Just realised I wrote the last blog entry around three years ago...
No. This is not good enough! Time to get my arse back in gear and do something more regular. Not sure what you're going to get; there will be cute pony pictures and canal boats, but there may be more on the problems facing our wildlife, observations on getting older and infirmity, the occasional rant about things I can't rant about in my professional life/web-presence, or things that get my goat generally... I'm likely to avoid the political, because I think everyone should make up their own damn minds and finding unbiassed commentary on the interwebs is almost impossible!! I don't promise NOT to write crud poetry - that goes with the territory. There are likely to be bad jokes. I can't guarantee not to cause offence.
So. Here goes 2016.
Resume in brief, so we don't have to do this again: I got taken on at the reserve as established staff, not contract - now 2 days/15 hours a week. I spread this over 4 days to try to keep some form of continuity! After some ups and downs, we've gone from 2.5 staff to 5.5 plus new volunteer interns (the 0.5 is me, part-time) ..we've finally got a new office! (Moved in last week and are still in a frenzy of building bookcases and shelves and stacking things on them). The volunteer accommodation is now getting an overhaul, although everything is around 5 months behind plan... with all the frustrations that causes!
Since 2013 we've gained a number of new Koniks - our own foals and a couple of new colts who will be the future for the breeding stock (otherwise everything gets too in-bred) - we're up to 33 horses now! The Meadow project is in its last year, but showing real progress - the but we're restoring is increasing biodiversity every year as the ponies eat the rough grasses and rushes and allow the 'pretty stuff' to grow through.
Family-wise - we've continued to narrowboat our way around Britain; 2014 was up in Yorkshire, amidst the furore of the Tour de France: 2015 trip was on the Kennet and Avon, down to Bath: this year we're going back to the Llangollen. Mum and I have been back to the cabin at Loch Awe each year, and have come to an agreement that the best thing for her birthday is a trip over to Applecross, to stay a couple of nights at the Applecross Inn, which is just bloody brilliant!! My brother has finally taken the plunge and moved from a one-room bedsit to a whole house, with all the domesticity that goes along with that - I never expected to get FB messages about mowing the lawn!
Healthwise... well, we're hanging in there. Mum has T2 diabetes and Parkinsons, which is - to quote a hero of of mine - an embuggerance. My knee and hip joints are crap - can't walk any distance - and arthritis is creeping into my hands, which as someone who likes painting etc is a bit of a worry. But it will not keep us down. There is fun stuff out there we can do, places to go and things to see, and a hell of a lot of fun to be had.
Let's go for it.
Meanwhile, here's a unicorn I drew for my friend's grand-daughter. Enjoy!