I Joined A Choir!

A friend told me a few weeks back about a community choir that was starting in my village.

I have always enjoyed singing since being in the school choir to now humming in an irritating fashion all day!

So, I went along to their first practice and joined up.

We started with carols and it quickly became very evident that, having the short term memory of a gold-fish, I could not learn the alto part.  I would hear it, sing it back and then promptly forget it.  Depressing.

So I volunteered to play the flute instead as an accompniment which worked out much better for me as I was given the music score to play from.

Our debut was last night in our local village hall.  We sang some carols in the intermission for the Lerwick Brass Band concert.

It was a lovely evening with lots of excellent corny Christmas cracker jokes.  Apparently this is a local tradition.

We warmed up singing carols with the Brass Band.  They also performed their own pieces too.  I love brass band music.  I wish they allowed flutes in but they don’t.

And then we sang our carols.  I am at the back on the left behind the pianist.

I loved it.  There was a huge sense of community spirit.  It was a treacherous icey night but folk came and sang and listened. I arrived in welly boots and Yaktraks!

We have one more performance on Sunday at our local church and then hopefully the community choir will continue throughout the year.

Photos by Barry Broadbent

Meanwhile, In the House

My little Boyzenberries, aka my small Shetland sheep flock are flourishing.  Four sheep count as a flock.

Puzzah is determined to be one of the boys and, even when Lambie and ‘Bert crawled under a fence, ‘Ster kindly stayed with Puzzah.  Puzzah’s head and its accoutrements mean he can’t resort to devious escaping like the others.

So I am very pleased they are a happy settled little bunch.  I can’t really imagine life without Puzzah now.  He has fitted in very well.

A reminder of the Smile of Winningness!

OH went into town yesterday to get supplies.  We were down to our last carrot so Lambie let himself in the house.

He thought the Christmas tree was fascinating, if wrong (an inedible tree?  Why, just why) and attempted to make off with a branch or two.

However, he did succeed in filching a Tesco plastic glittery star and eating the corner off it as quickly as he could before Daisy took it away.

After that, it was supervision at all times as Lambie could obviously not be trusted.

He was intrigued and spent much of his time just looking and sniffing.

Making the most of OH’s absence, Lambie also had a sit down.

He very much enjoyed listening to the classical music…..

…. like you do if you are a sheep with exemplary style.

Wu came in to suck up to us because it was also near his tea time.

He thought Lambie was an acquired taste (or smell).

We had a magical Christmassy afternoon listening to carols and watching Lambie eat the Christmas tree.


Lots of ice out there.

Yes, it is beautiful, but it scares me witless.  The horses don’t tend to move around much either.

Last year Iacs pulled his shoulder slipping on the ice (we think) and was very debilitated for a while.  Taktur will do anything not to walk on ice.

Anywho, horses needed to be fed so Daisy, Flossie and I boldly went, armed with a knife, some haynets, a wheelbarrow and I cut into our first silage bale of the winter.  Two weeks early, but needs must.  There is little grass.

I said yesterday I would try to wait until January before they start the silage but I can’t just watch my horses standing around not eating.

We spread piles of silage on a dry part of the field.  There was enough plus leftovers for everyone.

Afterwards, I went out with my camera.

Albie and Newt were very happy to talk to me.

There may have been nose kisseys.

And why not.  My little Best Boys and I am secretly very happy they are home at Thordale for the winter.  I don’t think I am ready to let them go away with the others.

It is not the right time.  They need their Mum.

The others stood in the thin winter sunshine and enjoyed, for once, the complete lack of wind.

The lick bucket is a success.  Everyone has a shot at it.

I briefly looked at the ingredients:
Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sodium, Vit A, Vid D3, Vit E, Cobalt, Iodine, Zinc, Manganese, Selenium, Copper, Biotin and a pile of trace elements in molasses!

Perfect for this type of equines.  Extremely good doers

Just when the day started beautifully, it clouded over and stuff fell out of the sky.

With this weather, it gets very dramatic and there is looming!

Mares and Foals

Hetja has let herself into Leradale’s old and disused vegetable garden.  It is a square-ish raised bed full of uneaten grass that she is enjoying very much (later, the others joined her).

The mothers are still with their foals and they will all winter together.  We will think about weaning another day.  Not now, at any rate.

It is a happy calm little herd.  Dreki has stopped being quite so annoying to his sister, Lilja.  The mares take equal turns to babysit and it is interesting watching them teach their children all about how to survive the winter.  Essential skills for any Icelandic horse.

Until someone looks remotely thin, there will be no extra food here.  They have a mineral lick bucket that is molassed based.  It supplies them with all the essential vitamins and minerals that they need.  We use a specific one designed for Shetland ponies –  my theory being Shetlands are very similar to Icelandics really, just a bit smaller.

So, I don’t worry about this little lot.  They have endless forage and shelter and look very well on it.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the others continue to lurk about the gate looking hopeful.  I may relent tomorrow and open a silage bale for them as, although there is grass, it is very short and they are just not moving around looking for it.  Oh, the worry.  I hate it.

The Juggling Act

We woke up to a small smattering of snow and then a few more blizzards during the day. Nothing huge or scary so we threw everyone out into a field where they all, to a horse, just stood – probably digesting the billion bales of hay they consumed in the previous 24 hours.

Lambie and the boys are all fine too, though Lambie looks a bit pissy-yellow against the beautiful white snow. A sad, but true, fact.

I drove over to Leradale.

Delia spotted me first – eyes of a hawk for such an old lady! The rest were all quick to follow.

And Delia can’t half shift, too!  No one gets in the way of Delia and her bucket.

The others arrived and I distributed a few carrots I happened to find about my person mostly because Storm was going through my pockets like a thing possessed.  I think snow makes him hyper!

Vitamin’s still got it too.  She is one classy dame.

While Delia ate her food, I led the others over to the longer grass as I never see them move around this field.

Vitamin kindly waited for Delia, which was very thoughtful.

She actually made a point of waiting somewhere Delia could see her when she emerged from her bucket.

Leradale is very beautiful in the snow.  This is the first time I have seen it like this.


I remain hopeful that some might lose weight in this weather.

In fact everyone (but Delia) has spare which is exactly what this weather is for and how nature works.

It is a juggling act.