The School of YouTube

Due to popular demand, we’ve been asked to post about what we’ve all been up since we arrived back in Brexitland from Euroland, so this will be a short one…. Genuinely we have had to think hard about it! We’ve seen lots of friends, made new friends and made a couple of trips to our ‘Up North’ family. We also managed a trip to Spain at the height of the summer temperatures staying with expat friends (yes, a cat took pity on us). Jigsaw stayed at the Cat Spa in Redditch, spending her days either snoozing or being entertained by her grandparents and eating cake. She knows which side her paws are buttered 😺

We’ve also learned a few new trades thanks to the YouTube learning zone … Liz, our agent, sells us out to anyone in need, for household jobs so actually a fair amount of time has been on the following: digging out and levelling a garden, filling in a pond and laying turf; demolishing and fitting a new kitchen; tiling said kitchen; general gardening work; removals; turning out and bringing in horses; fitting window blinds; bartending; plumbing; building a pond, carving pumpkins, making videos…. it goes on. Oh, and house hunting! I knew we had relationship issues when Nick was watching YouTube videos about grouting when we went to bed 🙂

The fairly average cat has been fine, she’s learnt some pretty nifty pole dancing skills in the menage, has reduced the mouse population of the local area and done her darndest to try and catch fledging birds (two swallow nests and a robin nest in the stables). Having built a temporary fishpond here, she’s managed not to fall in, unlike Liz who climbed in after being spooked by Bradley Wiggles (a small fish with buoyancy issues who’s constantly wiggling). We didn’t witness this or there’d be a picture on here!

We’ve visited Lincoln, Salisbury, Wells to name a few and spent time in nature, shroom hunting and enjoying the glorious autumn colours of nature. In addition, we’ve been to several agricultural county shows, well we are in rural Somerset! Might not be that interesting to some but they are all very different and we enjoy wandering and watching the horses in all their different events especially the ‘scurry’. We also love the tents of prize veg, the fun arrangements and the glorious flowers. The ferret racing was the most popular attraction!

Regarding said cat, she actually put paw to paper with us, approximately 18 months ago (so it’s well out of date), and is now a published travel journalist. She calls us her ‘catlife biographers’. See below for her magazine article. Since its release, she’s been recognised in the street and asked for pawtographs and selfies by total strangers, her Instacat has gone wild! She’s asked for sunglasses and a hat for some reason, not like her to shy away from attention! I’m drawing the line at her request for a blue tick twitter account though. She can carry on trying to catch twits rather than being one!

We’ve had a couple of trips up to London, Visa hunting and were ‘interviewed’ at the US embassy. I didn’t need to wear orange after all. Thus, our passports now have our USA and our French visas in them. The French one will allow us to spend >90 days in Schengen this time, yippee! We didn’t know if it would be accepted as we are ‘house sitting’ for a friend 😉 It’s such a faff these days but the price we pay to live in a democracy! Plenty don’t. So, at the moment the plan is Canada and USA from late April… but plans change… we adapt.

At The Ranch there’s been sad times. The Ranch matriarch Miss Ellie (Julia) passed away suddenly and is missed every day. Not much more to be said really but we are privileged to have known her, she bailed us out big time with somewhere to park up and was always ready for a natter, a warm and caring woman. The number of people at her party (what she wanted) was testament to her popularity. Bobby and Pamela (Nige and Liz) have now moved past the boyfriend and girlfriend stage to ‘partners’, even updating their Facebook pages. At the yard, Mel continues to sweep with vigour while Lin continues to call her new horse William, a donut, on a daily basis. We know she’ll learn to love him as she works her magic on him with Liz, who shows what a great trainer she is, with her horse Bronwyn! Now jumping 110 with ease when she feels like it🐴 Young’un, Lily lends a hand, cherishing Kelly, when she’s not off with her dog, modelling for Harringtons Dog Food. Meanwhile, Bobby has gone back to driving school for a refresher on how to drive around the menage without hitting anything…. although maybe a stint at a school for performing arts may be better suited (he’s currently subjecting everyone to a 20yr old episode of Bargain Hunt… don’t ask or you’ll be a victim too!)

So, off we go again. We’ve done all the pre-trip checks, our teeth, eyes and bodies are in working order and we’ve spruced up at the hairdressers. Maybe we should have checked the oil and screen wash? Anyhow, birthday celebrations and a wine tasting with great friends out of the way, we are off to find a lucky leprechaun 🍀

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