My diary for the last month begins with sadness, as did the month. My German Pointer; Jake had been unwell since Christmas. Time marched on and numerous tests to determine the cause of his discomfort. On admission to the Veterinary Hospital in Glasgow he was finally diagnosed with cancer, I had to make the difficult decision to put him to sleep… his quality of life by then was badly affected and the prognosis hopeless. Jake was with me for eight and a half years. He came to me as an eight week old puppy at a difficult time in my life. A split with my husband six months before; followed by a serious riding accident which left me on long term sick leave and not in the best of moods.

The silver lining of being stuck at home was to get this puppy; reunion with a lovely breed of dog I grew up with. He provided welcome distraction from the troubles facing my children and me. He was my physiotherapist, my friend and companion…he brought us all smiles, laughter and was sometimes the bane of my life! He was with me through the ensuing difficult years, beside me during traumatic life changing events that seemed to crowd in one after another for some years. Always by my side, always making me smile; a huge character of a dog who I will always remember with love and gratitude; his quirky habits and alternative attitude to life will bring me smiles for many years still to come. The end of an era, time to move on to new changes in life that I find approaching as my children look to flying the nest.

Dragging ourselves out of the Winter doldrums can be a challenge this time of year, these months after Christmas often seem beset with tragedy and loss. The sun seems a long lost memory and the chill creeps into our bones. But now the days lengthen, the sun seems to shine with some warmth again and hope creeps back into our hearts. The plans made in the dark winter months for spring projects begin to seem possible and a time for action is nearby. Like the cooks’ recipe, a plan is vital, before any action we must list our ingredients and debate how we intend to make the best of them. Will supermarket value ranges be adequate for our needs or perhaps splashing out on the top range ingredients?

Better still, enjoyable visits to a farmer’s market for the freshest of ingredients straight from the producers. All will depend on budget and availability, the timing and how thorough that plan is. You may have planned a whole life change, a new business venture, perhaps a DIY or home transformation. You may simply be planning a nice pot of wholesome soup to warm these still chilly days. Whatever your plans, however simple or ambitious they are; enjoy the planning as much as embarking on the action. Take time to get things right and don’t cut corners that you know you will regret later. This shot of the results of a visit to a farmers market could be the ingredients for any number of delicious meals, at a glance I’m sure you can think of personal favourites. But you’d be wrong…this is a picture of a shopping trip to buy ingredient to make a photograph! Things are not always what they seem, your first assumption may not be correct. On the other hand – I did make something very good with it all afterwards! ZUVA

‘Zuva’ means ‘sunshine/daylight’ in the Shona language, native to Zimbabwe. This little lady is a Rhodesian Ridgeback, she has become my sunshine in the last few weeks. This 13 week old bundle of fun is my new puppy! After losing my lovely Jake, I followed up a promise I made myself some time ago; that of treating myself to my second Ridgeback. I had one many years ago and long hankered after another. As I work from home these days the time seemed right to take on the upbringing of this characterful large breed. Bred to hunt and guard they have a distinctive strip of hair growing along their spine in the ‘wrong’ direction, hence the name. Zuva already displays the wonderful laid back, very intelligent attributes of this breed.

She is a joy to have around, despite the puddles and indoor ‘land mines’! She came into our lives very quickly and with a seemingly serendipitous twist of fate, lessoning our pain and bringing her own brand of sunshine into our lives. A new beginning, with all the plans and possibilities those cause to flourish. The joy of having a new life in your home never fails to bring joy, lots of hard work but worth every moment!

Enjoy March all…I certainly intend to!src=”” class=”aligncenter” width=”435″ height=”620″ /> class=”aligncenter” width=”620″ height=”442″ />

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