Our Girls

Between us, we now proudly have 14 girls.

Between them, a total of 40 legs.

Luckily, the days of parent funded trips to Clarks are long gone!

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In July last year, following months of research (mainly Emma) and extensive preparation fencing the field with just under 200 fence posts & sheep wire (mainly Adrian), we took delivery of our lovely Soay Sheep.

They were around 9 weeks old; first time away from their mums, and very frightened.  The nettles, thistles and swaths of grass towered above them; enveloping them as they snuggled together in a bewildered huddle.

We chose Soay sheep as they are (apparently) the easiest way to keep the grass cut – and have lovely characters.

Having watched them come out of themselves, to varying degrees over the past three months, although most are still very shy, they now really do feel part of our family.  It’s lovely to look down to the field and see them at the gate, or by the resurrected old water trough.  They have grown considerably, and reshaped the landscape in our four acre field (mammoth nettle patch), bringing the horizon down to ground level by munching through an inordinate amount of grass, nettles – and even hawthorn.

In addition to our eight ewes, we have pretty Peter, and Zebidee.  Peter is castrated, but so utterly pretty that we had to have him, and Zebidee is our very stunning ram – name inspired by his Zebra striped horns.

Next Spring is awaited with excitement –

lambs?

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“The simple things are often the most extraordinary things in life, and only the wise can see them.”

Paulo Coelho

 

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Eating out in Horsham: Bill’s

Vibrant a hub as it ever was, Horsham Town Hall has been adopted by the Bill's restaurant and produce group for the next chapter of it's life at the centre of the market square.
Vibrant a hub as it ever was, Horsham Town Hall has been adopted by the Bill’s restaurant and produce group for the next chapter of it’s life at the centre of the market square.

I love Bill Granger’s recipes.  Sunny, relaxed food reflect his Australian roots.

Although 10 months after moving into Horsham, this was the first restaurant we visited in the town.  Totally taken up with hard labour in the house and garden, we hadn’t realised what a great selection of trendy eateries Horsham has – if Bills & Waitrose have graced the cobbled streets, say no more…

(Except, perhaps, it’s wise to book – our first visit, on a Wednesday night, was less than successful as we hadn’t done so – there’s a recommendation!)

Food – Bill’s produce stores & restaurants  showcase his sense of effortless style, his passion for simple, clean food & understated retro styling.

Philosophy – Bill creates variations on easy themes – healthy and zesty.

Decor – Vibrant a hub as it ever was, Horsham Town Hall  had stood on the same site in since the C17.  The present stocky building, of local Horsham Stone, dates from C19.  has been adopted by the Bill’s restaurant and produce group for the next chapter of it’s life at the centre of the market square. too, pacy, retro.  Like the food, decor is interesting & honest.

Service – Easy going, charming.

‘Open for’ & Price – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.  Mid range price.

Tips – Book.  Avoid the house white.  🙂

Interesting to know – Horsham’s Old Town Hall is listed at Grade II because of it’s north facade of c1812, commissioned by the Duke of Norfolk and in an antiquarian neo-Norman style, as the Duke also favoured at Arundel Castle.  Later work on the building dates to 1888.  Through the barred basement windows a stroll past allows a glimpse into two surviving sets of cells in the basement which are virtually unaltered from former times.

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First Sussex Summer

Summer 2017

Sussex Summer, 2017

A moment to stop

Words that express thoughts, from Kafka on the shore, by Haruki Murakami.

Sometimes, fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing direction. You change direction, but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

… You keep on moving, trying to slip through it. But even if you go to the ends of the world, you won’t be able to escape it. Still you have to go there – to the edge of the world. There’s something you can’t do unless you get there.

… You don’t want to be at the mercy of things outside you anymore, or thrown into confusion by things you can’ t control. If there’s a curse in all this, you mean to grab it by the horns and fulfil the program that’s been laid out for you. Lift the burden from your shoulders and live – not caught up in someone else’s schemes, but as you. That’s what you want.

Challenges - seeing the beauty of the prickles!

Challenges – looking at the beauty of the prickles!

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…and Suddenly… London to Sussex :-)

A london girl, born and bread.

I love London, the ex bedsit wreck I took on, which had been unloved & uninhabited for the previous 2 years before I bought it, and left as a beautiful, calm home with a glorious garden – an oasis of productivity, interest, wildlife and beauty in the heart of the capital.

But time moves on, and it was time to turn the page on the next chapter of life.

Grasping hope, faith and optimism in both hands, it was time to step into the next chapter and look ahead;

Move out of your comfort zone

you can only grow

if you are willing to feel awkward

and uncomfortable

when you try something new

– Brian Tracey

And so we did. And now we love West Sussex, the opportunity to transform The Oaks from an ugly 1980s space station to a much loved home, our own retreat to enjoy and share with others; to tame the acres of ‘nettle patch’ and give it the opportunity to house livestock; to wage war against the seven foot nettles that had taken over the garden, obliterating views and pathways, and win that war… and others.

And to share the wonderful space that we have created with others.  🙂 E

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Previous, London blog – https://emmasouthlondon.wordpress.com