Friday, 8 January 2010

Birds of a Feather

It's funny, you know, but before Christmas I really felt a word from the Lord. Not one of those earth shattering ones that you know you will have to stand up and say in church, but a quiet whisper, a hint, a clue, just for me. I felt the Lord say that this winter wouldn't be all about horses, and that I would need something else to do. And not something that required tonnes of commitment (like a college course) but things I can pick up and put down at will, without affecting anyone else.
So I think it was an instinctive response to that, that made me look into all this cross stitch and card making, not to mention blogging. And then, as you know, it began to snow, and I've hardly ridden since. To be honest, if I'd known, I wouldn't have bothered clipping Max and when the farrier came he could have taken Max's shoes off, and I'd have roughed him off for the winter. Never mind.
Maybe it's just part of learning how to live in the country. I need something to pick up and put down at will because I go out in the morning to turn out and muck out, go out again at twelve to get the horses in, and go out again at three to put night haynets up and feed round. I do go out again at six or seven, just to check everyone's okay. So something like cross stitch is ideal, although I then have to learn not to treat my proper job as an interruption to the things that were only meant as distractions in the first place!
By which I mean, that I am enjoying the cross stitch so much I don't want other things to get in the way. I finished another one yesterday, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was by far the hardest one I've done so far, quite a challenge. When you look at it you'll wonder why, because it's such a simple picture, but the back stitch was so hard. It's the first time I've done back stitch that didn't go from square to square, but halfway up the square. I'd decided these first few projects would be for training purposes, but as I've worked on them I've got quite attached to them and don't want them to go wrong and be ruined. Anyway, here is the finished product, and I can honestly say that I learned a lot this time.

My next project is a little bear with a love heart, but I may use it as a Valentine card for Mr O, so I'll have to work on it while he's at work, and just read and blog in the evenings, as I don't want him to see it, do I?

One of my other challenges was to photograph the robins that come to the bird table, and I'm pleased to say, here is at least one of them. I put it off because I don't think sitting outside in the snow waiting for an opportune moment is going to work. Mr O took a few through the kitchen window that came out fine, so I had a go today, and this is what I got:

Cute little fellow, isn't he, in his red waistcoat?

I have noticed daddy blackbird has arrived at the bird table, obviously trying to find out why BFMB is spending so much time here when she should be at home ironing. He obviously thought he'd stumbled on an 'all-you-can-eat' table and started tucking in. There must be ten birds dipping in and out at the moment. I don't mind, everyone is welcome.

We drove to Stable Mates. There is snow everywhere, and it's hard to see where road ends and pavement begins. You can't see the road markings either, which makes it feel a bit surreal. I bought myself a pair of the SSL boots that Mr O bought last week. I have worn them today, and they are amazing. I wasn't sure what to make of them, because they feel like smooth polystyrene (like styrofoam cups!) but I only had one pair of socks on and my feet were really warm. They are for riding in, too, so I'll give them a go, as I get cramp in the winter when I ride. I am usually ok on the ground, but in the saddle, as the cold air can flow round my whole foot, terrible cramp sets in.

We went to Tesco as well (needs must, n' all that). Everyone was in wellies. It was like being in Canada. I don't know if that's what influenced me, but I ended up buying huge Scotch pancakes, cream and maple syrup, which we had for supper. The maple syrup was gorgous - I've never had it before, but will certainly have it again.

We were late getting up this morning and hadn't finished doing everything before it was time to get ready for church, but Missis said she would finish off, so we could go, which is fantastic. The beds were done, and so were the haynets, so she only had to do waters, but as it turns out she brought the horses in at twelve as well, which is a real blessing.

We set off, and the snow was scudding across the road, making it very slippery. It was like someone squirting water from a hose at the car. It's getting a bit 'Arctic-like' for me.

The service was wonderful. I'm still not well, so I decided not to stand up, but just to sit down and enjoy it. We are very blessed with good musicians, and the worship was excellent today. Jim McGlade is our pastor. I love listening to him, firstly because he was born in Belfast, lived for many years in Canada, then spent several years in Dublin before coming to England. I've been trying to work his accent out, and I guess the nearest voice would be Liam Neeson. It's like having Aslan explaining things to you! The second reason, is obviously that his preaching and teaching is excellent. Both last week and this week he's said things that have applied to us. Sometimes after a service I'd like to go into a little room and spend some time really thinking about what's been said, not just rush home and carry on with life. I might spend my Monday quiet time on that.

And Mr O has spent the entire afternoon watching the most dreadful films he could possibly find. One was 'The Mouse That Roared' with Peter Sellers in it (can't criticize a man from Portsmouth, can I? My aunt used to be his cleaner!) and now we have 'Monte Carlo or Bust' with a very young Susan Hampshire (and Tony Curtis et al). These are just the sort of films I can't abide, but listening to the variety of accents is fun. I am amazed that there are so many television channels, and this is the best he can find. Tessa is curled up next to him, in total agreement with his choices. She likes something interesting to sleep through.


  1. Hey hun, you asked on my blog about calligraphy and stencils and I have to admit I don't do either so I can't help you out there. What I do to customize my cards is either type and print out a sentiment using my computer or use acrylic/polymer alphabet stamps to make up my own phrases. HTH and good luck with your card making and cross stitching!

  2. i love your little x-stitch projects. i used to x-stitch a lot, now i am spending my time handspinning yarn and learning to knit!

    also, love your bird is remarkable how much we have in common! i love visiting the blog of a kindred spirit!


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