A start to the day too good not to share….

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When ‘down on the farm’ it is a stunningly good idea not to oversleep! I opened my eyes this morning and looked across at Houdini, who sleeps curled up against my back, and uttered the words ‘It does not feel like dawn…’ It wasn’t.

Within five minutes I had pulled on clothes and was outside to be greeted by horses lined up at the paddock gate. I correctly interpreted their look to be ‘And what time do you call this??’ and within another five minutes I had their chaff mix done and down in front of them and simultaneously let the hens out. This can be achieved at speed trust me. I put the corn down for the hens and rooster and headed straight back inside.

No time to light the range, but the whistling kettle can be put on the electric stove in the utility room. I discovered this very necessary act early on in my stay. I would also like to point out that the range and I have become friends, she now stays alight and I even managed to cook on her a few days back. It was edible too.

Anyway, much needed coffee in hand I headed back outside. I did not put my mug down as I grabbed the rake for mucking out and it got caught on the log store curtain. I thoroughly enjoyed the remaining inch of coffee in my mug and sighing deeply, I pressed on with my morning routine.

I made up time somehow and got the solar electric fence turned on, cleared the top paddock and stable of manure (goodness they produce a lot), cleaned out the hen house, mucked out the stable, re-filled the horse water barrels and the hen’s water containers, swept the yard and breathed out. I stopped and looked out at the valley, and with Houdini at my feet, watched the morning start to unfurl down there.

The gentle large male horse came down from the top paddock to say ‘Hello’ and for anyone who is not familiar with horses, when they flow love they lean on you. I took five minutes out and rested against the fence as he leaned on me. I rested my head against his and wrapped my arm underneath his neck. We stood like that and listened to the woodpeckers and birds in the forest and breathed together. He’s a special boy and I am carrying those peaceful few moments into my day. I wonder if my clients on the phone line this morning will feel the peace? I suspect they might.

Get down off the gas stove Jane, you’re too old to ride the range…mind you, it would help enormously if I could keep the blessed thing alight!

Forest views

I have landed in my next assignment and fallen under a spell.

This beautiful old deep stone walled home is way up a very high hill, looking down onto the valley below and across to the next hill. As I wound my way up here yesterday along a single track, a rare feeling came over me. I just knew that I was entering a different world and there were creative and loving souls living in the cottages dotted amoungst the trees. These hills are surrounded by an ancient forest and look out onto a wide river that is tidal.

I have come here for a week to care for a family’s brood whilst they take a well earned break abroad. We all got to spend some time together before they left at lunchtime today and loving bonds were formed very quickly. I am caring for a retired horse, a Shetland pony, hens, a timid rooster and a characterful fox terrier.

The forest is full of bluebells just coming out and to walk there with a dog that bounds joyously whilst I throw her sticks, is a very happy thing to do.

This little dog has many friends up here and on the way back from our walks she stops to greet her buddies at different gates. I have met the neighbours across these gates and invitations have been extended to stop for tea, cake and a natter whenever I feel the need. This hill is full of writers, musicians, artists, happy animals and love.

This morning I found myself grooming and mucking out my charges at 7am. The air is so clear and fresh up here, and there are trees left from an old orchard dotted across the fields and paddocks. It is an idyllic setting and I cannot think of a better way of starting the day. Mind you, two hours later I was more than ready for the cooked breakfast I was offered.

So far, I have managed to get to grips with some trails through the forest and finding my way back, the mucking out/grooming/feeding routine for my four legged friends, the hens needs and a few challenges.

The old kitchen range and I have yet to find a balance. I am sure there is a knack and so far I don’t have it, as she keeps going out. Thank goodness for the solar panels as this ensures me a much needed deep bath later in the luxury double ended hip bath…oh Yes! However, the challenge of making a hot drink still remains as I have a whistling kettle that does not recognise mains power.

Another interesting moment, was when my little furry companion took off as I gave the hens their lunchtime pellets. Mmmmmm, I suspected she may be making her way to the motorway to follow her family. We were in the paddock for goodness sake and it was supposed to be ‘escape’ proof. It wasn’t….I have nicknamed her ‘Houdini’ and I found her an hour later playing with her buddy, a Springer Spaniel, next door. This was just as I had started to ring round the neighbours, her family having left me a long list of phone numbers and contacts, so I take it that ‘Houdini’ has done this before.

I’m off outside now to water, feed, bed down, tidy and settle everyone before darkness falls. I am in my element, with a grin on my face a mile wide.

Pay it forward

Jane Thorne:

I am with Dylan on this initiative, it is a natural way to bring new work to light. :-)

Originally posted on Suffolk Scribblings:

Pay it forward

I’ve been thinking a lot recently on the difficulties faced by independent authors like myself. The indie author community is very supportive of each other when it comes to the writing process. We encourage and congratulate, offer tips and advice, yet when it comes to talking about independent books we tend to focus predominantly on our own work. I am as guilty of this as many. But a number of things have happened recently that have made me decide to change.

How independent musicians support each other

As some of you long-term readers will know, I used to review the monthly Live at the Cottage gig that is held every month in my local village. These gigs attract high quality unsigned acts, most of which make a living through performing live and selling their independently produced CD’s. There are many similarities between what they are doing and what we, as independent authors, are looking…

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‘Nothing changes if nothing changes…’

Cherry blossom

A special friend sent this quote through ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes’ and another special friend suggested that I took time out for a ponder with the kind words ‘maybe you need a meditation not medication’.

I sat in one of the huge chairs here, looking out into the garden watching the fresh day appear. The dear little cat curled up on my lap and I had a chat with myself. I have known for some time that my poorly chest is linked to heartbreak and I was getting frustrated that each day I awoke feeling the same way. I have felt rotten every day.

Light dawned within as the day unfolded outside.

I had done all the healthy things of walking away, easing the transition with graceful love, being grateful for the life gifts from the connection and cherishing the good memories. I have been letting go of the hurt, disappointment and not traveling down ‘blame’ avenue. In my work I reach out to help souls every day with all these loving suggestions and I was getting frustrated that I remained poorly.

Ah, but it was working and I was messing it up. I was holding onto the hope that things could be mended, that there could be a different outcome. There are natural laws that run through the universe and one of them is ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes’. Holding hope for a different outcome was holding me exactly where I was and keeping me poorly. How can there be a different outcome when nothing is changing?

Truly letting go is not letting go of hope, it’s letting go of the belief that a certain outcome is the only thing that can happen.

Nurture, nurture and yet more nurture….

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There is a beautiful deep pink Camellia in the garden here and between the showers I managed to get a picture yesterday.

Life’s circus has put on a good display in the last 48 hours and just when I thought it had finished there was an interesting encore!

This morning, while I am waiting for the engineer to come and replace my laptop screen, I will endeavour to entertain you all by writing about the various circus acts that have rolled through.

Act One on Monday morning found me at the local hospital, trying to get some help for a health problem that has so far refused to get better. Having lived in various parts of the world I applaud our health system in the UK, but there is a strong possibility that funding cuts are going very deep indeed. What I came up against was bureaucracy run amok. Everyone I came into contact with was kind, but after spending hours there (reading every magazine they had) I was passed from hand to hand with nothing being decided. Mid-afternoon I propelled myself out of the chair, from within yet another waiting room, and I found someone I had seen earlier. She apologised and, I do think they were grasping at straws here, I was offered an x-ray. Wait for it….to have the x-ray they needed to refer me to a GP surgery near the home I am staying in, for the doctor there to see me (he could possibly fit me in tomorrow, but at that moment the surgery were not answering their phone) to refer me back to where I was currently standing, so they could do the x-ray. My face was a picture and eloquent, I felt it was anyway. However, some words were necessary, and what I said next was hardly unexpected…I was polite and gentle, yet clear. I also kicked into self-nurture mode and walked out.

Hence my trip to the chemist and supermarket, where I come back here with a huge bottle of tonic, hot drink powders, my favourite dinner and the belief that I can self-heal.

During the day yesterday I worked on the phone service and all flowed along smoothly and I made myself a tasty dinner when I had finished. Then Act Two commenced. My lovely little furry friend here and I have got a good routine running. She sits beside me and I eat my meal, then when I have finished, she gets the remains of my yoghurt pot. This moment is a highlight in her day. Halfway through dinner the doorbell sounded. When I opened the door I was greeted by a young man with a cock and bull story. I politely moved him along (which did not go down well) and I went back to my rapidly cooling dinner and expectant cat. Five minutes later the door bell went again and I looked through the window to see a different young man and this time I did not open the door. He kept ringing and then banged on the door. I don’t class this as an emergency, but I did call the local police station on their landline number. I, and my neighbours, had apparently all called these incidents in and the police were dealing with it. My dinner had gone cold and the look on my furry friend’s face was a picture.

Self nurture kicked in again and I cleared up, my little buddy had her treat and I found the movie channels on the TV. So yesterday evening found me curled up under a snuggly blanket, clutching a hot water bottle, watching ‘You’ve Got Mail’, drinking a cup of tea with a happy little cat on my shoulder draped across my head.

I was safe and I slept.

Today I am starting to feel better health wise and the police have emailed to say thank you for how I handled things last night and they will call in today to see how I am as this must have been un-settling. Thanks chaps, I appreciate the nurture.

Nurture makes the world go round for me, life loses colour without it.

Nurture and relaxing when life gives you a circus for a day…..

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I am settled into my new assignment and the dear little cat I am caring for is lovely. She is blind and manages very well and her family had to leave before I got here on Saturday, so I was left instructions and her medication. Left to our own devices we have worked out what works well between us. If you lean down to stroke her it makes her jump because she can’t see your hand coming, so I very quickly learnt not to do that to her. We talk to each other, I have set-up my work on the table near her bed and ‘play things’, her food is nearby and she comes to me when she wants love. She climbs up so gently and lies across my chest with her head on my shoulder. She’s a lovely little soul.

Yesterday presented me with a circus for the day and it was challenging to navigate it. I ended the day self nurturing with my favourite dinner from the supermarket, a latte on special offer and a long cuddle with this lovely cat. All this, whilst I dealt with the third engineer of the day from the computer support company, as two of his colleagues had dropped the ball earlier. It was late in the afternoon, pouring with rain outside and I was worn out from the day’s events, the computer problems just being a side issue. I know as the computer engineer took my call that he could see what had happened and he was braced for me being upset. I went down the humour route instead and we ended up having a lovely chat as he fixed what he could remotely, whilst booking an engineer call for replacement parts. During this I sat here sipping a latte, with this dear little cat draped across my chest and shoulder purring away. The engineer in Bangalore was a delight and we had a meeting of minds on how to deal with things when the circus arrives. I gave his supervisor great feedback on how he handled things.

All this stirred love memories in my heart. I was brought up with nurture, it was always there. My Mum stood in her kitchen this Saturday as I dropped in to pick up my car. Amidst new fencing going up, a house viewing happening, Dad being uptight with all that was going on and me coming through the door, she dealt with it all in a very loving way. I was collected from the train station and then sent on my way with a packed lunch for my journey which included fruit sweets in a little twisted bag, fruit, sandwiches and handy wipes. All created with a smile whilst a circus swirled around her.

When I spent a few weeks with Mum and Dad so many little loving moments took me back to my childhood. I was invited to lick the bowl and spoon when Mum had finished baking. Mum curled my hair before I went out to hold work parties. There was a little rose on my pillow. Great reads were placed by my bedside. Huge fluffly bath towels were put out. Chocolate was bought for emergencies, tucked away in my drawer along with the words ‘Now you really don’t have to share this’ and favourite meals were lovingly made.

Loving nurture, it eases us through the days, lifting, flowing care and when the circus comes to town it comes into it’s own. Thank you Mum for lighting the way with such love.

Belonging, special moments and a gentle wind in my sails..

sail boat

There is a freedom that comes from having no fixed abobe, and as I adjust my thinking around it, I have realised that this lifestyle encourages you to stay in the moment.

As I opened my eyes this morning a very lovely cat stretched out his paw to say ‘Good morning’. I stroked his head as we chatted about our plans for the day. His are much simpler than mine. He closed his eyes again, with his head nestled in my hand, and I lay gazing at his beautiful face and markings as he gently purred.

Em got in touch last night to ask if I remembered how she and her Dad used to do battle with computer games? I recalled these sessions very well and wished them luck in their latest ‘head to head’ on XBox. She is starting a week of pet and house sitting for her Dad and his partner as they set off on holiday today, then she’s away to Spain with the rugby team from Uni. Go Em. X

Last night an email came in from a lovely friend, in the little village where I used to live. She wrote about her children, the farm, work in the woods and how many calves they have being born from their organic cattle herd. She asked if I could come and care for their home and brood in the Summer and also, extended the invitation to come and stay anytime as we miss each other and are due a good catch-up.

This morning I had a heart warming chat with my inspiring Reiki Master and dates have been booked in the diary. This will give us time for a catch-up, space to run some creative ideas past each other and she can show me the ropes with her brood for future care.

I got dressed this morning with one of my favourite pictures of Em on the bedside table, next to Granny’s little music box and a gripping book from Mum. Breakfast was made with bread from David.

The belonging for me comes in these loving moments.


Jane Thorne

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