Decade (Pt I)

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Ten long years ago, we made a decision.
It was a tough decision, made after long hours of sitting either side of our kitchen table, reminding ourselves hilariously of Mel Smith and Gryf Rhys Jones, looking at everything (or so we thought) from every angle (or so we thought).
Back then, we lived in a dear little mid terrace cottage, which was 'our own' (that is to say it belonged by and large to the Halifax building society) and we had one little girl, who was two.
She was a sick little girl, on permanent anti biotics, but she was a jolly, chubby little girl, and our pride and joy.
Neil worked as a sales rep for a printing company. Yet another printing company.
We'd been on holiday in France with my parents in law. It was in part to give me some time to get over losing a baby. However, when we got back, we had a few shocks in store.
Neil came home to find a letter on the mat, telling him he'd been made redundant. He'd worked for the company 360 days when they sent the letter, while he was on leave, so they owed him nothing. As a sales rep , his desk was cleared and he was not welcome back without a security guard accompanying him, so that was it. It was all over.
I came back to find that the results of the biopsy following my miscarriage, which I had been assured were always inconclusive, were not in the least inconclusive. I had had a molar pregnancy. The growth which had taken over the placenta could do one of two things, now. Die back, innocently, or turn into a raging cancer, which was most definitely life threatening. Of course, they didn't explain that in the letter. They just asked me to attend the oncology unit. I lost both my parents to an oncology unit, within a year of one another, so that didn't exactly make my day, either.
Neil had quickly got another job, and I had been settled into a routine testing programme for six months with a specialist unit in London.
But life was bitter. The little cottage was unloved, despite being our first and only 'own home' – it was tragically uncared for. We had a lovely neighbour, a lovely church (though we were only on the way to being christians) and a lovely allotment, a fifty yard walk from our door. Looking back now, we know we should have been content, but we weren't, and it's too late to change that now!
So we saw the advert, in Farmers' Weekly, that changed our life.
Neil applied for the job on a Wiltshire dairy farm, which came with a bungalow, a big garden, a chance to get back to the farm skills of his boyhood, and a new life, away from all the people who felt rather sorry for us.
We were amazed when he got an interview, and then offered the job (knowing what we know now, he should have played harder to get!) and we sat either side of our table, and we said, this is it – we'll be giving up all hope of ever buying our own smallholding. But what chance have we anyway? Property is never going to go up in value like it did in the eighties, ever again (ha de ha ha ha. ) We'll just be stuck here, and stuck with the commute, and the crawling city, getting ever closer .... if we go, we'll have a rented 'smallholding' and we'll be able to do those things .... H can grow up in the country, she can have a pony, we can grow all our own food.
The job was part time, nearer to full time in winter, nearer to no time in summer, with very cheap rent on a house, so we knew we'd start up some little rural business, to see us through. We thought, we wrangled, we talked into the night. We decided to go.
Cashing in everything we could find, we bought an old, short wheel base Land Rover. We packed a rented truck, the Land Rover, and my little car. Neil's dad and brothers drove down with us, Neil's mum came in the car with me and H, who was poorly. Again. Her delicate kidneys didn't seem to be getting any better. Time, we'd been told, and antibiotics. It didn't seem to be working.
And then, one September morning, in 1998, we woke up, in a new place. The sun shone, the wind blew across the downs, we looked out of our windows at majestic hills and wild woods (a year later, I was to be told, don't worry, if you go into labour and it's all happening too quickly, we'll Air Ambulance you...!) and everything, everything in the world was different.

It does seem a long time ago. But now and again we need to remind ourselves of why we camehere, and what we set out to do ......

Knitting after baths, with wet hair ...

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The dark days of winter. I feel so tied in with this season. We are wading through the dark, through flu, which I had, and then had again and have only just really, really, left behind me.
The girls both had a day in bed, both shake things off quickly. Boo, who has never had an antibiotic, never seen a doctor, only ever drank raw, unpasteurised milk, straight from the goat, never ate half the rubbish the rest of us wasted our immune systems upon, shrugs it off in a day.
On Friday, (Neil's) Mum and Dad came to stay, we went out for a lovely meal - on Saturday, H was supposed to be competing. We made it through the floods, but sadly, no one else did! So there was no competition! She jumped four clear rounds and enjoyed her outing.
Then I collapsed. Then in the evening, we went to Claverton by Candlelight - at the American Museum in Bath - Neil bought us all a drink, including for the girls, organic milk. Boo sniffed it and said it was pasteurised, and she couldn't drink it. We told her not to be silly. She drank a few mouthfuls, then said she really, really couldn't drink it. So we threw it away, grumpily. Ten minutes later, she was violently, terribly, sick. Then she was OK. 'It was the milk' she said cheerily, 'I told you. Pasteurised, homogeonised milk is really, really bad for you.'
Does your nine year old say things like that?!
As her father pointed out, she's right though.
On Sunday, I made it to morning service - then I collapsed! - so everyone else went out to the evening one, and I slept.
On Monday, I missed chapel carols as I was so ill, and finally capitulating, took an evil decongestant, to get me through Guides. Then I collapsed.
Today, praise God, it has gone, well, nearly.
And now Neil's got it! On average, he's sick a couple of days a year - I am so blessed - but tomorrow will be one of them. Unaccustomed, at the helm, with my two brave stalwarts beside me, the weather will come at me, and I - I who should be baking gingerbread and finally sending Christmas cards - will tackle the hills and the flooded troughs, the windblown, unmotivated chickens, the fat pre-destined geese, the tangled headstrong sheep and frowning bearded unwelcoming goats - I will battle with high winds and cold milking pails, I will march undaunted into the rain with hay in my face and a song in my heart. Because I wouldn't ever, ever have it any other way.

This is God's season. This primitive darkness, this cold, this threat - no wonder the celts waited for the solstice, and then celebrated - the turn of the year is something for which I hunger! I long for it, with every fibre. How short the days are, how cold. How deep the mud, how numbing the struggle, to keep everything dry, and warm, and well, and just keep going. God knew. God knew this was the time we should think about the Word made Flesh. This longing, this yearning.
We celebrate the solstice in this home, in the truest sense - oh! that turn of the year! New hope! Spring will come, it will. The days will lengthen, the pain will ease, the endless, dark, pointless days of toil will be over, hauling hay across sodden slopes, slipping and sliding down rutted tracks, crawling up and down stairs with trays and soothing teas, all of them will fade in a shaft of spring sunlight, a snowdrop, a breath of secret, intoxicating spring air, the taste of hope and belief and the unfathomable mystery of new life out of the darkness.

God knew.

Are we there yet?

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Dorothy has been talking here about the use and abuse of advent. I'm seriously thinking of joining her next year in her 'keep Christmas at Christmas' approach!
Trouble is, we have rellies coming today who expect all the trimmings, a bag full of gifts to take away, and so on and so forth.
I'm very much reminded of the beginning of my very favourite book, The Christmas Mouse (which must reread again, for the umpteenth time) - when on Christmas Eve the two little girls are buttoned up in their mackintoshes and taken into town on the bus, to go Christmas shopping. This brings back a lot of memories - we used to do all our shopping in the last few days before Christmas - maybe a special present, hand made or carefully squirreled away - took forethought, but by and large, it was very last minute, and well before dot com had any meaning !
Far too late to worry about it this year, but giving it some serious thought for next!
The weather is dire, freezing rain on freezing roads, so though nana and grandad are here with the hope of watching H competing tomorrow, I can see us abandoning the journey. You'd think, having lived here all my life, I'd stop being surprised by our weather. You'd be wrong!

Nicked!

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Had to get poor old H to the dentist yesterday, the roof of her mouth erupted in horrid little ulcers/spots - I was assuming that it was to do with the cold/flu whatever it is, but the dentist wanted to be sure, so he said he'd see her at 4pm.

Just getting into town with barely seconds to spare, we spotted blue lights and sirens behind us, not unusual along that stretch, past Police HQ, so pulled over at the side of a roundabout to let them by.

To my horror they pulled ME over and into a side street. They announced I had passed a camera which had identified my car as uninsured. Knowing that the renewal had been done a month or so ago, but also knowing how hopeless both of us are at admin, my heart sank.

I got hold of Neil to ask him to get home and find the details, and please to ring the dentist. They got onto the ABI database, and my insurance broker.

To cut a very long story short (long, long, way over time for the dental appointment long) it turns out that the car was insured, but someone, either broker or underwriter, had not bothered to register the fact with the ABI database.

Moral - carry your insurance certificate with you. Praise God I had my licence, as I used to be a horror for not carrying that, or not having a current address on it, but on this occasion, bingo.

Brickbats - Swintons and/or AXA for leaving me open to public humiliation.

Bouquets - the lovely, LOVELY Ferndale Dental Clinic, who still saw my daughter!
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H poorly today, she's finally succumbed to the flu, so spent most of the day in bed - or actually mostly on the sofa in the sitting room, because I am trying to turn her room into a guest room, since Nana and Grandad are due to visit on Friday.
I actually managed to plant out some cauliflower plants, water the salads in the polytunnel, make a steak and kidney pie ... and ..er.. that's it!
Boo had a jumping class, so she had to go with Daddy, as I had to stay here with H - apparently she did really, really well, so sorry to have missed it.
It's cold and the mornings are lovely
but unfortunately the ground is wet, which makes it impossible for the horses to go out.
I'm not getting ready for Christmas nearly quickly enough, but somehow, it doesn't seem to matter - it just feels like a season, a time of family closeness, a dark, cold season .. and soon the day will be here, and we'll be huddled in the school room of our little chapel, and that will be all that really matters.
Maybe next year will be the year I finally get to entertain, to hand out mince pies and sherry, to have the perfectly decorated house .... it was meant to be this year, but... erm ....

Do you ever have one of those days?!

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I've lost the adapter that makes my printer and puter work together. Oh I've found it. Now the printer's broken. Map exercise for Guides tonight relies on printer. It will only print pink. Not good for maps. Unless of British Empire {g}

Open sewing machine to thread up for H to get on with Christmas presents. Cannot find bobbin to fit sewing machine. Attachment compartment contains many bobbins. None of them fit machine. Why is this? Why are they even there? Must have REMOVED one bobbin from machine, must have had yellow thread on it. It has mysteriously disappeared.

List of To Dos for today as yet unstarted, yet have not stopped since6.30am this morning. What am I doing? I mean literally - what am I doing?!

The calm ... erm... after the storm!

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Had a lot of tempestuousness going on just lately.
We're once again considering school for the girls .. but I must admit today the panic subsided, and once again we felt like we might just survive, the way we are .. the problems are kind of multi faceted .. the isolation is not good. There are other ways we could address this, but school would be a really nice one ... then there's the time.
I have, over the last few days, discovered the true extent to which I have let my daughters down, in terms of inadequate housekeeping, standards, and training. It's been scary. I can't let it carry on this way.
If they were at school, someone (me) would get chance to monitor the state of their rooms, fore example. As it is, I am responsible for homeschooling, running a business, half running a farm, running Sunday School, running a Guide unit, looking after four horses, trying to grow all our own food .. as anyone who has ever been overcommitted knows, urgent begins to take precedence over important, and then things go wrong.
It is simply not ok that it has taken two days, and will take another, to make my younger daughter's bedroom habitable.
From the isolation point of view .. we just don't seem to make friends with other HEers. Partly, this is because, we are too busy to go to anything - our local christian he sport club is good, but in winter, we can't get there, and be back in time to do barn chores and shut chickens up. We get few enough chances to ride in these dark, inhospitable days, and we can't be playing netball when there might be chance! My daughters make friends at Guides, and Pony Club, with children who go to school - they aren't, and don't want to be, oddball off the wall types! Me? I just don't have any friends. Ali, who I see once in a blue moon, but talk to a lot, is a real friend, other than that, I have no one. No one to invite round for coffee, no one to have lunch with, no one to talk or pray or sew with. That can't be right.
I have a burst of optimism about our chapel, we love it dearly and would love to see it full (your prayers appreciated!) - but really, I'm the youngest by a mile and I'm no spring chicken.
I can do all things, through Christ who strengtheneth me. Which is just as well.
It will work out. I wish I knew how.

Dull Day

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Admittedly, we did have some bright sunshine this morning.
But I'm thinking more of the endless pile of paper I am trying to wade through in connection with the setting up of our dairy company.
Honestly, I'd rather just go outside with the goats, or in the garden.
Mind you it is cold and glum out there.
Not as glum as The Companies Act of 1985, I am here to tell you.

Still Ill ....

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I've had this ghastly virus for weeks!
Well that is to say I got better, had a few days free from it, and then it came back!
I'm trying to go very slowly - I know too many people who have suffered from post viral disorders to take risks - but I am beginning to stress out about all that needs to be done.
Still, as Ma used to say (that's Laura Ingalls' Ma, obviously) 'what can't be cured must be endured' (that's when she wasn't saying 'there's no great loss without some small gain' or 'Oh Charles', which was pretty much her repertoire in full. But oh how we love her!)
I've taken to the sofa and am knitting by the fire. The ponies get to go out every day, and if they don't get exercised, then they don't. It won't cause the fall of civilisation as we know it. That was last week, wasn't it?

Why does my younger daughter look COOL...

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even in a lime green fleece?!

A very special girl

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A couple of weeks ago, one of our young goats, Poplin, (This is her a long time ago, when she and Boo were both much smaller!) suddenly became very ill.
She had what we believe was Meningitis. I didn't take photographs, or write about it - because the outcome was almost certainly going to be grim. Boo, whose special goat she is, cried. We decided it was time to put Poplin out of her misery. She was only semi conscious, had no movement, we had to move her legs for her gently, each day, to preserve any muscle tone at all. She had fallen early on in her illness, and bumped her eye, which was closed and scabbed over. It was dire, and terrible and sad.
We prayed and prayed for wisdom for us, and mercy for little Poppy.
The girls and I tempted her with mouthfuls of banana, syringed water into her mouth.
Our lovely organic/homeopathic landlord came to the rescue with imported high dose viatmin C. We rang the country's top goat vet. Poppy moved. One day she ate a banana. Whole. (they don't normally like the mushy bit in the middle, they prefer the lovely chewy wrapper!) Neil developed a fierce determination to pull her through. He bought high dose Vitamin B1 and mashed it into Bananas. He gave her physio. She began to eat hay, then to drink water from a bucket.
Finally she decided to eat goat food from a bucket, and she stood up!
We did think though, that she would always be blind.
Then yesterday, finally happy that she was out of danger, I went to take her photo.

This is her sister, Paisley. And this is what normally happens when you try to take a picture of a goat. They try to eat the camera.

As you approach Poplin, she puts her head on one side, is she just listening to your footfall? I stood outside of her little protective pen, to take the picture.



But no. Poplin definitely wants to eat the camera - so we're sure she can see something, even if it's limited! What a wonderful answer to prayer! What a brave and courageous goat! Well done Poppy! We love you!

God, bless Patrick Jones

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Recently, Waterstones cancelled a poetry reading, following a protest by Christian Voice. You can decide who was pulling whose strings here.
A furore in the christian homeschool world led to several people joining the email campaign to get the event cancelled.

Strangely, my own concern that this is not what Jesus would have done, has been censored, so I can't discuss it with my homeschooling fellows in that arena. But I can say what I like here.

Jesus said:
11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

or:
11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

or:
11-12"Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

depending on which human being translated it.

and this (Luke 6)
27But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

and this (Matt 5)
44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

and this (Luke23)
34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

So just because other religions, based on rule keeping and punishment, kick up when someone publishes a book which offends them, is it right for us to do likewise?

Luke 6:26-28 (King James Version)
26Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. 27But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

Are we teaching our children to follow the world and false religions, or are we teaching them to follow their Master?

It kind of sounds to me like we should let him read his poems, and quietly love him, and pray for him. We don't need to do that in view of the national media, since, strangely, that's not who we are praying to. Odd though that may seem.

Here, and unapologetically from 'The Message' which quite often causes me to wince with self awareness, is a little piece of advice, from Matthew chapter 5:

43-47"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

I've just realised

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this blog title doesn't make sense. It would make more sense if it was Hedgerow WAYS and Fireside DAYS, wouldn't it? You see the problem is, I made it up on the spur of the moment, ages ago, when this blog was just a little personal thing which no one looked at, and didn't really matter much.
I wonder if I can change it. If not, sorry. Hope it doesn't annoy you too much!


Edited: No, you haven't gone mad. I altered it.

Yay for H!

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We took H and J (I do use nicknames for children and ponies, but in this case, both actually use their initial as their nickname!) to their first showjumping competition.

They came fourth!
Unfortunately, the flash and lens on our camera are not up to action shots, so this is in the line up.

So Glad I Left

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Firstly, a genuine apology to my genuine American friends before I even say this. I do not tar you all with the same brush. I know you do not all think like this. In fact, I know that some of you, my dear friends, do in fact think.

But this woman quoting this article makes me so glad I left my previous blog home.

What, Europe is responsible for all the sex and drugs in the world? Excuse me! Take a look at yourselves! Did we invent Hollywood? Do we have regular High School shoot outs? I don't think so.

Guardian Angel? Who are they kidding. I'm not often really really mad, but this article made me spit nails. Nasty racist piece of thuggery. Innacurate, insulting, facist propaganda.

Normal service will be resumed when my blood pressure has returned to manageable.

Mending

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I've felt so rough these last few days, I've taken to mending things.
It was a bit of a forgotten art in this house. We'd developed a terrible habit of 'decluttering' which involved chucking things out which I might previously have tried to rescue. But my general malaise and uselessness over the last week, leaving me spending a lot of time on the sofa, confusedly resolving math problems and reading essays between painkillers, gave me time to rethink.
Thus far, I have replaced a few buttons, re-hemmed a couple of things, and removed a broken zip from a pair of my husband's work trousers, replacing it with buttons and buttonholes. Oh and I've patched a pair of jeans.
I did also try to remember how to darn, but unfortunately chose a sock which had gone beyond repair. Clutching my Daily Express Book of Wartime Needlework (thanks, Ali!) I carefully set up my darn, but there was no way I was up to the challenge of the gaping gap. I shall try again, on something less damaged.
It's a funny thing, we seem to have lost touch - previously, the £12 for a new pair of work trousers seemed so little. Now it seems a lot, and the half hour spent taking out the zip and sewing buttonholes, while confirming H's suspicions about HCFs and LCMs seems well paid.

Turning the other cheek

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In my absolute horror at the promotion of guns as a christian symbol of liberty, following the US election, I have googled in vain to find any reference to anti-gun christians, or christians against guns.
Google quails at the thought. Bemused by her inability to find all the words. she (Google is a she, right?) misses out the least popular one, and provides me with page after page of blogs, web pages, articles .... all proclaiming the gospel of violent self defence. According to one Jesus 'whipped the **** out of the moneychangers in the temple" Do we even have the same Bible?
We certainly don't serve the same Prince of Peace.
As Christmas approaches, I am reminded of the Jews, waiting for their warrior prince, waiting for the king who would set them free from the Romans, wielding no doubt a great sword, and yelling about his rights.
The saviour came, alright. But He was born in a shed, and he rarely even raised his voice. He forgave his tormentors, and taught us to do the same. He spoke the beatitudes.

Around here, sporting guns are the norm. That I can understand. But to own something designed to turn on a fellow human being? A hand gun? An Assault Rifle, for pity's sake?

Some people, it seems to me, are still waiting for the wrong guy.

Prince Charles at 60

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I watched this documentary last night kind of by default, as I was still feeling pretty poorly. But I'm glad I did - I rather like Prince Charles, despite feeling he's not fantastic King material (you may write to me c/o The Tower, London, England).
I'm a big fan of Social Enterprise, which is the notion behind both my box scheme and our new dairy project - a way in which a business can provide a good living for those who work in it, but still be focussed on social aims, rather than excessive profit. The Prince of Wales has done more for Social Enterprise than just about anyone - except perhaps, thinking about it, the late Anita Roddick.
I was impressed by HRH's staying power and energy, and loved the glimpses into the garden at Highgrove. Like most people, I've kind of got used to Camilla, and admire her quiet discretion. I was of a generation captivated by the fairytale that was Diana. She lives on in her beautiful sons, there will never be another quite like her. But the DofC is a good solid countrywoman, got to hand it to her!
He gets it in the neck (an unfortunate thing to say about a potential king called Charles, but nevertheless ....) for his exploration of other faiths, does Charles, but I can't see he has a choice, really. We're a country of many faiths.
As for Poundbury I think the jury's out - I've heard differing opinions. You can't please everyone, that's for sure, even if you're the heir to the throne. Or perhaps especially if you're the heir to the throne.
By and large, well done him. Happy Birthday, Your Royal Highness.


Prince Charles with the very dashing Prince William

Can you help?

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or at least spread the word?

Journey Mama posted this link on her blog.
Can we all donate just a little, and pass this on around the blogoshpere? We all have different contacts. I'm just thinking that, you know, just little donations add up. And it might make all the difference.
I just donated $10 by Paypal, it's about £6.50. Do I have £6.50 to spare? Nope. Do I need it as badly as they do? Nope. So there we go. If we all did that. It would add up. Or am I just a hopeless optimist?

A Happy Birthday to Me!

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Yesterday dawned damp and chilly, and we rode the horses out first, and what with one thing and another didn't get out until pretty much lunchtime - I'm not quite well, don't know what it is, bug of some sort, but every now and again I get droopy and headachy and have to check out for a bit so it's been a patchy sort of a weekend.
First we went off to Countrywide for me to pick out a coat, which was what I wanted for my birthday. I chose a long waterproof, riding mac type affair kind of like this



only less purple, and I am now hoping it is rideable in, because it looked it.
Then we went for a walk in Savernake Forest, which was wet and windy but fun, and then into Marlborough for tea at the famous Polly Tearooms. before coming home for poor old mother to doze in front of the fire for an hour, while everone elsed did chores.
We then went out to a local pub for supper - a very down to earth affair of sausage and mash and liver and bacon and mash, which we shared so that everyone had some of everything. A real old country pub, full of families and characters, where we knew our younger sheepdog, Fly, would be welcome to hide under the table (fireworks everywhere, and her terrified!)
Still not feeling great this morning, but out we went to the village church with Guides and Brownies to carry flags for the Remembrance Service. As usual, fantastically proud of the girls, there are always one or two who look down their noses at the youngsters doing their best to preserve this proud tradition - but as usual no one any older or wiser who actually wished to DO it. Well done girls, you can be proud of yourselves!
Home for another wilt on the couch (how very Jane Austen) while the crew created lunch - three courses at that! - and an afternoon by the fire, watching 'The Waltons' on dvd and looking at lovely birthday books - The Cutting Garden, from Neil, which he knew I wanted, and from my best buddy, Ali, 'Nella Last's War' of which more, I suspect very, very much more! later.
So now it's nearly dark, blowing a gale, and lashing with rain, and we might yet make it out to the evening service at chapel. I still have a headache, stiff neck, dopey sort of feverishness and a vague sense of unreality. Maybe it's just old age?

Here I go, treading with care ....

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where angels fear to LOL.

Dear ladies, I seem to have a reputation for charging around in my wellies, which has caused you all to snicker at the very idea of my treading LESS carefully! What I really meant was - I am trying to stop trying to conform to a 'type' - and being in a less 'ordered' area of the blogosphere, I hope my diverse interests and ideas and oddities will all come together happily, without my having to over edit!
As to the selectness of the group ... well .... it's just that on my previous blog, there was always this huge list of contacts, it was a pretty close crowd, though a big one! Here in the massive pool that is Blogger, I'm guessing it's just me and a few friends.

So far, all I seem to have done is explain myself!

Well, it's time I was in bed - it's my birthday this weekend, and all I'm prepared to say is, I'm not 50 yet! It's Remembrance Day on Sunday which means I will be involved with Guides at the village church, flags and all that, so I think my tribe have something up their sleeves for tomorrow. Which probably means I should be getting my sleep in now !

The Watershed

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This post marks the watershed.

Posts before it, old and thinly spread, were posted when this was a private blog, and I was mainly blogging elsewhere.
Those beyond are a new start, the old having been swept away. It's a smaller, more select audience (I hope) and I shall tread less carefully (be warned!)

The current situation with the girls and school (this being the major issue I was trying to work out on this blog, when it was in a secret corner) is that we have accepted God's answer of 'not yet' - but we still believe it may by part of their not so distant future.

I am not going to play catch up, trying to fill in a million details which weren't there, and are here. This is another side of me, another side of us. So if we surprise you, I hope it's pleasantly.

After a long winter of deliberation

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it seems the girls will not be going to school.
Try as we might, we cannot see where the money is coming from - we simply can't afford it. People have said 'step out in faith' and to be honest, if we were a few quid short, maybe that would be worth it. But to consider school fees, when sometimes we're pushed to afford shoes? (I'm not trying to be melodramatic here, shoes are unconscionably expensive, you must admit! And we are, like it or not, a low income family!)
Added to which, the three hours daily in the car, I really do not think I could cope with. Not to mention yet more expense, and the carbon footprint!
I feel better that we have considered it fully, discussed it, visited the school, really explored the option.
So we arrive at Candlemas, and according to myth, yesterday's foul weather means that spring is on it's way, and winter is behind us! Hurrah! Onward and upward, home educating, making a home, making a life. And occasionally babbling about it ...
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