Archive for December 10th, 2008

Tree of Happiness

Tree of Happiness I have been tagged by Jennie to list six things that make me happy and to tag a further six people to list six things that make them happy …….. and so on.

Well, I am going to break the rules slightly as I’m not going to tag anybody as I’ve done a lot of that recently and I suspect it’s getting a tad repetitive so if you want to do the meme, feel free to do so – just let me know so we can all read what you say!

I’m also going to refrain from general things such as “loved ones” or “my animals” and will try to be specific.

So, here goes…

1. Cwtching in bed at the end of a long day. A good DVD playing. The dogs asleep in their beds. Belly full after a delicious meal. Pudding to come later once dinner settled! Clean sheets. Relaxed after a soak in the bath. Cold enough to warrant the cwtch. Warm enough to banish cold feet.

2. Being outside first thing in the morning when everyone else is still asleep. You own the world at that time and there’s nothing to disturb it. Best experienced in spring or summer when you can enjoy the early hours without feeling chilly. Having said that, a cold, frosty morning when you’re well wrapped up is justifiable when the trees (and pavements) sparkle with the ice that’s formed overnight.

3. Mind you, save the winter woolies for this. Have you ever stood in the middle of the countryside, miles from anywhere, on a moonlit night with nothing between you and the heavens apart from millions of stars, all so tantalisingly close that you can almost reach up and pluck one from the sky? It’s beautiful in summer but for some reason, a shockingly cold winter’s night suits this best. If you can’t feel your feet, you’ve picked the right night.

4. Food. But not just food. I mean food. All your favourites, there in front of you. Not be be stuffed mindlessly into your gob, but to be savoured, slowly, enjoyed. Be it comfort food, junk food or fine dining, take your time, let the flavours glide slowly over your taste buds. Smell each forkful, taste each ingredient, sit back and enjoy. Excellent company and lots of laughter enhance the flavour!

5. The moment the animal you chose chooses you back. Not just a wag of a tail or a purr or a grunt of recognition. The moment their let their guard down and show you true devotion, loyalty and trust. There are many examples with the current menagerie, not to mention previous pets, but the one that stands out in my mind is the day Snipe chose me over Mum, B and Teal when they headed off in one direction (the way home) and I set off in the other. I didn’t call Snipe to me and let her go home with the others but she got half way across the field and then, when she realised that I was missing, turned round and came to find me.

6. Driving. I’ve loved it since the moment I first got behind the wheel and I will always associate it with independence and freedom. I love long drives (so long as the goodie bag is well stocked!) and my favourites are the routes you know but haven’t driven for ages so the scenery is refreshing in its contrast to your daily drives. The longest journey I’ve ever driven was from west Wales to Glasgow (via Birmingham to drop a friend off) – and then back again three days later. We went up overnight and the sun came up just as we approached the border – truly spectacular, though I could have slept for a week! We stopped at every single service station on the M6 and I had an expresso and a latte – enough caffeine to keep me going until the next stop!

So there you have it, six things that make me happy. What about you?


New additions to the blogroll

I’ve been meaning to update my blogroll for ages as I’ve discovered several new blogs that I thoroughly enjoy reading and think it’s high time I linked to them so you can enjoy them too!

For the smallholders / gardeners, there’s Howling Duck Ranch, written by Kristeva Dowling, who lives “on a small mixed farm on the west coast of British Columbia in a remote First Nations village town”. Me? Jealous? No siree! An excellent blog, highly recommended, loads of information and great tips, I like Kristeva’s take on life and the way she describes it.

The others all come under the “life n stuff” category and there’s a real mixture, which is how I like it!

Coping with Chaos is a blog I came across via Jennie. Suzy is awesome and her sense of humour and sparkling personality radiate all the way from NI.

Town Mouse is the blog of a Londoner who, along with her partner, quit her job and “moved up to the middle of nowhere, somewhere in Scotland”. Her new pastimes include death-defying stunts on her bike in the snow and ice and lighting the fire. Well worth a read!

Finally, Tea with Willow invites you to come on in and make yourself at home and that’s exactly what it is. I’ve never left a comment on her blog but I always feel warm and cozy when I read it.


Doing our bit

I’ve just put the recycling and rubbish out and am feeling quite pleased with myself. We no longer use the kitchen bin for rubbish. That goes into a plastic bag which hangs behind the door. The bin is used for all the recycling (thankfully Cardiff Council don’t make us sort our recycling!) and the stuff for the compost heap goes in the little bin they provided. When I remember, this goes up to the farm for the lasagne garden.

It’s not much, and there’s still nothing we can do about things like deodorant cans or sanitary products (and if anyone has any suggestions about what I can do with the dog muck, please let me know) but I think we’re doing our bit and helping the environment.

I’ll be able to do a lot more if someone would only buy us a smallholding so I don’t have to drive the 4×4 everywhere, everyday…?!