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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Bought!

After a week of stress, nearly putting in offers for houses that, well really desperation, I got an automated email from an agent. I looked casually at it, as even I was getting house fatigue. The pictures looked familiar, and it slowly began to dawn, this was a house south wales we had loved right back in April, but it was over budget and went quickly. I rang the agents who said the sale had fallen through due to a relationship breakdown. I rang Steph, our daughter who’s buying with us and said we would have to shift if we wanted this one. She had a look and rang the agents to register our interest.

The next day, I was on tenterhooks, and finally gave in and rang her. She had organised a video, and had given them our financial arrangements. The video came in the afternoon and we put an offer in at asking price. Then I heard nothing over the weekend and we guessed that all the viewings we’d heard were arranged had gone ahead. Dave and I were so low. We even began to seriously consider staying on here renting.

On the Monday I rang Steph, who said she had not told us anything to stop me bouncing off the walls. Our offer had been accepted! The owner wanted to get rid of the place, we have no chain and have money in place, and we were the first.

WOOOHOOOOO!

So we now are continually looking at the plan, video and I have the most enormous to do list to get us over there! We thanked God too, for bringing us the house we had so wanted and for healing for the couple who had lost it.


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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!