Saturday, 30 January 2010

Last day of the season....

"Shooting is not just about the bag at the end of the day, but also the enduring memories created by the best shot you have ever taken, the jovial chat amongst friends, the fine countryside and the conviction that a good day in the field is second to nothing else".

The end of the season is upon us. Shooting is coming to an end for another year. Today (the last day) was beaters' day. This is where the beaters have a chance to shoot, and the guns do the beating! All but four of the beaters shot, and the rest of us, well, beat! I chose not to shoot as I have not shot for over a year and had wanted to get in some practise on the clays, but as this did not happen, I opted not to shoot today. And whilst I did regret this choice later on, it was still good fun beating with the guns, whom we don't usually mix with a lot. They are really nice bunch of guys (and ladies), and it's great that most of them turn up for beaters' day to give something back to the beaters. After all, if it wasn't for us, they wouldn't have any birds to shoot!!

We had perfect weather today. Blue skies, no wind, and a stronger-than-usual winter sun. It was the perfect day to finish the season with. Although the birds did let us down- I think we ended with 46 birds, a very small bag. None of them wanted to show their faces! They're the lucky ones - they will live to see another year.

After we had finished the morning's shooting, we all (beaters and guns alike) headed over to the shooting lodge where we ended the last day with a buffet lunch.
It was a really good last day, and although I don't want the season to end now, walking through the woods today I noticed bluebell shoots starting to poke their way through the fallen leaves. Spring will soon be upon us, and with that, the season must come to an end.

Monday, 25 January 2010

The mountain and the path

So lately I've been feeling like my life is a mess, that it has no direction, and that I haven't a clue what I am doing! So it's a good things God does!!
I spoke to a friend yesterday and talking to her it sounds like she pretty much knows what she wants to do, and has her life kinda sorted. Listening to her tell me her ideas and plans kinda made me a bit jealous and sad that my life isn't that well laid out before me. Most of the time I am following a path that is in the dark and constantly twisting and winding, and going up constant hills!
But when I was thinking over it again this morning, I suddenly didn't feel jealous or concerned anymore, cause God showed me otherwise. You see, when I left Mexico a friend gave me the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost, and said that she felt it was for me. For a long time I thought that part where it speaks of not returning was me, and I was scared of it being that as I was thinking in term of not returning to Mexico; yet this morning God gave me the true meaning of the poem. The part that speaks of taking the path less travelled, and "that has made all the difference."
And all of I sudden I knew that that was the part that applies to my life. My life is the path less travelled. It has been for a long time, and I think it will continue to be for a while longer. But I think I'm ok with that. Because even though the path I am taking might be less travelled, it is going to be an adventure for me, because I am going to discover something that no one else has. Travelling the less used path doesn't have to be daunting. Yeah sure I might have to chop at the undergrowth to get through at times, but that's cool.
In the words from Hannah Montana, "Life's a climb, but the view is great."

Saturday, 9 January 2010

And it gets colder....

The snow has stuck around for the past few days, and it remains cold and iced over. A lot of the roads aren't getting gritted, so they are just turning into ice rinks that a death trap.
Beating today was miserably cold! I have never felt such pain in my feet and hands from the cold before. Whilst it was incredibly beautiful with all the snow covered fields and blue sky and sun, it was so, so cold! It was one of those days where, while I was in the middle of it, was absolutely miserable, but at the end of the day when I had begun to thaw out and warm up, it was a good day. Which, despite the cold, really was.
Tired though because we had to walk so much. The only time we actually went in the game cart was to get to the location where we were shooting for the day, and then after that it was just walking everywhere. We even had to walk back to the keeper's cottage because the game cart and truck got stuck in the snow!
Got back to the cottage and had cups of tea. Amazing how a cup of tea can warm you right up!

Still haven't thawed out though, even after a hot bath. My hands and feet still feel sore from the cold.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

More snow pics. Nice heavy snowfall

Dylan & me

Skye & Dylan. She was trying to eat the snowball from his hands

Dylan & Dad, snowball fight

Skye trying to catch snowballs

Dad & Mom having a snowball fight

The playground

Mom & me

Skye in the snow

The field

The church

Our street

Monday, 4 January 2010

Time has flown....

I can't believe that this time a year ago I was in Mazatlan, Mexico ready to begin my DTS!!! Wow. The time has flown by.
It has now been six months since I graduated my DTS. How crazy is that! I think we are all finding it hard to believe.

5 months and 13 days until I am back in Mazatlan seeing everyone again! :-)
Which also means that I only have 5 months and 13 days left until I have finished my university year!!

Friday, 1 January 2010

The Tenth Doctor...

...Ok. So I admit it. I cried when the Tenth Doctor left. But you can't hold it against me. He was brilliant.

New Year's Day walk in the Clent Hills

To the far right of this pic you can see how icy the path was

The above are a few pics of when we went walking in the Clent Hills on New Year's day. It was a great day out. We took puppydog with us, who was such a brilliant little star. There were lots of people and dogs around, but I let her off the lead and she was as good as gold. She made me feel so proud of her!

The Clent Hills are really beautiful. The day was made better by the fact that there was blue sky and sunshine. Yes, it was a weak, winter sunshine, and it was freezing cold (I think it was about -1), but it was good. Oh, and did I mention the treacherous iced paths and hills we had to face? Yep that's right. The paths and hills were completely, dangerously iced over. There was also snow everywhere. It was so beautiful though. And fun, when we weren't falling over or negotiating inches of ice and compacted snow!

We tried sticking to a map and directions, which didn't go too well at first. We ended up doubling back on ourselves a bit, until we eventually got onto the right path. We finished the walk by walking through a woodland (Skye was in her element!) and we were on our own so it was peaceful and quiet, and then we crossed this bridge and began a fairly steep ascent to the top of the woodland ridge.
When we reached the top of the ridge there was a family who wanted to say to Skye, so she put on her best behaviour and happily obliged them.
We then headed back to the car on this really, really icy path; and once back at the car had hot chocolate and laughed at people trying not to fall over (it's quite entertaining if you're not the one falling!), and Skye put her head on my lap and slept the whole way home.

Good day :-)