So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog


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Reflections on Austria

We’ve now been in Wales for seven months and I’m very aware of my looking back at our fourteen years there. I don’t want to go back, not even for a visit at present, but that’s not because I’m angry or sad about there. Some of it’s because I’m travelled out, have no desire to go anywhere except to explore Wales and maybe one day look at my roots in Ireland. It’s more that I’m so much happier here, and the contrast between then and now is becoming apparent.

We were both restless from 2004 onwards. Heading to the empty nest syndrome, work becoming less of a dream. Children growing up, Mum and dog passing. And some of it, my inherent restlessness. I think I get it from my Dad, the thought of staying in one place all my life made me feel like I was suffocating. Not to mention my impatience too. We wanted to go as Missionaries, but Dave didn’t want to study, but when looking we felt God was directing us. Oh, you can read it all in the rest of this blog!

Austria was never home, and maybe that was because I looked back, missing kids, and as we found our selves in a dead church, being in a living one. Our little fellowship here in Wales is so alive and I know God wants us here. Yes, we loved a lot of it, but we had always said we night go back and I knew there was another house for us to live in. This one. I will end my days here.

My overwhelming feeling of being here, is complete and utter relief! More in the next post…


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A new spiritual home!

One of the main reasons we decided to return to the UK was that we were running dry spiritually. The Protestant church we were in had its head firmly buried in concrete and was battered by constant feuds and personality conflicts. We had a Bible group with some friends of ours, but they neither wanted to move on nor try yet again to build a new fellowship with the Christians in the area. All the things we discussed were treated with wariness until they heard it from an Austrian source! The Lungau might have been a natural paradise, but spiritually it was a desert.

So, when we started looking at parts of the UK, we always searched the churches and fellowships in the area, and Wales in comparison to the UK seemed full of ones to explore. When we looked at Mountain ash, there seemed to be churches all over the place. It wasn’t until we got here, that we found google was listing empty buildings and many that had been demolished, even two in Cfenpennar. But lockdown had us searching online services and we soon picked up that in Rhonda Cynon Taff, our area, there were many free churches and we would surely find an alive fellowship.

We didn’t have a car to start, and so decided to go to those in walking distance, and so ended up at the Baptist church in the town. We walked into the warmth of a living fellowship, small in numbers, and an older congregation, but so full of the spirit, we knew that we didn’t need to go any further, we had found our new home!

There was a new pastor, and we met him and his wife and found fellow hearts for the area and bringing people to the Lord. It’s been such an utter relief to be home! Over the past months things are moving on and we’re so thrilled to be part of this, it was something we came home for. They started by blessing the fellowship that was already there, with love and Christmas celebrations, what a beautiful thing to do. We started a children’s club, which had a slow start, and last week we had a prayer breakfast with other churches which rocked my spiritual socks. All the other fellowships are of the same heart for the area, and out of this are coming a walk of witness on Good Friday, evening services, Mothers’ day teas, all sorts of wonderful things. I’m just leaping about with excitement! Only downside, was that while it was brilliant to sing songs we sang in Lymington Baptist church all those years ago, there are some great new ones…


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Free this weekend!

These frank memoirs follow what should have been a privileged childhood, pony mania, a badly behaved teenage, a year out on a farm in Switzerland, working as a zookeeper, running a smallholding, marriage, and family. Yet, it wasn’t until a traumatic eviction that I found faith, my way back to horses and a new beginning.


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Special Offer!

The first book of my Memoirs is reduced! Click on the link for the special price of 99c, and a bit less on the UK site. This is because the new book, ‘Finding’, will be out on May 1st!

Brought up by a warring Mother and Grandmother, Anna Rashbrook had to make choices that no child should have to.

In this first memoir, she begins the quest to understand the threads of faith, horses, and love, which weave and intertwine throughout her life.

Years of diarying help Anna in this frank and honest chronicle of her childhood and teenage, as she explores the scars and the dysfunction that was all around her. Not to forget pony mania, the Tremeloes, David Bowie, and some terrible teenage behaviour!

Anna travels to Switzerland to work on a farm in Switzerland for a year before college and finds her first true love, but will it all work out?


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Time to celebrate!

My 60th birthday today, and to celebrate, here is the new version of my first book, Tom. Newly edited, new cover but still a great read!


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Kickstart!

Our little house group asked for a kickstart, and this is what we got! We all have an instinctive knowledge of God, but it is at our peril that we ignore him when we opt in or out of belief.Bevere uses an allegory to show just what will happen to us, not only when we die, but on the judgement day. Scary and a real wake up call. It’s there in the Bible, but we all pass it by with complacency.As Christians, believing in Jesus, yes, we do get to heaven, but there is a life accounting to be made. I’m sure that I’m not just loving God for the rewards that Bevere goes on about. After all, you don’t love someone for them to thank you. For me, it’s the being with him. But then again, if something I’ve written or said brings a person to know Jesus, I’d like to know, that would be a reward for me.My first reaction was to yell, help to God, is this true? I’m sorry if I’ve goofed, let‘s start again, I repent. I thought I was in your will. Out walking I began praying in tongues and at work listening to the Bible on the phone, it took a while to find a UK voice! Not that it would make God love me anymore, but to let his word and spirit wash over me and clean and heal me. Was I still his beloved Anna? When I was a new Christian I heard this said behind me and jumped out of my skin!Then I began to consider the peace I had found writing and claimed that I felt this IS his will. He had given me the plots for the books in dreams, and I feel such a peace and contentment in this life now I’m doing it. Especially when creating, I can’t wait for the new day, however mundane.I began to wonder if my not writing, which I started in 1991, if I had kept on, what sort of writer for him I would now be. I have a talent for wrong decisions. Now I’m right and I’m holding on to it.I was also convicted that I needed to be giving Dave more respect, and to stop moaning and grumbling about him in my head, and when I asked Holy spirit, he stopped me (well mostly) we are so happy at the moment, even if not perfect. Both loners together, at this point of my change, I am so happy with him and he seems so too. I am at times aware of how much I do love him and when I’m engulfed in that, I send that feeling of love on to God as well.The other morning, while walking the dog, I was saying to God how do I witness to people in my situation here at the moment, the answer came autobiography, so that will come next year. Something I’ve avoided for years. I feel as if I’m in the calm, centre eye of the storm in his safety. I am in the right place now!Not that there aren’t lessons. Reading Bevere, about being jealous of other’s successes. I am. I must realise these books are Gods, funded by his money. I need to let God market and concentrate on writing his words. But being a perfectionist, I have to go on and on at the words till I feel they are perfect. But he okayed using the book marketing company, so he will use them. It’s his money.The Bevere book also has the best explanation of dying to self I’ve read. It’s the world set of carnal values that are about you, money, politics, ideology, replacing them with Jesus, so these values just don’t mean anything to you. Only God.Lastly healing. I’ve had my diverticulitis, my unbelief due to the symptoms taking over. I believe in speaking to my mountain as I am a born again Christian and believe the power of the risen Christ is in me. So now I say, in the carnal, symptoms you are toast, you are being treated by carnal medicine, and you are healed supernaturally. Illness, you’re pants. As you see or imagine yourself well, that builds hope, increases faith and enables the healing. A recent bug, I said you have a day symptoms, then you are gone, and the next morning they were! My unbelief is shrinking and my faith building, but I have a long way to go.