all hate turkey), stuffing and chocolate. I did make a lovely clementine cake on Christmas Eve but it's all gone now so we'll all be suffering from scurvy by tomorrow. Sprouts for breakfast I think. So, until next time, a rare clear sky this morning. It didn't last. 

24 December 2012


Merry Christmas to you all and thanks so much for following this, my first year of blogging. (Thanks to Origami Boy for posing here).
Happy New Year!
Love from Em

22 December 2012


Since we moved here over four years ago, I've been hoping to see coal tits. Where we lived in Chagford in the town, we had lots visiting the garden, but I've never seen them up here until a few days ago. Just the one, but that will do. They are so sweet. It's been very timid and comes VERY low in the pecking order; below even the blue tits. All the other peanut feeders eat the porridge too but this little character doesn't do so yet. Let's hope he or she is a regular visitor.

The rain is getting pretty depressing. I've never seen it quite so bad up here, with every inch of ground rushing with water. Trigger's field, despite me putting back divots on a daily basis and his lack of shoes, is turning into a mud bath. We should count ourselves lucky the water isn't yet entering the house. I pity anyone lower down the river as I don't see how flooding can be avoided. It's set to continue tomorrow so many people are going to be in trouble for Christmas.Here are two ponies trying desperately to shelter. The wind is pretty horrendous too.

A couple of days ago, when we had a dry day, Snippet and I walked over towards the delightful Fernworthy Forest where there is an abandoned badger set. I walked on while Snippet sniffed around and only looked back a couple of minutes later. He had disappeared. After some shouting and whistling to no avail, I ran back to find the tiniest tip of tail poking out of one of the holes. It took him some time to get himself out and I was worried I might have to traipse home for a shovel to dig him out. These three are from an earlier hole. I should have known not to leave him really.

Nearly gone!

What I think are Fieldfare. They look like big Thrush on the ground if you can get anywhere near them. They usually take off  as a flock and are gone in seconds, hence blurriness! The next two pictures are from the other herd, who seem to be gravitating to this area and mixing with our herd. The coloured pony is the one who was so friendly with me in the summer.

These two are of a misty lunchtime before more heavy rain!

Strange stripy dawn sky

And a few from the bird feeding area.....

The lovely pecker Nuthatch

Fabulous colours on the back of this Magpie's tail

The Sparrows waiting their turn for the porridge

Not the best looking Sparrow!

Nuthatch leaving the feeder at speed

We have a huge amount of military air traffic going over us what with the firing ranges being so close at Okehampton. The helicopters sometimes fly right over the house which is quite frightening if you don't see them coming. There are far fewer jets than there used to be due to base closures in Cornwall. When I was about 10 or 11, I thought I wanted to be a fighter pilot and would do meticulous drawings of the jets of the time. In those days, they didn't accept women and I really didn't understand the true implications of what the job would entail at that age! Now, despite the enormous misgivings about their role, I still get a thrill as they go over. If I had signed up, I would have been pensioned off pretty quickly with my type 1 diabetes that came on very late, and bone density issues. Not a very suitable candidate at all! I saw this helicopter the other day:

Origami Boy's party was a great success. Just the four of them but it's amazing the chaos four eight year old boys can cause. I splashed out on this little cardboard tree from Paperchase for the occasion. I think it's gorgeous and it will last for years.

Last Monday, I took my Mum to Carluccio's in Exeter after a stroll round the new John Lewis which opened last month. Having been brought up in North London, we spent a lot of time in Jones Brothers on the Holloway Road, now long gone, so John Lewis has a special place in my heart. Rarely actually buy anything but it's a childhood comfort thing. Carluccio's is a piece of mild sophistication that Exeter lacked until the last few years. It was a desert when we first got here, with nowhere to go to eat between chain places and the extremely expensive. We bought this gorgeous biscuit for Origami Boy. Stunning and delicious!

Only three more days to go before the true seediness of the Christmas tree bucket is revealed once the presents have gone. The tissue paper I've wrapped around it isn't going to cut it I'm afraid. Perhaps some strategically placed fruit might do the trick?......until next time, a wet Snippet hoping  for a place on the sofa. I don't think so!