Birth of new lambs.Β 

Those little fluffy clouds with legs you see jumping around and skipping in the spring fields of England. They are a herald for the new season and hopefully the better weather days ahead. 
Until I moved back home I hadn’t really spent any time thinking about how much work goes into this time of year for the sheep farmers. I simply enjoyed watching them and gushed over their little waggy tails as they fed. 

The Browns my friends Farm whom I have written about before, this time of year is one of the busiest, hardest but also most rewarding. A LOT of work goes into getting the spring lambs to the happy points in the fields you see this time of year. I was again privileged to spend some time with them with my husband at the weekend. 

I lambed my first lamb under Ian’s careful guiding hand. It was so amazing!!

It was a big weekend for boxing and we had this weekend arranged for a while. I joked;

“Ahhh don’t worry I will lamb, you can watch the boxing!” 

All joking aside I was certain I wanted to help and although ANY one that knows me will be absolutely shocked to know. I did it. I put my hand into a ewe and helped her birth a perfect little lamb. 

Having a farm is pretty much 24/7 anyway but this time of year that’s never more true. Every couple of hours out  around the ewes to check that no one is in difficulty or needing help. So like new parents feeding a new born. These farmers are up all through the night no matter what. 

For Ian last night that meant while trying to enjoy an evening with friends, he had to work at the same time. I’m pleased we could be on hand to help but we enjoyed a moment of respite from our own office type jobs so you would think the novelty would wear off for the farmers. That’s not true with the Browns. The excitement and joy at every healthy birth is just as exciting, if slightly exhausted. 

My husband has of late been helping on the farm, it’s so far from anywork he has done that he is loving learning how the farm ticks. The opportunity for both of us to help out and learn something new was so awesome! 

I didn’t even hesitate when he asked, flinging my legs over the fencing into the pen and hands in the ewe following Ian’s clear instructions, five minutes later I am watching a little ball of wool taking its first breath and watching mummy clean and stimulate her baby. A while later he fed and was up and about. 

Out again an hour later to top up any lambs not getting enough milk which means hand feeding the little ones until their bellies are full. 

Next check at about 2am it was my husbands turn! A man who does not like to get his hands dirty with mud, delivered twins and a rather more challenging experience as twin number two was being difficult. They stayed calm and within ten mins out came number two. Initially a little lifeless but with some help from Ian and mummy ewe he took his first breath. Phew!! 

My husband was so overwhelmed by the experience I was a little worried he was going to climb in and sleep in the pen with the babies all night. Haha. 

We got to bed me around 3am, my hubby around 4am. We the part timers slept through till 10. Mean while Ian and his dad had been out another two or three times to deliver three sets of triples. One of which was delivered by the Brown’s four year old daughter Florie. She has literally no fear and knows exactly what she is doing!! Arm straight in, lambs out!! 

While we had slept Ian had an hours sleep! When we got up he still had the rest of the farm dutys to see to, feeding and moving around the livestock. 

If he didn’t do this, if he was wasn’t so conscious and caring for the animals. The amount being lost would be so much higher. The twins my husband delivered and also one of the sets this morning, they needed help. No help and certainly the lambs if not mother too would have died. 

I am tired from reduced sleep and excitement. I have no idea how they do this for months solid. It can only be the love and dedication I witness every time we are there. The care that goes into each animal on the farm is so amazing. 

So the next time you are driving the countryside admiring those little hoppy lambs frolicking in those fields. Spare a thought for the farmer and his family and the tremendous amount of hard work that goes into the process. Think about what you buy. 

ITS SO IMPORTANT TO BE SUPPORTING YOUR BRITISH FARMERS!!! 

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Stop the car!!!!! MomentsΒ 

I live in such a beautiful part of the world, it’s easy to photograph. I have so many moments where I am screaming “stop the car!!!” And leaping out to take a photo. 

Tonight’s sunset was a truly beautiful one! As I drove from my house to my mothers I had to jump out of the car and take some pictures!!!

The clouds were so low but the sun was still so strong that it wasn’t total coverage fog, it was the same as when you are flying on a plane through the big fluffy cottonwool ball clouds. Like they had just fallen from the sky and landed on the hill sides. I wish I could have taken more photos but I was alone 😦 but here’s what I could get safely. 😁😁

A trip to Edinburgh, crazy few hours.Β 

My husband works all over the UK. August is one of the busiest months of the year so he is often working over the weekend. When he told me he was headed up to Edinburgh for the day Saturday, I took the opportunity to spend some extra time with him but also take in the sights. I took my 14 year old niece along for company too!!

Our alarm rang out at 4am, I started to regret my decision and wondered how much could I really get done in a day….. Maybe staying in my nice warm bed would be a better choice?!?  The traveller in me screamed NO!! Get up lazy bones!!! 

So up we got and made a half hearted attempt at making myself look presentable, we bundled into our car and off we went on the three hour trek!!

Once I shake the sleep off and start to feel more human less Zombie, I really love this time of day. Watching the sun rise in our beautiful countryside is always worth being awake at stupid o’clock. 


Once we arrive in Edinburgh, I start to feel excited!! I have been before but never in summer. The smell of the yeast and malt that fills the air instantly transports me to Christmas time which was the last time we were here. I am reminded of gingerbread latte and twinkling lights. This time we had the Fringe and Tattoo atmosphere. It gives the city a totally different and exciting feel!


My earlier blogs will tell you that this year we are trying to lose weight and get fit. The lose weight is going ok, the get fit …..hmmm not so well!! I mention this because we park the car near the job, and I say … “It’s ok we will walk into the centre!!” Off we go! We follow the well sign posted tourist attraction signs. Forty minutes later we are standing below the castle and my face is resembling a tomato!! Three miles down already and it’s only 8.40am!!


There is a great mix of high street shops and boutiques here. I love it. We are coming back in October for a week so will be looking forward to spending some more time exploring the shops. For this day however it was about cramming as much into the hours we were there as possible and remembering I am with a forteen year old who may not like the same things as me. 


After giving the fourteen year old an appropriate amount of shop time, where I felt incredibly old as most of the styles were from my teenage years in the 90s so if the fashion has come around again …. I must be old lol!! Moving swiftly on!!!!

We had only a couple of hours left and I had read somewhere that deep in old town was in fact the grave of Tom Riddle the name that inspired one of my favourite authors to name a villain in her book …. Voldemort in Harry Potter. I am such a massive fan so of cause we had to go see!! By this time we had clocked up seven miles and the old hips were singing a bit, did we let that stop us?!? Of cause not!!!!!

After another couple of miles, we arrived at Greyfriars Kirk and its famous gravestones. It wasn’t just the appeal of the famous grave. 


It was also my addiction to graveyards. I don’t know why but I find something so beautiful in the old headstones, some lavish and well crafted almost transport you back to that time. I love the history in those old graveyards and this one had some great examples. Including the caged plots that prevented body snatching and grave robbing. 


There is a folk tale that within Greyfriars that it has a poltogiest oh and a ghost dog called Bobby, the poltogiest can be found in the oldest part of the graveyard. Locked up only accessible if you pay to go on the tour, a fact that has me a little skeptical, and when we reach this section there are plastic skulls with lights for eyes on the entrance and I am not convinced. Either way I had a chance to snap and image through the gates without being attacked!!


We passed the last hour before being picked up here, it was peaceful and interesting. I snapped a couple of great pics and though brief, our time here made my excitement for our return trip in October much higher. Edinburgh has so much more to share with me. Can’t wait!! 

   

Sunsets and sunrises!Β 

I am not an early riser! So this love of sunrises is conflicting. My alarm goes off and I am instant filled with a dilemma. On the one hand – I want the shot, on the other hand – I want my sleep!! 

Early bird catches the worm and all that!! I have some fab shots from various places, early morning here often means fog and I LOVE LOVE LOVE these shots more than anything. 

Here are a few πŸ™‚ 

What are your favourite shots that you take? 

How exciting is a smiley face?!!!

This morning I peed on a stick and it made me happier than I have been in a long time. 

I share a lot of my life particularly the fertility issues online as I have found such support from others in my position, but in truth this morning I shared my joy because I was excited!! My Facebook post was instantly filled with love and excitement from my friends and family. 

For all these years of trying for a baby, I have peed on a LOT of sticks, Clearblue more than others and the results always upset me. I have had so many negatives that the little empty circle on the ovulation kits or the not pregnant flashing on a pregnancy test, I have become numb to it. I expect the negative. This mornings peak was amazing!!!

To be clear my stick didn’t tell me I was pregnant. It told me I am ovulating. I have PCOS and those digital tests have NEVER in all these years told me I am ovulating!!! I was excited like I was pregnant!!! I did a little happy dance in the bathroom and instantly decided to share. 

I have people in my life I have never met. They read my blogs or follow me on Instagram etc. I get so many messages from people thanking me for sharing my journey. It’s for these people I am glad I did share as well as myself feeling the love. That was awesome. It’s nice to share a positive result even just the ovulation!! For some it may be hard to understand the excitement over ovulation but do as many tests as I have, that have been negative and then come back to me, see how you feel lol. 

Our journey has been a long one and there are so many “trying to conceive” stories out there most of which end in a beautiful bundle of joy. Our story hasn’t ended that way, I feel that’s a story that should be shared too. It’s a lonely road here feeling like the only one who’s body just will not do as it should. If I can make one person feel like they aren’t alone through this then I feel I am doing some good, my babies that didn’t make it aren’t gone for nothing. They live on with me and my blog in some silly way. I know that sounds nuts!! 

I am not getting ahead of myself as the chances of getting pregnant are still not great, but I guess I am trying to say don’t give up and take what ever positives you can!! That little smiley face has given me a little glimmer of hope, something I haven’t felt in a long time. Will it mean I get pregnant? Probably not but it’s still a nice feeling that it’s possible ….. I am not out of the game yet πŸ™ŠπŸ™ŠπŸ™Š!!!

Wish us baby dust!!! πŸ‘ͺπŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§πŸ’‘πŸ’‘

Farm gurl in training – shearing sheep!!Β 

This weekend we packed our camping things into my husbands van and we made a trek up to Bonny Scotland to spend the weekend with some friends at their farm. 

Let me start by saying, I am NOT a camper, I’m accused regularly of being a snob. This is not the issue. It’s not like I deem myself “too good” to camp out, just that given the choice between a comfy bed with amenities in a nice hotel or a sleeping bag in what is essentially nylon ball with a door. I choose bed every time. I have to defend this preferance. ALOT.   


However if I was ever to give in and take the plunge it would be to spend time with the wonderful people I did this weekend. I am so glad I did. 

You may have read my blog about lambing with the Brown Family well here we are back again with them, but this time we are on their new farm in Scotland and we are shearing sheep. 


The drive to Scotland was beautiful, we live in an already breath taking area but the beauty of Scotland’s landscape isn’t lost on me. It’s raw beauty is worth the drive alone, the farm is actually in the middle of no where, so like those houses on the hillside that you say,

How cool would it be to live there, no one around for miles!!!

This is exactly what the Browns new farm looks like. Driving up the long road to the farm, the van bounces along like that scene from Ace Ventura. We don’t have a comfy car with great suspension, we have a Vauxhall van with naff suspension that makes me feel like my stomach is about to come out of my mouth!!! Sorry Vinny Vauxhall but it’s true!! 

The comical scene that waits me is worth the trip, Marie Brown one of my oldest and closest friends does not do anything by halfs, she says camp and she has every possible thing you could need to do it. Including twinkle lights, a must for any party in my opinion!! 

There are seven adults standing over a six man tent complete with three bedrooms and a living room with a carpet. There are no instructions for said tent and only a couple of us with any clue about how a tent goes up!! Cue at least an hour of hilarity that can only be equal to that of a Three Stooges movies, up goes our home for the next two nights, with minimal input from me. I imagine many divorces are a result of putting up tents!!!

Now I know what you are thinking, you are at a farm, why don’t you sleep in the house. Well it’s been empty for a while and well …… That’s just how we roll!! Apparently ….

After a fun evening filled with a lot of beer and laughter. We retire to our tents to get some rest for the adventure ahead.  


So after a some what freezing night in the tent we headed out to work, we were all supplied with coffee and bacon butties by Terry before we started!!! He is Marie’s dad and I think we all adopted him total ledgend!!! 

We started my clambering to the top of a hill, jumping a stream. Anyone that knows me will confirm how unlike me this is!!! I broke two nails climbing on my hands and knees to reach the sheep, not going to lie, cried a bit at this I have been growing them for ages!! *sigh* never mind let’s move swiftly on!!

At last we reach the top the hill and Gwen the sheep dog sets off to work.  

​​
It never fails to amaze me how passionate Ian, Maries husband, is about farming. It’s a hard job that is a lifestyle, you live and breathe this life and he still has such a passion for it. It must be amusing to him us townies showing an interest in his lifestyle but we do love it. We love spending time with them. 

This time of year the heat and the bugs can be a danger to the sheep, if their fleece gets too big and they get stuck on their back, they can die. So shearing is an important part of looking after the wellbeing of the sheep. It’s more than just wooly jumpers. 

Ian the professional showing us how it’s done. 


It’s back breaking hard work. It’s a fantastic skill to see, quickly and expertly removing the fleece it’s obvious that Ian has had many years experience. We were on hand to help …. I maybe hindered but Nikki, one of our party, was a dab hand helping to pull the sheep out and pulling them into position which is bloody hard work and some of them were as big as her!! My husband Ben also pitched in and for a city boy he did well. Between them it was a smooth assembly line. 

The wool when it’s removed is rolled up and sold on but not for a great deal. There is something very pleasing about the smooth lines and the sheep shaped wool that’s removed. 

Ian told me some farmers burn the wool rather than sell it in protest to the poor prices paid for the wool. I can understand it. There is a LOT of work that goes into running a farm, do we really appreciate it? Do we do enough to support our British farmers? 

Me having a go. Then Ben and one of the final sheep. 


Ben really got the bug and he and Nikki helped to worm some lambs too, I was amazed watching my husband who has been born and raised in the city take control of these lambs. Nikki on the other hand equally amazing at it she looked very at home in this enviroment and you can’t help admire a girl that can really kept up! No pink or blue jobs here!! Yes I realise I loose some credibility for mentioning my broken nails but it can be gurl power with awesome nails!!! 

They worm the lambs every six weeks or so because of the bugs in the grass the lambs eat it keeps the insides healthy. They also are regularly sprayed with fly spray to stop them living in the wool. 

​ This life is so different to the one so many of us live in the corporate world, dealing with targets and money and sales. Farming has its own stresses and it’s unbelievably hard work but I can’t help feeling envious of the time spent outdoors with animals. 

Many hands made light work so we were able to get out and do a little touristy stuff in Ary too. Hopeful Ian was pleased with the help getting his jobs done, I don’t mean my limited efforts more the others lol!! 

Our weekend was a mear glimpse into their life, but I loved it. It was helped along by great company and a lot of laughs. After the unbelievably bad start to 2016 laughs have been rare. I hope we can do it again soon. 

Here are some other shots from the weekend. Xoxo

Black and White

I love black and white photographs. I don’t know why but even the artwork I am drawn to moody blacks and greys. 

I feel like the images are more dramatic. I have been looking back over some of the older photos I have taken and I have a lot in black and white.

I have had a bit of a rough week. I haven’t been well so pretty much on bed rest, nothing much to do but spend some time on my photographs and creating some art. 

My heads been so full of the stress of work recently. When something happens that puts it perspective you feel pretty stupid for allowing that stress to take over. You health is so much more important. 

So I thought I would share a few photos with you. I am a little loopy on pain meds so apologies if they at net great πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚….. 


Lemon Face Challenge and PCOS.Β 

When I was around 24 I found out I had PCOS. 

I didn’t really understand what it would mean to me and my life goals. I always had an idea that I might have problems getting pregnant but I told myself I was being silly. 

If I had known what the next 12 years would bring from that day in the doctors office. I might just have reacted differently. I may have screamed and cried until I had nothing left. 

As it was, and still is to a certain degree, I believe when life gives you lemons – you make lemonade. PCOS wasn’t going to kill my dreams, I was young and had a can do attitude. 

That lasted until my first confirmed miscarriage after the diagnosis. The quiet in the room where the sonographer silently took images of my baby. I don’t think I took a breath the whole time. The click …. Click …. Click …. Continued and I just knew. No more baby, no more dream. 

Sub Fertility is only one of the side effects of this condition, and it’s not always this way for all. Some women conceive and go on to have a happy pregnancy and beautiful babies. This hasn’t been the case for me. 

Another fun side effect is difficulty loosing weight. In order to get any more help from the NHS to get pregnant you need to be a healthy BMI. I would like to say I was a perfectly healthy with a love for all things gym and broccoli. I am not. 

I love all things naughty and a chicken parmo …. With chips ….. And salad ………. Oh and garlic sauce 😁😁😁. 

I have made some great strides to loosing weight this year and hope to be at target by the end of this year early next, but the anger I feel for having to do it this way just doesn’t leave me. I am a happy chunky monkey!!!! 

I’m angry that my babies have been taken from me. I’m angry that no matter how hard I try some weeks I am still going to put that weight on. Its upsetting that I am judged for my size, though those people will never know my struggle and only see a fat lazy person. It’s frustrating that the pain I go through every single month, that cripples me to the point I am sick and pass out is for nothing. Most of all I am angry that I can’t control this and I have no choice. 

No one asks for their illnesses. I doubt most of us want the sympathy either. What I would like is for in the years to come a woman in my position would get help, to not feel alone. To find something constructive to help with the side effects, a cure would be amazing. I don’t want anyone’s heart to shatter like mine listening so hard to hear a beautiful heartbeat of my babies that will never come. 

So it’s true, life some times does throw you lemons. How you make that lemonade is up to you. For me I’m blending it up with love and laughter, making it a little easier to swallow. No I can’t  control having PCOS but I can control how I much of me I let it take. PCOS has made some of my life choices for me, but it’s not who I am, I am still me in here somewhere. 

Please share those #lemonfacechallenges out there. It might just mean the world to someone in your life. 

Xoxo 

Sunday’s Fundays

Sorting through the thousands of images I have on my many memory cards, I am so longing for another holiday. 

There is so much beauty out there and I want to see as much of it as I can.

I wonder how many of you are out there this Sunday evening wishing for a different Monday Morning.  

I had a great weekend spending time with my hubby before he left me to work away this week. The weekends are so precious to us, so Monday mornings and to be honest Sunday evenings are rough. 

Now as I edit a couple more images and make plans to share them with the social media. I wonder if one day that Sunday feeling with ebb away, on the Monday morning I wake up doing what I love all the time. Sharing beauty through images and art.

ROME, ITALY. 


Washington DC and Philadelphia. 

Where else can I go, what will be our next adventure. Only we are truly in control of our happiness. Make it happen. 

Xoxo