Friday, 28 March 2014


It's here again, and this year it seemed to creep up pretty quietly from a gentle winter. I say that knowing that not all of Britain had a mild winter, but apart from high winds, we certainly did. And, of course, I spent a month of it in sunny Andalucia, so it seems to have whizzed past for me!

But here is spring, and how I love it so.

The ewes look internally with contented eyes. Their lambs slumber at their sides. 
The plants are awakening, and the buds are bursting. 
The birds are singing, remembering their old songs and practising again, again and again. Striving for perfection and for the perfect mate. 

They make the lambing shed their home. There are robins, blackbirds, dunnocks, and little wrens in the shed. If I creep in especially quietly, I can see them sampling some crumbs of feeding left by the sheep, but it's only very occasionally that I can manage to be that quiet. We also have a regular visitor in a stunning male pheasant. He likes to visit the hay hecks, and check for fallen grains. The rabbits pop in and out, pretending not to see Mo-farah, the cockerel, or his ladies. They see me though, and scarper when I appear. I don't mind this wilding of the lambing shed. In fact, I like it. This is what I do this for. The world and it's life. 

There's still a chill, but what I love are when the ewes outside lamb out there. They've learnt at night to tuck their lambs underneath the old hecks that are in the field. With the lamb under cover and the mother lying close to them, them tucked against her belly or her back, they're snug as a bug in a sheepskin rug. 

The rooks are getting themselves organised in the tall trees above the house. Most of the trees have been removed (not by us, I hasten to add...), and so the space is obviously in high demand. I've already found an egg that's been laid this year, and then fallen from the nest. Whether by accident or design, I don't know, but it's such chaos up there just now that either is entirely possible. 

So, that's spring, or the beginning days of it, and it also brings promise - of life, of what happens next, and that the end is not nigh. And that's just perfect. 

Monday, 24 March 2014

You know that feeling...

...when you want to write so much, because so many incredible things have been going on and have been experienced that your head feels like you're going to explode? But you can't put the pen to paper (or the fingers to the keys) cause if you start you really do believe that you will explode and then where will you be?

It's been an incredible year so far, and we're not even through the third month. WWOOFing, the best relationship I've ever known, Spain, amazing mountains (which I have still not written about, whoops...), anxiety, always - it lurks always below the surface just waiting for me to give it breathing space, forest man, focaliser training with Trees for Life - without any doubt the absolutely best training thing (or, best thing...) I have ever been on, with the most inspiring, wonderful people, the most crazy objectives, the wonderful scenery, and place and oh my goodness I saw a PINE MARTEN!!!, and then things end, but they end because that's what happens, and I can't regret and turn back and decide other things. Sometimes the path looks crazy and dangerous and I turn away, but the lure is strong, cause I like things that I cannot have, and I get myself burnt again. I gotta watch myself.

So, after this stupidly cryptic post (which is pretty much what my life is like right now, any conversation with me is like this and worse...), I might go out and enjoy the beautiful spring sunshine. For, it has sprung. Spring has sprung and it makes everything bad seem just that little bit better.

Go well, people.

You don't need to run; just walk fast.

Hazelnuts are the best nut.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Home Competition

I have been asked to participate in a writing competition which is soon to be released, so I am writing a lot about home at the moment.
It's an interesting premise, because my interpretation of home isn't the place in which I live; it's so much more than that. It's a wonderful place, and I keep finding myself going off into daydreams about it and what I should do next, where I should go and what I will see and think and feel when I do these things.
These thoughts mean that it is definitely time to hit the road soon, to get out into the wild places. It's a really lovely thought that this time next week I will be, well almost. I'll be in Dundreggan, undergoing my focaliser training for Trees for Life, and the week after that I have no idea where I'll be, but it will involve wearing all my warm gear, my walking boots, my thermals and carrying a heavy pack. Can. Not. Wait!

Home, eh. What does it mean to you guys. Is it a thought, a feeling that you can get anywhere? Is it a particular place - is it a building, a tree, a field? Is it the place that you go to sleep each night, or is it your tent or your backpack or your walking boots? Is it a place that you're in often, or have you just been once? What and where is your home? What does it mean to you?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I'll put up details of the competition once it's opened.