Sunday, 19 December 2010

The best laid plans.....


It's been a 'challenging' few days here, to put it mildly! In amongst the general end of term mayhem, and Christmas chaos, we faced the prospect of our cold icy weather turning to heavy snow. Bethan, who has been turned away with the youngsters for the last few weeks, due to tweaking her tendon slightly, needed to be brought home for Christmas. So on Thursday, in freezing sleet, I loaded her up like a pack pony with all her gear, and braved the weather and the busy main roads to walk her home. It was a grim and unpleasant walk, with a pit stop at Proper Job recycling centre halfway home for a quick cuppa. Luckily, Bethan was quite happy to be heading home, and is unfazed by most traffic - the exception being large tractors with silage bales carried high on a front loader (and I can quite understand that - they look just like a huge predator preparing to pounce). We got home just in time. By the evening the snow had begun, and by the following morning, schools were closed, and roads impassable without a four wheel drive vehicle.

It is so cold that even the Ginger Ninja has moved indoors. Of all the cosy places in the house, this is his favourite - on top of my pile of 'junk'!

And all the family sit in a pile beside the fire. This was taken on Friday night, a sorry reminder of how things should be. Unfortunately, battling up the hill through the snow yesterday to feed the ponies, my husband slipped on the ice, and broke his leg as he fell. We had what felt like an endless wait in the snow and the cold for a helicopter to come and airlift him out, and now he waits in Exeter hospital for an operation to pin his leg. Thank goodness for wonderful friends and neighbours, who rescued my children and dogs from the scene, who looked after ponies, who came out in land rovers to get us to places as my car is not a four wheel drive, and who set out across country in the darkening snow with torches to escort children to the main road where they could be picked up and brought safely home to me.


And so, I sit here, looking out at snow, with a pot of tea, glad that everything is OK. Yesterday, life seemed awful, but this morning, I am grateful for everything, and everyone.

So, here is something that I have been watching to take my mind off things. Puppets have been in my thoughts a great deal recently. When I was at college I was very interested in puppetry, and the mechanics of movement, and spent a lot of time making puppets and automata. Those are stashed away in a hay loft somewhere, so I can't show you those, but these are a couple of puppets gathered on my travels. My children are a little spooked by the old lady above, with her breasts on strings so they flap!

And this film below is of 'The Sultans Elephant', which my father introduced me to recently. Many of you may have seen this before, as it was a huge outdoor performance by the French company 'Royal de Luxe' in London in 2006. Somehow, I seem to have been completely unaware of it, and so it's magic was new to me.

27 comments:

Kath said...

Oh poor you and poor Husband, what a week you have had! and in this cold weather and so close to Christmas. I loved the photo of everyone bundled on the settes, I hope all the family will soon be back where they belong. What a blessing your neighbours are, to rally round like that. I think we Brits are famous for it LOL
Sending all best wishes for Dh recovery and a more peaceful Christmas.

Trekky said...

Hope your Husband in on the mend. Great that people helped out. I've already managed to fracture my elbow on the ice! Glad the animals are safe in the warm. Have a very merry christmas!

Bovey Belle said...

I hope your husband is soon restored to you, and in time for Christmas. We live in a good caring community to and in times like these it is a great comfort to know that you can depend on friends and neighbours.

We have just managed to get out today (have a foot of snow, as I imagine you do too). My husband is still cursing the luck that means we got rid of our 4x4 pickup just before 3 mean winters in a row . . .

I loved that everyone on the sofa photo too - a proper HOME. I hate places where you are frightened to sit down for fear of disturbing the cushions! Needless to say, our house is NOT like that!

Valerianna said...

Oh my, it DOES sound like a challenging time! Fast bone-knitting to your husband! And a more easeful rest of winter to you - with lots of puppet inspiration! I, too love puppetry... I'm heading back to watch that video, thanks!

Shirley said...

You've had a trying time of late but I am glad to see things appear brighter now. How blessed you are to have such fine neighbours! Merry Christmas!

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

You and your family definitely had a few harrowing days. Hope this is the end of the bad luck and that the rest of the holidays go as they should. I hope your husband has a quick recovery!

Freyalyn said...

Oh my goodness what a time you've had. I do hope you get your husband home safely soon, and he gets well quickly. At least you have good friends and nearly everyone is back where they belong - well done for retrieving Bethan. We've missed out on the heavy snow so far, just as well, we were relying on this morning's farmers' market to stock up for Yule.

Dartford Warbler said...

What a stressful time for your family. I do hope that your husband heals quickly and is not in too much pain.

Bethan was very brave in the face of all that traffic. I hope she heals quickly too.

Doing the ponies is no fun in the icy snow that we have here. Ours had extra rations tonight and are still munching hay out there in the moonlit fields.

Take care!

allhorsestuff said...

So sort to near of the ponies tendon..
And now your hudband's leg!
Sending calming thoughts and prayers, you're way...

Theres just life said...

It's no fun to be in the hospital any time of year, but especially this time. I had to spend last Tues-Wed at the hospital with my man too. I am so glad you have neighbor that can help like that. It is one of the advantages to country over city life.
In the city a lot of people don't know their neighbors, and to me that makes life a lot harder and more lonely for them.

Heidi said...

Oh my goodness what a busy weekend! I'm so happy to find another horsey blog. I'll send you some warm desert air and wishes of peace & wellness.
Have a Happy Christmas!

Blackfeatherfarm said...

When it rains, it pours... heres wishing you some sunshine for awhile.
Happy holidays to you all....

A mermaid in the attic said...

OWWW!!! What a VERY challenging weekend! I hope your hubby is sent home to you soon, and everyone can be together for a relaxing and NON challenging Christmas weekend. By the way, I love puppets too, and I was lucky enough to see a Royal de Luxe performance years ago during the Perth International Arts Festival. It wasn't this one, but it was equally mind-blowing!

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Oh no, your poor husband. Sending healing vibes his way. Sounds like you guys have been getting hit hard with yucky weather:(

Terri Windling said...

Sending you and your family much love across the snowy roads and fields of the village.

Clare Wassermann said...

Sending you good thoughts and best wishes - to ALL your family xx

Virginia said...

Oh dear! What a time you've had! I've been enjoying your blog for some time, and wondered if the weather had kept you away for the last while - now I know! A friend's just home from nearly four weeks hospital after falling off her bank and badly breaking her leg - I hope your husband's home much sooner than that!

Happy Christmas to you all, and thank you for your blog

Joey said...

And you are grateful.

God bless you. Christ lives in you.
Joey

Original_Wacky said...

Ouch! Many prayers for you and husband... breaking things is never fun. I hope the holidays bring you all many blessings.

Danielle Barlow said...

A heartfelt THANKYOU to all of you for your kind words. Aren't people wonderful? I have been overwhelmed and completely humbled by the offers of help and support from friends. More friends than I knew I had, have come to see if we need help.

And we are fine, Steve had his leg pinned yesterday, and will hopefully be home in a couple of days.
So Thankyou, again :)

Swan Artworks said...

Thank goodness for air ambulance in all this snow and ice! I do hope your husband mends well, and despite the broken leg and such hard work with the ponies in this weather, hope you all have a warm and safe christmas!

Laume said...

Glad to hear Hubby is on the mend. To quote John Lennon - "Life is what happens while we're making other plans." My print arrived safe and sound - and fast! Got busy and forgot to let you know, and say thank you.

Velma said...

here i sit, on christmas break, two four wheel drive cars and me a willing horse hand, way too far away to help. i wish i could.

sending wishes for a quick recovery.

hang in there--

oh, and check out bread and puppet theater on line--

Karen said...

I do hope your husband is home for Christmas! I'll be sending good thoughts your way

Jennifer said...

I am so sorry to hear about your husband, I hope his leg heals quickly! Glad you were able to get your pony home before the bad weather got there. We have not had much snow or ice yet this winter but some pretty cold nights.

She-She said...

I am so sorry that things have been so rough for you and your family. Whenever there comes a time of dire cercumstances such as you've experienced with your husbands broken leg isn't it wonderful to be reminded of many friends you have in your community? When people come to help without question or excuse it is truly heart warming and an example of true Christmas spirit and shows us again that God in his wonder is everywhere. May your husband be quickly healed and back on his feet. May God bless you and watch over you now and throughout the New Year! Be blessed! Sheila

Carolee said...

Eeesh! What a nightmare, but I'm happy to hear all is well now, and your husband is on the mend. What a blessing to have so many kind neighbors! :)

~ Carolee

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