Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Weekend roundup

Ok, i know it's way past the weekend now but I had such a random and busy weekend i thought I'd tell you about it!

Saturday started with having to drop my Dad to a town about 30 mins away to collect his car. I got to drive our ailing truck so it was a gamble as to whether I would make it home or not! 

When I got back, I took BH for a spin round the block. We bumped into a neighbour while we were out who said he'd discovered his dog likes to sing along to classical music. It had to be classical though - no Radio One or Two! 

I took Fern to the beach at lunchtime as it was low tide.
She had a complete meltdown at someone flying a kite....
I didn't even see the kite initially as it was way above us and horses don't normally see what's above them so maybe she saw the string. Who knows! 
Anyway... We had to reverse at speed back up the beach trying not to squash anyone and then have a bit of a discussion about how kites are not deadly, horse eating predators! 
Eventually the people realised that it was the kite terrifying her and reeled it in.

After that she made a lot of fuss about the shadows on the sand and the rocks we had to walk past. It was pretty irritating but she was very wound up by this point!
We spent 15 minutes galloping around and splashing through the water (getting hailed and rained on!) before jogging all the way back to the trailer.

The only picture of our beach ride.... back at the trailer!
When I got home and turfed the horses back out, I took the horse trailer to where I work and spent 2 hours pressure washing it inside and out only for it to get filthy again on the way home *siiigh*

Clean(er) trailer in the rain...
The weather on Sunday was horrendous! I was supposed to be meeting Michelle up on the moors for a dog walk but we decided not to thankfully! 
It would have been nice to have a lazy day in front of the fire but it never happens!
I let the horses in out of the rain during the day so had feeding and mucking out to do. I sorted through and washed an entire net full of mushy, slimy, manky carrots for them (I cooked a few for my dinner later and they were edible!) 

The dogs and I went down to the barn to try and rig up some fencing to stop the horses getting in but still allowing the sheep inside. It lasted less than 24 hours before the horses had snapped it all - no surprises there! 

After sitting and watching an hour of tv with Dad, he then told me I had to go out and clear the drains in the stable yard immediately so he could then go and do the drains in the barn.
Off I went out into the pouring rain with my sidekicks and cleared the drains... I got soaked and smelly... Delightful!

Later in the afternoon I baked some blueberry cakes (hmmm... Certainly not picture worthy but tasted ok) 
For my dinner I made a huge pot of chili from scratch which was soooo yummy! 

In the end, I didn't get to sit in front of the fire til 8pm just in time for Top Gear! 

Very random weekend but not unusual.

I do wonder sometimes what it would be like to spend a day lounging about in the warm and dry reading a book and watching crap telly...

Pathetic dog!


Monday, 16 February 2015

Winter Game Changer - The Peacock Hand Warmer

Oh my!
Whyyyy have I not bought one of these before now?!

Recently I treated myself to a Peacock Hand Warmer.

"What is that?" I hear you ask!
It is a magical device that you fill with lighter fuel and hold a flame to it and then it keeps hot for hours but without a flame.
If you want to know how the magic happens, there's some more information here.

My neighbours swear by theirs and take them out hunting, shooting and dog walking. 
As I have been doing a lot more riding up on Dartmoor and dog walking in the cold weather, I decided it was high time to invest in one!

I bought mine for about £21 (here) and the lighter fuel was less than £1.50 for a tin from my local supermarket.

They come in 3 sizes and I decided that a standard size would suit my needs. It is about the size of a pack of cards and about as thick as an iPhone 4 or 5.

Depending on how much fuel you put in it, this can burn for up to 24 hours.
If I put one capful of fuel in, it keeps warm for about 8-12 hours so perfect for a day outside.

I keep the handwarmer in one of my coat pockets and it keeps me toasty warm all day. I can move it to an inner pocket to really warm my core or keep it in an outer pocket if I'm too warm. 
It's great for holding when your hands get so cold they hurt.

I can't recommend one of these gizmos highly enough if you spend a lot of time outdoors walking, riding, playing golf, spectating.... anything!
You can buy spare burners separately if you need to replace it but I hope mine will last many years. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another if I felt the need (one for the other pocket maybe?!) and they would make a great gift too! 
Everyone who has seen mine has said what a fantastic bit of kit it is.... That's Father's Day sorted then!

Seriously... go and buy one! You won't regret it!


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Cake by post!

The Cake Nest *
Recently, I was contacted by Abi and Steve from The Cake Nest asking if I would like to try a sample of their cake. Now who would say no to such a kind offer?!

They had seen my previous review (here) and wanted to offer me the chance to try their product again and a couple of days later, a little brown box arrived in the post. How exciting!

Before I tried the cake, I had the chance to look through their new website which is full of information, and their Facebook page which also shows how much time and effort goes into their products.
You can really tell how much their business means to them and how proud they are of it - and rightly so.

All of their products are made by hand on their premises and they offer a range of delicious goodies from cake balls, push pops, a "Cake Slice Club" to cake cards and personalised "Say it with Cake".

Abi and Steve kindly sent me a slice of their double chocolate cake. It comes wrapped and in a perfectly sized cardboard box that will fit through a letterbox easily. 

On Sunday morning, I was roped in to lugging wood and moving hay bales around before  heading out in the trailer to meet a friend for a ride at the beach and when I got back, I was tired, peckish and in desperate need of a cup of tea! 
Nothing goes better with tea than a nice slice of cake so I made a brew and sat in the conservatory with 2 hopeful looking dogs to get the last little bit of late afternoon daylight.

Sunday was such a beautiful day and it really felt like spring and summer are just around the corner at last!

The cake was so welcome and it tasted fantastic. It was fresh, moist and a great flavour. Not so overpowering that you feel sick and definitely not skimping on the chocolate taste!
It was also the perfect sized slice so you get a real treat without feeling short changed or really full.

It was just right to go with my cuppa after a busy day!
Afterwards, I was refreshed, refuelled ready to go back outside and finish the cleaning and feeding.

Having told a few friends about the company, they all thought it was a fantastic idea to be able to send something thoughtful through the post to someone but were surprised when I told them a 3 month subscription to the Cake Slice Club  (one slice of cake per month) was £24.
Having considered this myself and having read through the website, I can see that this is not unreasonable for the service and the product you receive.
To see that everything is handmade and not just churned out in a big commercial factory has swung this for me.

I think this is a great idea for a really unusual gift for someone who is tricky to buy for or who doesn't live nearby and I'll definitely keep them in mind when birthdays and special celebrations come round!

Thanks to The Cake Nest for offering this item for review