Get down off the gas stove Jane, you’re too old to ride the range…mind you, it would help enormously if I could keep the blessed thing alight!

Forest views

I have landed in my next assignment and fallen under a spell.

This beautiful old deep stone walled home is way up a very high hill, looking down onto the valley below and across to the next hill. As I wound my way up here yesterday along a single track, a rare feeling came over me. I just knew that I was entering a different world and there were creative and loving souls living in the cottages dotted amoungst the trees. These hills are surrounded by an ancient forest and look out onto a wide river that is tidal.

I have come here for a week to care for a family’s brood whilst they take a well earned break abroad. We all got to spend some time together before they left at lunchtime today and loving bonds were formed very quickly. I am caring for a retired horse, a Shetland pony, hens, a timid rooster and a characterful fox terrier.

The forest is full of bluebells just coming out and to walk there with a dog that bounds joyously whilst I throw her sticks, is a very happy thing to do.

This little dog has many friends up here and on the way back from our walks she stops to greet her buddies at different gates. I have met the neighbours across these gates and invitations have been extended to stop for tea, cake and a natter whenever I feel the need. This hill is full of writers, musicians, artists, happy animals and love.

This morning I found myself grooming and mucking out my charges at 7am. The air is so clear and fresh up here, and there are trees left from an old orchard dotted across the fields and paddocks. It is an idyllic setting and I cannot think of a better way of starting the day. Mind you, two hours later I was more than ready for the cooked breakfast I was offered.

So far, I have managed to get to grips with some trails through the forest and finding my way back, the mucking out/grooming/feeding routine for my four legged friends, the hens needs and a few challenges.

The old kitchen range and I have yet to find a balance. I am sure there is a knack and so far I don’t have it, as she keeps going out. Thank goodness for the solar panels as this ensures me a much needed deep bath later in the luxury double ended hip bath…oh Yes! However, the challenge of making a hot drink still remains as I have a whistling kettle that does not recognise mains power.

Another interesting moment, was when my little furry companion took off as I gave the hens their lunchtime pellets. Mmmmmm, I suspected she may be making her way to the motorway to follow her family. We were in the paddock for goodness sake and it was supposed to be ‘escape’ proof. It wasn’t….I have nicknamed her ‘Houdini’ and I found her an hour later playing with her buddy, a Springer Spaniel, next door. This was just as I had started to ring round the neighbours, her family having left me a long list of phone numbers and contacts, so I take it that ‘Houdini’ has done this before.

I’m off outside now to water, feed, bed down, tidy and settle everyone before darkness falls. I am in my element, with a grin on my face a mile wide.

20 Responses to “Get down off the gas stove Jane, you’re too old to ride the range…mind you, it would help enormously if I could keep the blessed thing alight!”

  1. 1 tornadoday April 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Last summer, on three occassions, lost dogs found their way to me……and I figured the best way to get them home (shy of an ad in the paper or a tag with contact information) was to walk the area, with hopes they would recognize their old stomping grounds. One little such pup, had to stop and sniff at every mailbox, fencepost, and street sign. Then, he insisted on marking his territory. At one point, he looked at me, and I said, “I hope it’s close because otherwise, you’re going to run out before we find it.”………..What a joy there is in knowing love that needs not words for us to know. Beautiful, Jane. ~ Ever, Bobbie


    • 2 Jane Thorne April 18, 2014 at 8:44 am

      It will be a wrench for me to part from this little dog, she knows only joy and love. My heart has taken so many picture memories, it overflows. She and I have been invited out to lunch today on the other side of the forest, so we will have a very long walk there and back. I will make new friends and this little one will boound along beside hers… 🙂 Love always flowing to you Bobbie. Xxx


  2. 3 elenacaravela April 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    How wonderful. A brilliant way to live life. And, I have to comment on the new pic-extra lovely!


  3. 5 Maxi April 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Dearest Jane … you have your work cut out for you. Especially with “Houdini.” You will be asleep the moment your lids drop.

    When you open them again you will look down into the the valley … and the beauty will take your breath away.

    blessings to you, my lovely ~ maxi


    • 6 Jane Thorne April 15, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      You’ve said it beautifully Maxi, that is exactly what is happening. Houdini slept beside me last night and that has settled her down. We have had a lovely day today and the range is still going! Much love and hugs to you lovely Maxi. Xxx


  4. 7 Kim Patrick April 15, 2014 at 11:23 am

    it sounds like sheer bliss – in all respects (apart from the lack of hot drinks!) x


    • 8 Jane Thorne April 15, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Hi Kim, lovely to hear from you and you would love it here. I have made friends with the range this morning and yay, the whistling kettle has been whistling. I am aiming for some baking and cooking this afternoon..such fun! Much love to you. Xx


  5. 9 Eric Alagan April 15, 2014 at 1:00 am

    So very happy for you Jane, buddy. What new adventures of discovery await – both within and without.

    Reading your post, I would love to have assignments such as these 🙂

    Luv and hugz,
    P/s A timid rooster – well, the hens rule the roost here 🙂


    • 10 Jane Thorne April 15, 2014 at 11:44 am

      You would love it here Eric, such a special place. I am sure you hens love you. 🙂 Hugs and much love to you my lovely buddy. Xx


  6. 11 ianscyberspace April 14, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    What a series of pleasant adventures you have, and what a gift you possess in communicating not only the words but the mind pictures as you write. Thanks for taking us with you as you share your journey.


  7. 13 angela samm April 14, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Oh my….this all sound idyllic…..I may pack a bag and come and join you! enjoy this new adventure xxx


    • 14 Jane Thorne April 15, 2014 at 11:43 am

      Hi Angie, you would love this. Their home is so spiritual and my heart and soul are singing. Much love to you and we get to see each other soon…Yay! XxX


  8. 15 Al April 14, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Got room for a couple more? We’re on our way!


  9. 17 journeyintopoetry April 14, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    This is a most wonderful post Jane! How blessed you are to be staying in this gorgeous setting doing something you love. I can feel the anxiety during the escape of your furry friend. 😊 . Well, I can almost see the rosiness in your cheeks and all the inspiration you are being filled with to write makes me feel so happy for you. With big hugs and loads of love ❤ xxx


    • 18 Jane Thorne April 14, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Hello lovely Christine, I am so glad you can come along for the journey, such fun and many cuppas I feel. Much love and hugs to you. Xxxxx


  10. 19 1smiles April 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    I love this post! I got a chuckle from the title. Thank you for the smile and good feelings you evoked today.
    Hugs and Smiles to you,


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