Saturday, 30 August 2014

A lovely view

Stunning location to watch some aeroplanes!
I spent Friday and Saturday evenings in this field near Dartmouth. The first night looked like this:
A tad dreary but dry.
The Red Arrows were flying on Friday but due to the low cloud, they only did a short display.

On Saturday, it was a memorial flight to mark the Battle of Britain.
We saw a couple of Spitfires but sadly the Lancaster Bombers were unable to make it which was such a shame as they'd brought one over from Canada and it was going to be the first time 2 had been seen flying together since the war. The Spitfires were great though and make the most amazing noise as they roar down the valley and loop up and over our heads. Fantastic stuff!

This field we were in had a spectacular view and we're glad we heard about it! We'll be back next year!


We're all going on a summer holiday...

You know you sang the title of this post!
So sorry to have put that Cliff Richard song in your head haha!

In a week's time, I am going on holiday! 
I am going to Barcelona with my mama, my cousin, her hubby and a couple of their pals.
I am crazy busy at work trying to get everything sorted so I can hand over to my colleague next week (who has been on holiday for 3 weeks which feels like forever when I'm getting her emails as well as my own!)

It's a week to go and I've barely thought about it. I've got so much to do this week and we've also got to make arrangements for horses, dogs, cats and sheep! Fun times...

Excited but also very stressed! 


Monday, 25 August 2014

Blog Hop

Last week I was nominated by the wonderful Michelle at Life Outside London to partake in the Blog Hop.
Basically, I answer a few questions and then nominate a couple of other lovelies to take part as well. It's a bit like the current Ice Bucket challenge but without the icy water.... Or something like that....
So.... To the questions! 

Why do I write?

I'm not really sure. I'm not even very good at it because I think faster than I can type so half the time it is just babble that makes no sense and could have been written by a small child!
I've been reading blogs for a few years and always thought no one would want to read about my life but then I thought... well... I like reading about other people's lives so hey... why not?!
Ever since I've owned Brown Horse, people have been telling me to make a diary of his antics so this sort of covers that as well...
I had a brain injury in 2010 (Thanks BH...) and I've never quite trusted my memory ever since so I hope to be able to look back on some of these posts and be reminded of the awesome times I've had and how lucky I've been.

What am I working on?
At the moment, I'm so busy at work, I'm struggling to do anything bloggy but the end of the wedding season is finally in sight and I will hopefully be able to do a bit more and find a nice design for my blog because the current design is pants.
I'm a total newb at all things blog and design so it will require much googling, time and patience.
Outside of work... I'm walking doggies, riding horses and usually combining these activities with seeing friends.

How does your blog differ from others of its genre?
Because who else lives my life? 
Just because it's probably classed as a lifestyle blog, everyone's lifestyles are different which makes it great that people can write about different things. No lifestyle blogs are going to be the same because we all lead very different lives and have different hobbies and interests. 

I will let it evolve and see where I end up. Hopefully I'll have more time in the winter so who knows what might end up on here. Come along for the ride and see where we end up because even I don't know!

How does my writing process work?
Thoughts in head.... type onto computer.... faff about putting photos onto it..... press publish....
I don't tend to plan anything because this blog has to fit in around my busy life so if I get time to write a post, all well and good and if I don't, then it doesn't matter.
I've got to go out and live my life in order to have something to write about and my life is crazy busy with loads of fun stuff (and plenty of boring stuff as well).
I use my phone to take most of my pictures so I often go back through all the recent photos I've taken to see what's worth telling you about.
Luckily I live in the most beautiful area so there's always lovely photos of views and usually some kind of animal antics.

For the next step along the Blog Hop, I am nominating the lovely Louisa from Duck in a Dress and the lovely Kim from Whimsical Mrs W.

I also tag anyone else who wants to take part.


Thursday, 21 August 2014

A new horse...

When I came back from a ride with Fern recently, I was walking down towards my stables, BH was in his stable as usual and there was a dark face peering out from Fern's stable....

Cue mini heart attack... I can barely afford the two horses I've got, let alone another!

Where had it come from? Whose was it? What crazy deal had my dad done with someone in exchange for another nag?! oh nooo... 

A million thoughts in a split second and a somewhat raised heart rate!

As we got closer, I realised (thank goodness!) that it was fake....
Ever been to a saddlery or a farmers merchant type shop?
Seen the display horses or horse heads?

Yes... my prankster father had got a display horse head, screwed it on to a bit of wood and propped it up so it looked out over Fern's door wearing one of her headcollars...


Fern was somewhat intrigued by the new resident. I had to move him so she could go in her stable and when I asked her to walk into her stable, she caught sight of the new horse and started trying to introduce herself.
Unfortunately he's not a very sociable chap so she didn't get much out of him but it was so funny to watch her sniff him and stare at him.

BH has also tried to chat him up and give him a slobbery kiss....

I'm not sure how long we'll have the new horse for or whether he'll have to go back to the shop where he came from when they re-open!

I love playing [nice] pranks on people and I must have learnt this from my dad.
Well played father.... well played...


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Summer at the beach

Yes yes, I know.... I actually can't stand sand and hoardes of people on the beach, but this summer, I've spent many evenings down at a local beach.
Who'd have thought it eh?!
Rest assured, I wear my wellies so I don't have to get sandy feet.

Essential footwear.... Wellies!
During the summer, horses and dogs are not allowed on the local beaches so one day, I suggested this beach for a dog walk as it has terrible access so is not rammed with tourists, and dogs and horses are allowed on it all year round. Hooray! 

It is about 20 minutes from home but the doggies absolutely love it and spend their time galloping about at mach 3 and digging holes, paddling, swimming, playing with other doggies and basically having the time of their lives.

Spot the camouflage dog!
Monty doesn't ever want to come home so takes his time making sure he sniffs everything, says hello to everyone, walks in fairy steps and then gives you the dirtiest look for ruining his fun.

We go down here at least once a week and this week we've been about 4 times! Last night we even took a disposable BBQ and had a sunset dinner and the dogs even had their dinner al fresco!

Such farmers with our feed sack blankets!
I've taken Fern down here a couple of times this summer and had the most amazing rides. I have to park about 2 miles away though because there is no room for anything larger than a small car.

Summer fun on my horse
It is the mouth of an estuary so when the tide's in, you get about 10ft of sand so it is best to go at low tide when it's huge and the dogs/horses/humans can have a good run.

Beach fun!
We'll no doubt go back to our local beach when we're allowed but this has served us brilliantly this summer and we'll definitely still be regular visitors.


Friday, 15 August 2014

National Fireworks Championships

We're lucky enough to have Plymouth fairly close by where they hold the National Fireworks Championships every year.

The stunning view over Plymouth Sound
Two nights with 3 companies competing each night. Each display is about 10 minutes long and shows off tens of thousands of pounds worth of fireworks.
It is free to go and watch and there is plenty of entertainment and a fairground on Plymouth Hoe.

The fireworks are launched from Mount Batten breakwater in Plymouth Sound so you can go anywhere and be able to get a great view.
We usually go to the cliffside opposite the Hoe as it is not quite as busy as the Hoe and we take our camping chairs and a picnic.

Living it up with friends and family
There are always a little flotilla of boats that anchor up in the Sound for a front row seat at the fireworks. I'd love to watch them from a boat one year!

Pretty Plymouth
If you are in or near Plymouth when the fireworks are on, definitely go. It's a great evening out (not so much if it's raining and you've got to wear a bin bag outfit!)


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Happy Owniversary Brown Horse

14th August 2008

Happy Owniversary BH....

You have tried my patience, cost me a fortune in vet bills, nearly cost me my life, driven me round the bend, given the best cuddles, been there through life's ups and downs, listened to all my problems, had me crying into your mane on several occasions, made me laugh, entertained everyone you've ever met, been a total Mumma's boy and the cuddliest, craziest, funniest, hairiest beast in the world.

I love you BH - you tit!

My little Brown Horse


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Local Lingo

At the weekend I went to a local vintage machinery rally with Mother and the dogs for a few hours. 

It's nice to go for a few hours to have a look round and it's a massive social event for all the old boys and farmers who can spend all day talking machinery and taking a trip down Memory Lane.

Whilst doing a circuit of the show ground, we came across On The Green Bus which is a lovely old Routemaster which has got a new job as a restaurant/bar that can be hired for events, weddings etc.

The menus were on chalk boards strung to the top deck and I noticed this sign:

I did have a giggle at the "Gert Lush Hot Choc" 

"Gert lush" means "very lovely" or words to that effect. You can say a "gert big" for great big.
Essentially, "Gert" means "great"

You've got to say it in your best Westcountry/farmer accent to get the right effect though!

Have a gert lush day!


PS - we found these gert bowls made from old records... how cool! We came home with Rod Stewart, Abba and West Side Story. 
What a great way to re-use old records and they should be a good talking point!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Street Feast

I've got to say a huge THANK YOU to Bess and Alice for blogging about their trip to the Street Feast.
If I hadn't read their blogs and drooled over my computer, I'd never have known about it.
The Street Feast is at a place called Dalston Yard which is not in central London so we got the Tube and the overground to Dalston Junction.
We definitely felt it was the sort of place the locals would go but not be heaving with tourists. Brilliant! Just what we love - getting to know the real London.

I think the Street Feast was probably the best bit of the whole weekend!
We arrived early - about 5.30 as we knew there was a £3 charge to get in after 7pm and we also wanted to make sure we could bag a table to sit at.

Dalston Yard is an old factory or warehouse which is missing bits of its roof. Some of the beams look warped as if it had perhaps burnt down or something. There are shipping containers with spray paint on and it looks like there could be a street dance battle (a la Step Up) at any moment!

The Street Feast is basically loads of different street food sellers of all varieties from lobster to pizza, burgers, Indian, Thai, Italian, Jamaican. You could find something to suit everyone and they are not always the same every week.
It runs every Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer.

We found a table and I set off in search of cider and to decide what I wanted to try first.

The first dish I got was from Yum Bun - Pork Belly with hoisin sauce and cucumber in a steamed hirata bun and another bun with chicken, tartare sauce, lettuce and chilli in it.
Soooo good! 

Yum Buns
Mother got a Thai burger, other Mummy got an Indian naan thing and S got a lobster sandwich. 
S hates butter and the lobster was served in brioche bread so she wouldn't eat it and went and got herself a pizza instead. 

Obviously with so many different foods on offer, we couldn't just have one thing!
I set off to see how big the Bleeker St Burgers were as I was already pretty full. On my way there I got distracted by Mama Wang's and ended up having some handmade noodles with chicken in a spicy peanut sauce. Delicious!
I did have to ask the lady how spicy was spicy and was reassured that it was an English person's acceptable level of spicy! Not too hot!

Making the noodles
Noodles with chicken and spicy peanut sauce
The mothers were eyeing up someone's drink so accosted this poor guy to find out what it was - a Mojito! So off they trotted to get cocktails.

Passionfruit cocktail and mojito
For dessert we had a Sorbitium ice cream. I had a scoop of banana and peanut (yummy) and a scoop of salted caramel which just tasted of burnt sugar so I'm not sure it was a good batch?!
Mother and other Mummy had lemon mascarpone and pine nuts and S had a red velvet cake from a different stall.

Banana and peanut and salted caramel ice cream
Lemon, mascarpone and pine nut ice cream
The stall holders were lovely, the service was great and there were a team of people collecting rubbish from the tables so an empty plate never sat around for more than a minute. 

We enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere and people watching on such a beautiful sunny summers evening.

What a perfect evening - we absolutely LOVED it and we will definitely go back again to sample more amazing goodies.


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Vauxhall City Farm and Liberty of London

After our morning at Buckingham Palace, we had the afternoon free until we headed up north to the Street Feast.

We were staying in Vauxhall so we decided to pop over to Vauxhall City Farm and see what they did.
As we are from a farming area and my friend lives on a proper farm with many more acres and livestock than we have, we were interested to see what a city farm looked like.

It was free to get in and they had chickens, rabbits, goats, alpacas, a turkey, geese, sheep, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, budgies, pigs and various others.
There were no ponies because they'd gone for their summer holidays. We were a little disappointed because we'd have loved to have seen the ponies.

The animals were in good condition and their pens were clean and tidy. It was a shame they didn't have bigger pens or much grass but they have done well with what they have in the middle of a city and the animals were happy with plenty of enrichment.

It's worth a visit if you're looking for something free to do instead of museums. We enjoyed it.

I'll upload some pictures soon but they're on my posh camera and not my phone so will have to wait til I get time!

We jumped on the tube over to Oxford Circus to try and find Liberty
Being total tourists, we had to stand on the side of the street looking on Google maps to find it and make sure we were going the right way up the street!
It was tucked just off Regent Street and it is a beautiful old building with loads of flowers and hanging baskets making it very colourful. It looks so full of character.

A side door into Liberty
Inside Liberty
Once we got to the jewellery department, we lost my friend and her mum - they were too busy checking out the bling!

I wanted to visit the chocolate shop to get a gift for my friends who had the dogs while we were away.
The selection of different flavours of chocolate was incredible. All sorts of weird and wonderful flavours! 
I wanted to get a jar of Thickest Human Snot from Hoxton Street Monster Supplies but settled for a selection of teas in cute tins.

Snot anyone?!

Bizarre display of crazy expensive shoes
Liberty is well worth a look round. We didn't stay for long so perhaps we'll go and have a proper look round another time. It's insanely expensive but the things it sells are very lovely.


Tea with the Queen

Yep.... I had a cup of tea at Buckingham Palace at the weekend!

Sadly Her Maj wasn't at home but every summer she kindly opens up her home for all of us nosey bods to go and have a look round.

This year's theme was "A Royal Childhood" so there were all their toys and clothes on display.

As you can imagine, walking round Buckingham Palace is amazing! The actual Queen has walked the same corridors!

Unfortunately you aren't allowed to take any photos once you get past the airport security and baggage x-ray area but I have got a couple of pictures from the end of the tour in her garden.

You get given an audio guide to listen to as you go around so it is a fairly quiet tour because everyone is listening to all the information. There are staff every few metres and they are all English. Some have flags on their name badges which indicate which languages they speak.

The room with all their childhood toys and clothes in was fascinating. The boys used to wear dresses in the very olden days and they had some well loved toys. The Queen was gifted a wendy house by the people of Wales when she was a little girl so there is a proper thatched cottage in the grounds of  Windsor Castle with everything in child size including a washing machine, mangle and other furniture etc. 

There were their personal home videos being shown which was a really nice insight into the lives of the Royals when they're off duty. 

When we got outside, we had a cup of tea in the Cafe on the terrace. We refrained from the delicious looking cakes (£4.95 a slice!!) and just had teas and coffees.

We walked over to the shop and tried to be good. Luckily the prices in there put me off buying too much!!
I came away with a lovely bag, a wine cooler and a couple of postcards.

You then walk around the lake and back out into the real world.

I highly recommend doing the tour of Buckingham Palace. It is so beautiful.