An English Country Garden

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Now I am at my parents’ house just outside Wokingham.  Mum is a very keen gardener and has worked on this oasis for over forty years.

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The garden is lovely and a place I spent many hours in my youth.  Sadly I was never allowed to put any ponies in it.  Something about wrecking and eating.  I forget.

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But the garden has lovely flowers.  It seems to be summer here in Englandshire whereas in Shetland we still have bluebells and it is still cold.

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There is a lovely oak tree and watching the  evening sun shine through the leaves is magical.

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Veleda has lived here for as long as I can remember.

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And joy of joys, I have met the family Patterdale terrier, Pip.  He is wonderful and just my kinda guy.  I expect I will take more photos of this darling chap.

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Flying South

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I was at the airport at the crack of sparrows this morning.  The place was deserted.

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This is the Departure Lounge!

And this is the best view of them all.  That red bag is my hold luggage and it is obviously going with me.  Happy days!

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The planes that fly to and from Shetland are not ginormous but they are practical, serve a function and fly through some fairly horrendous weather.  There are three seats to a row and I was lucky to be myself.

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I promptly went to sleep and woke up to find myself safely landed in Edinburgh. The airport has long corridors and, as I walked, I imagined Lambie and BeAnne galloping behind me.

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The next plane was huge by comparison and zipped me down to Heathrow.  There was a small unspoken row about who had ownership of the armrests.  I was in the middle seat and stood my ground with grim determination only to feel hugely guilty when my armrest adversary gallantly brought my hand luggage down for me!

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Anywho, I am sitting in London drinking Lapsang listening to the unending buzz of traffic outside.

I have a new friend who is very fluffy and makes my nose tickle!

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Next I might force myself to investigate the shops.

You’re Gorgeous

I am washing, ironing and packing to go south for a while.  Needs must and it is always good to get a change of scene for some thinking.

While the washing machine is red hot and I dusted off the iron, I went outside to see Taktur was queuing up to do some training.

He always looks beautiful, no matter what and he has such enviable presence.

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I am not used to seeing this grace and natural elegance in a young stallion.

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Try as I might, I just cannot put more weight on Taktur at the moment.  I have to constantly remind myself that he is only just 6 years old and still growing hopefully in every direction.

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Icelandic horses are slow maturers.

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I called Taktur over to throw a few carrots over the fence at him…..

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…. and we had a little chat.  Me explaining that I had to go south and I expected him to look after everyone, big and small.

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Taktur, for all his young years, is a very responsible chap and I know everyone is in safe hands – Daisy and Bjørn will also be around to keep an eye.

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I will miss my little herd.  London and Reading do not offer me these luxuries but it will be nice to be warm (summer is south) and to catch up with my family again.

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Sometimes, I just need to go back.  It is very good for my perspective on life.

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Climb Every Mountain

Lambie is going well mentally, though he is still not brilliant on his legs.  He is getting there, though slowly, and we have been advised to get him moving as much as possible.

Today I took him for a walk around three fields.  He shouts while he does his best to keep up, but is happy to trot alongside.

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Poor love, I was wanting nice photos of him in the flowers, so he struggled through the marsh marigolds for me and looked beautiful, always beautiful. Those marsh marigolds are huge if you are very short.

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And then he cantered along the short grass.

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We stopped at the bluebells for a little photoshoot.

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I think we can all agree that blue really suits him and he is a natural model.

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Lambie trekked like a trooper.  There was the odd baa just to tell me he was behind, but on and on he went never stopping and never giving up. This lamb has determination.

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BeAnne was jealous as it is usually her job to sit in the flowers doing the photoshoot.  Note the sulk.

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You can see how they are for size in this photo.

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On the home-stretch and Lambie is galloping along.

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Over hill….

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And over flower.

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Klaengur looked on in amusement and slight bewilderment.

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Spa Day

Today, we gave all our Sandness mares their spa day.  Raw Deal (Delia) is very old and I think this will be her last summer with us.  No one is wanting to lose their winter coat yet so we just brushed whatever would come out and put coconut oil on any flakey/itchy bits.

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Lyra, of course, insisted that Daisy and only Daisy would make her look beautiful.

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And she made sure she went through our equipment to check we had brought everything.

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Vitamin, Lyra’s mother, was transformed.

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And we trimmed tails and ears, slathered coconut oil on flakey skin, manes and tails, brushing it through until they were all gleaming.

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Then we moved to the field with Esja and Hetja.

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Esja wanted to be an idiot.  Although she was easy to catch, she had obviously been told by someone (Anderwoo – fat Shetland pony who has been there, seen that) that brushes were the equipment of Satan.  It took a while to convince her that she had been lied to and once she decided to trust us, she was very easy to work with.  I even cut out the nasty tats in her lugs without any complaint or discussion. Esja relaxed and accepted our ministrations like a good girl and she was a pleasure to work with.  Trust is important to her.

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Hetja, of course, behaved with the decorum of royalty.  She stood quietly while Daisy and I brushed and made her even more beautiful.

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So we achieved and I think we bonded with the girls.  It is not easy with them being 4 miles away, but we have no choice and that is the way it has to be.

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Winter coats are not going away so we are not forcing the issue.  In Shetland, there can always be bad weather around the corner.

A nice day, though!