Lacklustre, I suppose, would be an apt description of the past year seen from our personal perspective. I can’t recall anything of great excitement or interest happening, apart from the arrival of the pygmy goats who have brought great fun into our lives.

Nothing really awful happened either, although much of the year was involuntarily absorbed by the ongoing emotional problems of an acquaintance which was very wearing, and taught me that I am not Mother Theresa and neither do I want to be.

Resolution for 2008: be far more active; work less, play more.

While I feel I achieved nothing of any value at all during the last twelve months, our beautiful daughter Julie upheld the family honour by

1. Giving up smoking – it has been a long and windy road, with many a stumble in the past, but this time she hasn’t faltered, and we are so very proud of her

and, there’s more:

2. Losing two stone in weight. She has been resolute in maintaining her determination and goal and has shown that inside that girly exterior is a core of iron.

That she has achieved both of these difficult goals at a time when she is under extreme pressure as a parent and at work is just typical of the unpredictable and occasionally contrary nature of the little girl who is still our little girl.

Kitkat won her place at Riseholme College to begin her equine management course, and has completed her first term.

The youngest granddaughter, Leoni, has followed in the successful footsteps of her sister Jasmine, and passed her Grammar school entrance exam.

So, though the mothership has failed to blaze any new trails, the rest of the fleet is powering ahead . Thanks, girls! We love you all.

The art of illustration

It really does take a lot to make somebody laugh when they feel as ill as I have over the last few days. No part of my being has escaped the nghtmare that is called flu’. I have burned and shivered, shaken, sweated, heaved, threshed, groaned, belched, shat, and become delirious from lack of sleep, convinced that this was due to having forgotten to install a sleep module in my computer. My tongue looks like a floor cloth after it swept out a locker room, my hair is clinging to my clammy brow in lank rats’ tails, or falling out in clumps. The bone structure of my face has collapsed. My skin is all blotchy. I stink of perspiration. In the last four days I have eaten 10 quails’ eggs, half a roast potato, a sliver of roast parsnip, a mouthful of peas, a teaspoon of lobster, two teaspoons of passionfruit mousse, 8 satsumas and half a slice of dry toast.

Luckily I have an ever-cheerful husband who carries on regardless, brings me glasses of orange juice, drives to the village for Coca-Cola, drive to another village to the chemist, walks the dogs, cleans the goats, feeds himself and doesn’t ask when I think I might be feeling well enough to resume household duties. Yesterday he brought my computer up to the sick-bed, and I summoned sufficient strength to push the Stumble button. Which brings me back to where I came in. I found something so hilarious that even through the pain and germs and misery and self-pity, I wept with laughter.

My Little Golden Book about Zogg

The latest news of Pomponette

She did not go to the clinic on Christmas day, because her blood tests showed a small irregularity which needs to be corrected to give the operation every possible chance of success. So she is now scheduled to have her operation on 7th January – plenty of time to build up a nice big bank of positive thoughts and good wishes. 🙂

I should have posted this when I found out – on Christmas day, but I am in the grip of la dreaded grippe (flu to non-French speakers), and feeling worse than I have ever felt in my life, so please accept my apologies.

Pomponette needs you on Boxing Day

For those who don’t know Pomponette, here is a photo of her taken about 9 months ago.

This tiny pony was a victim of three years of ignorance and indifference, unable to stand because of the state of her feet, and when she was rescued at the twelfth hour, was a barely-living skeleton. Here she is three months later:



However, the neglect she had suffered badly affected her front feet, and this is how they are now:


As you can see, she is walking on her fetlocks, with her hooves bent up behind them. Only surgery may be able to save her life. On 26th December, both her feet will be operated on and put into resin casts.

Despite all she has endured, Pomponette is bright, alert and brave, with a good hearty appetite and total trust in humans.

If you believe in the power of positive thought, (or even if you don’t 🙂 ) please spare a moment to wish her well, and that her operation may be successful and enable her to enjoy many more years of a happy and secure life. Positive thought creates huge energy, and costs nothing. So please, give her your support.

And Happy Christmas, everybody. 🙂

Facebook fury

If I wasn’t feeling so unwell at the moment, then I may not have felt quite so irritable at trying to delete my Facebook account. I joined at the invitation of a friend, but I don’t have the time to use it. It must be wildly entertaining for people who can figure out how to use all the applications, but I am not one of them. What little time I do have spare I prefer to spend either blogging or Stumbling.

I decided to delete my account.

But wait – did you ever try to delete a Facebook account? Did you search in vain for a “Delete” button which doesn’t exist? Then you’ll know what I am talking about. It is next to impossible; you can deactivate your account by laboriously deleting every application, message, bowl of fish, flowers, gingerbread men and friends, and before you press the deactivate button you must give a reason, but you’re still trapped in Facebook’s version of limbo. Your account is still there, and you receive an email telling you how to reactivate if you want to do so.

But please, somebody, tell me how to erase all trace of my visit there. Is it just the shivers and throbbing headache that are making me feel there is something sinister about a site from which you cannot remove yourself?