So where's the snow?

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


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Bookaholism

I’ve succumbed to this disease. Fourteen years of living in Austria totally curtailed my book buying. It was ebooks all the time as it was too expensive to buy books or lug them home on the plane. Not to mention all were in the wrong language, I can read German but soooo slowly, it’s no fun.

Now I’m home, we have second hand book shops in Aberdare and Pontypridd. Charity shops everywhere. Not to forget a LIBRARY! FB groups for old pony books that can now send the books to me.

Mostly horse books, old ones from the 30s to the 70s. Monica Edwards. Colonel Dent. But also novel authors, I’ve read for years such as, Nancy Thayer, Rosie Thomas, Miss Read.

But also books on Wales, walking there and its history, especially miming. I’m reading a lot on pit ponies for a new book.

We bought new bookcases, but may need more when I sort all those I’ve bought researching my present novel I’m writing.

It’s wonderful being an addiction! I have piles of to- read books, the eBooks are having a rest. What books do you buy?


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Ghost Golf Course!

A few days ago we had heavy, misty cloud, and as I took Swingle for her afternoon stroll, it was quite eerie. We had the whole course to ourselves, apart from a couple of crows.


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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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Swingle is Seven

A belated happy birthday to our sweet hound, who was faithfully with us throughout all our waiting to get into the house, having to sleep on hard hotel floors. She had nightmares for weeks after her journey to the UK. She was kept in the dark in the van, and was happy to go back in, but after three days, she began to understandably refuse. For the next few weeks, she would wake us in the night, not to go out, but for confirmation we are here and she’s okay.

On her first train journey, she shook and was terrified, but soon got used to it and now loves the attention she gets, she even got a treat from a guard once! She sits and waits patiently on platforms, hops on and off with alacrity.

She just loves her new walks, the village field, the old tip on the hill with its dingles and streams, and the golf course where she runs around like a nutter.

In Cardiff in the park, she learnt all about hunting squirrels, but not that dogs can’t climb trees!

But being Swingle, her accident prone ness has hit again. I wish I had followed up the thought about getting her insured. We were clearing the garden on our terrace, there were holes and roots where woozels and mice had been making nests. Trouble is Dave was cutting with sheers… need I say more?

Her ear was cut in a jag across,and on the other side of the ear too. Blood flew around the kitchen as she shook her head. Could we find a local vet on a Saturday? Only an accident line. A wonderful neighbour who is doing a house up a few doors down, took us nearly all the way to Cardiff to a 24/7 vets’ clinic. One anesthetic later, she came home with about six inches and the collar of shame.

She took it all in her stride and after two days is legging it around the rough on the golf course as if nothing was wrong, except I keep her out of the long grass. She’s now VERY insured after the huge bill. English vets really are onto a nice earner.

She now has beds upstairs to over the street and bark at people like she did in Madling. She’s lost weight with all her galloping and seems to love Wales!


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Christmas Edition

My Memoirs are on sale together as a special edition box set, just over the Christmas period.

Anna Rashbrook used to be a person who would proudly boast, ‘I am what I am.’ It took nearly forty years of the hard knocks of life before she found God, and that much of what she treasured was actually caused by damage.

In these totally frank memoirs, follow Anna through what should have been a privileged childhood, pony mania, a badly behaved teenage, student placement on a farm in Switzerland, working as a zookeeper, running a smallholding, marriage, and family.

Then, through a traumatic eviction, she finds God’s love and begins a new journey. Yet, it is only when her marriage comes under threat that she must come to terms with her past and find healing. Out of this comes a new job, where her passion for horses is reignited.

Has life finished with her, are there more hurdles to overcome, or even another new start on the horizon?


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Swingle has a brilliant day

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Bella and me in the snow

Well, spring is coming and I can lounge around in the garden sun again! While there’s no more snow to roll in, there’s lots of smelly things emerging for perfume and even the odd dead Woozle * to snack on- I’ve even caught and munched a few live ones too.  But yesterday was just a great day.

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Lucy and me

It started with Boss taking me for a quick stroll up the lane, but the Woozles had already gone back to bed even though I poked around in the undergrowth, yet it was a good early morning stretch of the legs. Then she went out and left me with some chews AND a bone to keep me occupied while she was out- she never leaves the TV on for me……

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Me Woozle hunting

Just after she got back,  Lucy, my best Austrian friend popped round to say she was just going for a walk and she’d be around in the afternoon. We quickly ran around the garden to check for any new Woozles and then she was off. Then to my surprise Boss told me to get in the car, and as I can now navigate, it was soon clear we were on the way to Bella’s House – she’s my best English speaking friend – I’m a bi-lingual dog you see! We had a quick turn around the garden and we were then both told to get in the car! So exciting! We sat together and wondered where we were going, it couldn’t be the vets because we go to different ones. We chatted about some good smells we’d had and then we were there. It was the river walk with the fields and stinky stuff – brilliant. We ran and swam – though Bella said it was still a bit cold for her as she has more hair than me. We rolled in some really fresh stuff and sneaked a couple of mouthfuls of yummy stuff while the two Bosses chatted.  I even swam across the Mur when I thought I saw a huge bone on the island but it was plastic! So we romped back, and into the car, and even better, when we got to Bella’s we had another play AND treats!

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Me and a Woozle I caught and killed last year

Sadly, I was soon packed back in the car, and  we went up to the Castle where He works. I found some interesting bits under a bin while waiting, then we went home for lunch, which I assisted with. I was just thinking of a snooze when Lucy came round as promised. We went to her house but couldn’t find any Woozles, so we came back and played here. I was just beginning to feel a bit tired and so was Lucy so she went home.  So I came in and helped Boss writing from the comfort of the spare bed!

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Me Woozling on sofa

Then the day was nearly perfect. I’d just helped them wash their empty yoghurt pots and was trying the hypnosis as usual, when it must have worked as I heard her saying how much exercise I’d had, and blow me down, she gave me a bit of dinner! So after that, in thankfulness, I gave them the honour of me sitting between them on the sofa all evening, I don’t know why they kept on flapping their hands and the tv pages, but what ho! a brilliant day!

  • Woozle, originating in Winnie the Pooh, it has become a family word!
  •  noun:small wriggling creature such as a mouse that lives in the undergrowth, or verb: a dog or child having a lovely wriggle!
  • In the Urban dictionary
    (verb) to fossick purposefully and with enthusiasm, head down tail up