Blog Post
We all need something to brighten up those grey,dull and rainy days

I always tell people that I don’t mind the winter.  I like the dark nights, get that fire stoked up, a delicious glass of red wine, something good on the telly or a good book – dogs snoozing and the weather outside can be blowing and freezing cold but inside I am cosy and warm.

However, it is now February and I am beginning to get fed up of our winter.  Ok – it is cold but not bitterly cold – just damp, wet, dark and a leaden sky about a foot above one’s head.  Everything is grey – the sky, the roads, pavements and people.  We all tend to dress in dark colours in the winter – everything looks like a pencil drawing  – just varying tones of black and grey.

So – yesterday I made a “fruit salad cake”.  I always say I refuse to buy fruit out of season but this week has been an exception.  I needed some zing!  I will share with you this simple recipe.  The colours of the fruits lifted my spirits and made me smile.

I thought about summer and the garden and today decided to clear out my greenhouse and give everything a spring clean.  I feel much better for it too.

Talking about lifting my spirits – this week I had the privilege to be invited to “the meet” before the Brocklesby Hunt.  Now I know fox hunting has been a very controversial sport and rules etc now apply but that aside the sheer spectacle of the riders in either red or black jackets with their perfectly turned out horses coupled with the hounds was a sight that will stay with me for some time.

Spirit was also offered in the form of whisky and cherry brandy (at 10.30 am !!!) which was rather delicious I have to say.  This particular tipple was called a “Percy” – to be drunk from a stirrup cup.  I discovered a whole new language – the dogs are not dogs, they are hounds.  The hounds do not bark – they speak and when I asked the master of the foxhunt how many hounds he had present I discovered they are referred to in pairs.  He had 16 pairs.  What was also amazing was that he knew each and everyone of them by name and they behaved impeccably.  Each hound had its eyes on the Master waiting for his command.  They all knew their place behind him and his horse and the image was beautiful.

I am fascinated by cultures and traditions and the Hunt last Tuesday will rate as one of my top ten.  It was a very social but at the same time structured affair and everything was taken very seriously.  There was a speech from the Master of the Hunt explaining the rules to be obeyed and the laws of the land.

I felt actually quite proud to be part of the gathering and everyone was most welcoming and ready to answer my many questions about rules, regulations and etiquette.

Horses are magnificent animals and I love to see that connection between rider and horse but I am fearful of them every since I took a horse riding lesson and a bright blue plastic carrier blew across my horse’s path and spooked this normally docile aged horse into a fast gallop !  The rest of that story is for another day – only to say I have not been on a horse since and the lady whose garden we ploughed up was not best pleased.

Well – I am rambling on a little readers and the last thing I want you to do is fall asleep whilst reading.  Have a good week and lets hope the spring isn’t too far away.

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