Perplexingly, despite the weather forecast,
it was (you guessed it) raining again when I got up this morning. Nanuk & I trudged up to the top gate to open it for John-the-Farrier (real name John Bryne; but the curiously charming tradition dictates that here in Wales you’re more likely to be known by your job title or sometimes even house name, not your surname), who came for his bi-monthly visit to attend to the ponies’ hooves. He always does a superb job, taking great care to correctly balance their feet; in fact during his last visit he swiftly eased a nasty bout of laminitis from which Sabe was suffering. His patient work has also radically corrected a ‘pigeon toe’ which was causing Rolypoly problems, when he first arrived with us: his sympathetic style & great skill are much appreciated & have greatly helped our horses. Today he had good news – his son has passed his farriery exams & is now fully qualified to work as a partner in his father’s business. Something to sing about – & John does that as well; he’s a folk singer too, so we have a musical blacksmith! We moved the horses into a new field where they thundered around in great excitement; it’s just as well they’re on fresh pasture, because the temperature has dropped significantly again; & there was little grazing left on their former field. However Darwin still has quite a cresty neck so we’ll have to carefully watch his weight doesn’t get out of hand, although I’d rather the horses went into the winter with some extra fat on them to see them through the cold times ahead. After the ponies’ needs had been attended to, we relaxed with a milky coffee & a slice of chocolate pudding cake; & then, after bidding farewell to John, Tony set to work putting up some more shelves for me in the kitchen – one for books, & one for jams & other produce. We also did some further research into prospective grant aid – & think we’ve found something which may help us – an Assembly Investment Grant, which could give us up to 50% of what we need to invest in the business – much-needed money, we’re beginning to realise.
By nightfall the clouds had cleared & we were treated to a bright & beautiful end to the day. The huge, full moon hung low in a lavender sky; the delicate, intricate tracery of its’ hills & valleys etched like a fragment of fragile lace floating on the apricot tints of evening. The pastel colours succumbed to night’s cold cloak & the moon rose majestically above hills behind the huddled cottage, bathed in hues of silver-grey & gold & spilling a surreal milky halflight across fields of slumbering sheep, hushing even the whisper of the river in the darkness of the valley below. We were so lucky to have that gap in cloudy skies to witness the wonder of the Harvest Moon – welcome beauty heralding the darker days of winter yet to come.