31st July - Hay Alert (take II)
We received a call to say that the next (& last) two hay fields will be cut today & that they expect to start baling on Sunday pm - depending on the weather.
We will not know for sure until Sunday morning, but if you want to help please get in touch. It is likely that we will be collecting 300-400 from Sunday pm.
I am off work on Monday (Martin) so if anyone has time during the day - that would be ideal
Each bale collected saves the Sanctuary around £2 - so this is a really great way to help !
28th July - Hay Team Day 3!
149 bales collected ! - see the Hay Team page for details
27th July - Hay Team Day 2 !
99 bales were collected in tonight ...& not a red balloon in sight anywhere - see the Hay Team page for more details
26th July - Hay Team Update
The call came to get the Hay on Saturday (25th) it was being bailed on Sunday & would be ready to collect from 3 !
Three helpers came along - all the way from West London too ! Magda, Klemens & Ana - Magda's mum ! Magda, Klemens & Martin collected 200 today & we stacked them inside the stable block whilst Ana stayed at base camp & made a massive in-road on the crate cleaning project ! - see the various project pages for more details & pictures
23rd July - Hay Team
As you may have read below, one of the projects likely to kick off at any time is the Hay Team ! Tonight the farmer who makes the hay has called to say he expects the first bales will be ready on Monday ! - so if you are able to join the Hay Team we would very much like to hear from you.
It is a case that many hands make light work !
14th July - Sheep Shearing
We were able to borrow a generator in order to get the sheep sheared across the road. This is a big job, but all 18 living in that field are done now - here is a video of them. It took poor Fiona 3 hours to rake up all the wool you will see in the video !
7th July - New Projects Page
We have set up a new series of pages that detail the current list of projects that we need help with - both in terms of manpower as well as financial - please have a look HERE
6th July - Babe on the Run
I went to fetch a bag of Dog food from the fed store at lunchtime today & heard some commotion from down the stables - on investigation, one of the Pig families had pushed their door off its hinges and were having a ball down the stables. All the horses were already turned out, but Tzars stable door was open & one of the small piglets had gone in there to investigate. Unfortunately at the back of Tzars stable, the breeze blocks have been kicked loose & there is a hole that the cats use to come & go. Babe, the small piglet saw me & decided that it would be funny to head out the hole!
The hole led to a foot wide corridor between the back of the stableblock and next doors prize garden! I ran to look out of Tzars window to see that Babe had found a fox hole in the wire fencing & was heading off to explore the gardens!
Martin was across the road sheering the sheep & I ran over there to get his help. A quick look round the garden resulted in zero sightings, so Martin went to the house to "explain". As it happened, Bernie was in her garden & Martin explained that there may be an unwelcome intruder about ! Bernie helped Martin look & spotted Babe who was running up towards their house - Martin takes up the story..
I chased Babe to the front garden, & he made a bid for the fencing in the top corner - the road was the other side of the fence & just as I got to him, he pushed through the fence, but headed left into Bernie's neighbors garden. I was unable to follow, so ran back home & then down the road to the 2nd house along. Two little girls were cleaning their dads car & I explained that there may be a piglet heading their way! With much excitement they fetched their Dad, Rick & I explained the position.
This garden is very large & we scouted round & enlisted the help of Chris another nearby neighbor. Unfortunately we drew a blank & I was setting off to head further up the road when one of the little girls shrieked that she had seen him in the undergrowth !
We all closed in & Babe was hiding beneath some low hanging fruit trees. He was cornered an all sides but then tried to go back into Bernie's garden. As he plunged at the wire I made a dive & managed to grab his back leg - the squeals probably broke a few nearby windows but I wasn't about to let go !
Babe actually soon went quiet & I set about retuning home - Colin & Bernie let me climb back through their garden to get home which I was most grateful for as it cut several 100 yards off the road way home & despite being small, Babe is not that light !
Safely back with Mum in his stable we set about clearing up the devastation caused by the Pig gang. In their travels they had also smashed down Edward Pigs door & he was in Charity's stable (she was out) having a snooze.
Clearly we are very grateful to all who helped with the capture of Babe & we are sorry for any inconvenience caused.
This episode does highlight two important projects which we are desperate to advance but are not in a position to do so at present. Firstly, the two remaining Loch Lomond families need to be moved out into a paddock across the road. They are going to move in with Percy Pig and CT who live together in a very large area - however at present, the fencing to Percy's field is not adequate for these smaller Pigs & we need to sort that out.
Secondly, the reason they pushed their door open in the first place is because many of the doors are well past their best & urgent repair work is required - in many cases new hanging posts will be required & there is probably a few thousand pounds worth of general building work needed to get all the dodgy doors fixed to a safe & usable standard. In the meantime we have had to put sheep hurdles inside the stable doors & fasten them in place. This means the pigs cannot push the doors open, but also means that we have to climb in & out to get to them - this is not ideal with buckets of water as I am sure you can imagine.
There are actually quite a few projects we now need help with so I have set up a new projects page HERE where you can read about them & either volunteer your physical help - where appropriate or make specific donations to help with a particular project.
25th June - Poppy II
About a week ago we took in an epileptic staffie called Poppy. She is quite insecure and was facing being put to sleep - like so many of her type (Staffies). She has made friends with Tessy and sleeps curled up with her. I will post her picture as soon as I get a chance.
Blackie Cat (from below) continues to improve, although his leg is still not 100% - will be a few weeks yet I think.
11th June - a wonderful surprise
Today we received a visit from Dean Blackstock - one of the Doctors from the Spinal Health Clinic in Brentwood - who was delivering a donation of £180 raised from a Raffle held at the Clinic's recent Summer Party. The Spinal Health Clinic are Chiropractors dealing with, amongst other things, diet, nutrition, back and neck pain. Their website is HERE so if you do have problems on any of the related issues, check it out - they do come highly recommended from a number of my supporters as, and I quote, small 'miracle workers'!
We are very grateful for the donation and would like to thank all the Clinic staff for organising the Raffle and deciding to support the Sanctuary with the proceeds, and everyone who attended the party helping raise this super donation.
9th June - Blackie Cat pics
From the entry for 5th June below, as promised here are some pictures of Blackie's poorly leg ! A big thank you to those who have got in touch to help with the cost of his vets bills. Thank you very much. Pics HERE
7th June - Sheep Shearing
The Sheep Shearing season is on us again !
Just a plea to ask whether anyone has a portable petrol or diesel generator that will produce more than 300 watts & has a plug socket? Please let us know if you can help - thank you
5th June - Blackie Cat at the Vet
Blackie Cat was a feral who has tamed up and lives outside with the majority of the Cats. Yesterday I thought he had been run over as one of his hind legs was lifted so high as to be almost on his back - looked like it had been dislocated. He was walking on the other 3 legs and was easy to catch and get to House & Jackson Vets. Following an examination it turned out that it was not broken or dislocated but he had cut himself and the wound had become infected causing the leg to swell and be held in a very strange way. The Vet has administered a long lasting antibiotic & expects Blackie to make a full recovery.
If you are able to help us with the £51 vets bill for this we would be very grateful as it is costs like this, on top of the feed bills that we really struggle to find. Thank you from Blackie - a pic will be posted soon.
3rd June - BBC
The Animals Count visit to the Sanctuary was featured on the BBC website - HERE A short video of the animals is also streaming on the main Animals Count website HERE
2nd June - Animals Count
Today, the Eastern region candidates for the political party "Animals Count" Jasmijn De Boo and Richard Deboo were joined by the Actor Nicholas Ball (amongst other things 'Hazel' in the 70's & currently in Eastenders!) on a trip to Tower Hill Stables to meet Fiona and the gang and to take some publicity shots as part of their campaign for the June 4th Elections.
The shots will soon feature on the Animal Count website HERE, but here are a few pics we took in the meantime!
23rd May - Looby Lou
Clearly having 36 dogs living in the house as well as all the animals outside is a mammoth task, however like so many staffies. Looby Lou was facing the needle, so we said we would take her - Her page is here & she would very much like you to sponsor her !
2nd May - Wish list updated !
26th London Marathon
Fiona finished the race 32nd place (4th in age cat) in 2 hours & 58 minutes - a great result, although not the time she would have run if her knee hadn't of hurt so much. As 10 miles she said the pain was so bad that she was almost in tears but then saw a sign that some vegans had put up willing her on & thanking her for what she does for the animals & she pushed on.
Now, don't misurderstand this, a sub 3 hour time is a very good MALE club runners dream time & for a FEMALE it is a fabulous achievement and we are delighted with the result. However Fiona's knee has taken a pounding & she had to see a doctor after the race as it had puffed up considerably. It is actually unbelievable that anyone with a knee replacement is running at all at this level & distance, but to do a sub 3 hour time with one is utterly incredible.
The other "issue" was the women's start. Usually there are 150-200 elite women who have qualified for the elite start by completing a previous race in under 3 hours 15 minutes & in all the previous London Marathon you will have seen a this large number of women athletes all start off 45 mins ahead of the men.
However this year they only let 18 of the top international runners form the elite womens start & all the rest had to start behind the men with the masses in the main race. As expected this cause quite a few issues & there was no way Fiona was going to put in a PB effort from that kind of start. Had she of run harder, she would have probably injured herself badly & we have to think about the animals here as I only have so much holiday from work & Fiona has to do the work of 5 men (that's 5 Big men) alone.
We "understand" & this may not be true, that the reason they did this to the womens race was because last time, the wheel chair racers complained that there were too many women runners in their way - they let the wheel chair racers off between the elite women & the main race. So by only letting 18 of the very fastest women off first, there will only be a few women to get round (for the faster racers) rather than 200 odd. We think it would have been fairer to reduce the qualifying time to 3 hours from 3.15 as that way all the very best females would have had a shot at running a decent race on a clear road - but we don't make the rules...
Needless to say the other elite females finding themselves thrown in behind the men & with the masses were unamused & many will be complaining - although for what that achieves....I wonder what the point is.
Still, its good to know that Fiona still beat Vegan hating Gordon Ramsay by over an hour - & given the male:female factor, thats 90 minutes quicker than him. We have at last, & thanks to Amanda Baker at the Vegan Society, managed to get an article published in the media about this Ramsay vs Oakes story - It's on the Russia Today website see link below.
Russia Today, Today, Tomorrow the UK media? ...perhaps not - if only Fiona had bigger ***'s or 15 illigitimate kids from 23 different fathers or was a foul mouthed as Gordon Ramsay - then they might be interested...
A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL WHO SUPPORTED FIONA TODAY we really appreciate it
Love from all the Gang ! XXX
23rd - St Georges Day Update
I have updated one more of the Dogs pages - you can now read Snowy's story on the Dogs Page - (click on her picture) or go straight there at this link here
14th April - Another Cockerel Dumped
The Hens wander wherever they like within the bounds of the Sanctuary, however although the property is ring-fenced, the fox tends to make holes in the fence which some of the hens discover and visit the grassy swathe outside the front of the property. We block up the holes, but new ones appear - so it's an uphill struggle ! However, the Hens do not wander & always return to the stables to roost at night.
As I was taking muck across the road this evening I noticed a large white/golden cockerel on the swathe & initially thought it was the one who had been dumped here on 6th April (see below) however he had no red staining under his chin (see explanation below) so I knew it wasn't him. I decided that perhaps he was one of ours afterall & had followed the hens out through the latest Fox hole. However an hour later & with dusk falling I saw that he was still on the wrong side of the fence & clearly didn't know where to go or what to do. All the Hens had returned through their hole but he had not followed - too big perhaps.
Try as I might, I couldn't get him to go up the drive & several times I thought he may bolt into the road. Eventually though I got him to go up the drive & I had left the gates open to encourage him in.
As he approached the stable block, the other cockerels, including the one from 6th below attacked him, confirming my thoughts that this was not one of ours ! - 30 minutes later I caught him & put him in a chicken shed for the night where he will be safe & from where tomorrow he can explore the sanctuary & meet the others. There will be fights again until the hierarchy is established.
I just wish the person/people who is/are doing this would contact us & at least hand the bird(s) over in a civilised fashion as we just haven't got the time to waste catching birds who do not want to be caught. At the moment the balance between the existing Cockerels & hens is working well - however extra male birds can cause chaos & terrible fighting can occur.
Just dumping birds outside the property hoping they may follow the hens back in is irresponsible & if a bird runs into the road a driver may swerve & cause a crash/death - have you though about that? - This is a terrible corner, there are many car accidents on it as it is without panicking birds running about.
13th April - Jain Festival
Update from Martin - It's my birthday today & as special treat I will be mucking out stables all day long ! It's been a busy weekend as I had to leave Fiona alone here on Friday & Saturday to attend a stall at the Jain Festival in Harrow to hand out leaflets & collect donations for the Sanctuary. Fiona had just started her "tapering" for the Marathon which means she is starting to cut the mileage & training down in order to recover from the last 4 months of grueling training where she has been running between 80 & 100 miles a week. Last week she cut to a mere 60 miles & this week it's 30 & then in the last week before the race she will be only doing light exercise - don't forget though that Fiona's lightest exercise would kill a reasonably fit commando !
Trying to rest here though is an impossibility as the "animal jobs" are enough work for 5 men (that's 5 big men!) alone - so it is important that I try & help as much as I can in the next few weeks in order to give Fiona a fighting chance of getting the recovery she so desperately needs.
Obviously attending a stall for 2 days wasn't a great start, particularly as the weekly shortfeed had to come early due to easter & so arrived on Thursday whilst I was not here to help unload the 10 tons of feed & hay. Plus the local paper came round to take pictures & whilst this is good for publicity, it has to be fitted in around Fiona's training and all the normal animal jobs - which increases the pressure & stress for Fiona.
However I met some lovely people at the Jain Festival and handed out lots of leaflets and collected around £150 - even selling a handful of Yak CD's !! - I must also mention the food which was served - it was absolutely fab! It was also lovely to meet Jean who I shared the stall with. Jean was collecting for Farm Animal Rescue in Warwickshire whom she has supported for many years. If you are not familiar with Jain's - please check out this link Some sad news is that Bruce passed away on Thursday night. Bruce has lived here for around 18 months. He had been initially found wandering the streets in Islington and once rescued had been passed from pillar to post as he was incontinent. Finally we were asked to take him & he lived happily with Simon's gang. Despite his years, he even used to go on the Dog monthly walks which he enjoyed very much. We will miss him very much. Fiona has raised over £350 for the Sanctuary for the Marathon & if you want to support her please go here !
6th April - Marathon Sponsorship
Many thanks to Cliff at Fern Tor the Vegan B & B for featuring me on his page here. Also thank you to Susie at Ethical Singles likewise here and to Brian at Vegan London here I am trying to raise as much publicity as possible to try & get some sponsorship for the Sanctuary on the back of my running - the total raised so far is £126 - see the dedicated page HERE
6th April - New Rooster
As I was feeding the Cats this evening in the front garden - I have to wait till dusk so that all the hens have gone away back to the stables, otherwise they will eat all the cat food! - when my attention was drawn by a very large white/golden/red cockerel perched on a clothes horse a few feet from where I was kneeling down. I knew immediately that he must have been dumped here as:
a) I know all our Cockerels by sight & name & I have never seen this one before
b) This one was "roosting" outside in the open - so clearly had no idea where to go
c) This one was covered in blood - so had been fighting - hence the "red" above
Martin had just got home from work & it was about quarter to 8 pm. We approached the bird, but he was obviously scared & ran away. It was vital to catch the fellow, as otherwise he would roost outside & probably end up being taken by a fox. 30 mins later we successfully cornered him & cleaned up his wounds. Clearly the incumbent Cockerels - who are quite settled as a group - will take a dim view to any newcomer & fight.
We have put him in one of the old hen houses for the night and hopefully he will settle in properly tomorrow.
The gate has been locked all day & so I can only imagine that someone has arrived here & thrown him over the garden gate - nice. What are some people like? No consideration for the existing Cockerels or this poor fellow.
We have called him Herman - don't ask
Herman is available for sponsorship & I will publish his picture soon
5th April - Prima Magazine Article
The May edition of Prima Magazine is now out & features a short article on the Sanctuary on Page 89 ! - Check it out. I will get it scanned & posted here in a few days
1st April - Dumper Truck Arrives !
The 2 ton dumper truck arrived this morning - see the pics here
A big thank you to all who helped us with the costs of getting this piece of equipment for the Sanctuary
I have also added a few more "faces" to the Dogs Page - not all linked to stories yet, but the faces are there - still more to add...
26th March - Update
Dumper truck arrives this weekend ! - Pictures will be posted as soon as we have some. Thanks again to all who helped purchase this piece of equipment !
I have also set up a page about Fiona's Running HERE !
18th March - Still..
..waiting for a delivery date for the Dumper - have chased again today - will advise as soon as we know !
12th March - Update
We should take delivery of the Dumper Truck within a week & when this happens we will take some pictures and get them uploaded to the site.
A new Horse arrived a few months ago & I don't think I have mentioned him yet on this site. He was saved from slaughter in France and brought back to this country. The lady who had him needed to home him so she could rescue others & I agreed to take him. He is called Tzar & is an Ex Police Horse - He is very thin, but slowly putting on weight - see him HERE
Daisy & Baron the two elderly Boxers rescued recently are getting on very well with the others - sadly however Baron is not a well dog. He is drinking excessively which is a sign of possible kidney failure. I had to take him to the vets yesterday & we are waiting the results of blood tests. As soon as we have the results I will let you know.
Martin's CD has now sold over 250 copies to raise funds for the animals & was chosen as the album of the month (Jan) by a Progressive Rock website see HERE You can still order a copy HERE
We will look to start the monthly dog walks up again soon, but probably not before the London Marathon as Fiona is training so very hard - over 90 miles a week with a 20+ mile run on Sundays - so we are flat out with the jobs - as you can imagine. As the marathon is at the end of April & Fiona will not be training (much..) in the week before we may be able to squeeze one in.
Some sad news is that Beanie has gone to sleep - Beanie was an old Spaniel and attended the very first Dog Walk, but ended up taking a ride in a pram for most of the way ! - he really enjoyed it. He will be missed by all his friends.
28th February - Dumper Truck Appeal Update
A big thank you to all who have donated or pledged funds towards this appeal - we have now raised enough to buy the vehicle which is fantastic news ! Thank you to all who have helped make this happen. As soon as the vehicle arrives I will post pictures to this website.
Any donations that are recieved in excess of what is required will go towards the feed bills for December & January, which were over £12,000 & we are about £3,500 short of paying for them. Donations are still very welcome either by cheque or PayPal to email@example.com
Roxy the Bull Terrier arrived yesterday - another old girl facing the needle. Her claws were so overgrown they were digging into her pads on all 4 feet - poor little thing - I will post her picture soon
Thanks again all for your continued support - anyone wishing to join & help with the monthly feed bills is very welcome - just print & fill in this form HERE - no amount is too small & 100% goes towards the feed bills. Thank you.
22nd February - Update
First off, Daisy & Baron are now part of the oldies gang - see the new picture on their page here
Another very busy weekend - all the concrete areas have been cleared out (a regular Sunday task!) and on Saturday the weekly feed delivery arrived - 100 bales of Hay + 50 bales of Haylage + around 100 sacks of feed! - quite a few tons to unload.
Additionally we have had another 8 tons of straw put into the lower school to make a firm base for the horses. The other school was done a few weeks ago & it has worked very well. The weather was great on Saturday, but it will take a few weeks of days like that to dry the ground out - so forget that then !
Fiona had to jump in a ditch whilst out running today as some idiot driver failed to see her - well his phone call was important you see... - & he had the temerity to turn round & come & give her a load of verbal abuse for being on the road. - It's enough to make you think that it is almost pointless trying to achieve anything.
Some good news is that one of our supporters is offering to help us buy a very useful piece of equipment ! It is not something which is on the wish list as it is a bit expensive ! - It's a 2 ton Dumper truck ! This is something that would be very useful for helping us move the muck across the road.
Cleary a new one is ludicrously expensive, but we have located a good 2nd hand one for £1500. Our supporter is offering to "match donations" up to half the cost of the truck. So we need to raise £750 & they will match that & donate another £750.
This is a great chance for us to get hold of a piece of equipment like this but we need to raise the funds within 2 weeks or else it will be sold elsewhere. If you would like to help us with this please please get in touch ! No donation is too small ! This is what they look like
We are struggling with the feed bills at the moment as Dec & Jan were over £12,000 and we just don't know how we are going to find what we owe - we are about £3500 short.
If you are able to help by joining the Sanctuary (from just £1 a month) please do get in touch - all the donations go towards the feed bills & nothing is taken to cover any sort of expenses.
21st February - Baron & Daisy
A few weeks ago Fiona read about the plight of Baron & Daisy - two 12 year old Boxer crosses who were facing being put to sleep as their owner no longer wanted them. Brother & Sister had been together all their lives but now the family had a baby, the Dogs had to go
The photo's being circulated on the Internet showed the two old & venerable dogs & Fiona said that if no alternate home were found, she would take them as it is so hard to find anywhere for "oldies" to go & so often they are put to sleep.
Very kindly two Sanctuary members, Carina & Rob went to fetch the Dogs for Fiona & they arrived today.
Daisy & Baron were perfect in the car and are now having a sleep in a room on their own for tonight. They will be introduced to the other oldies tomorrow. See them HERE
9th February - Marathon Training
Fiona is not only doing the work of 5 men (that's 5 big men) at the sanctuary, but also having to find time to training hard for the London Marathon. Sunday is her "long run" day & on the flooded roads she put in 25 miles this Sunday at a sub 3 hr pace. After 10 miles, she ran past a property whose 3 dogs ran out as she approached. One bit her in the knee drawing blood. With 15 miles still to go, I know what 99.99999999999% of people would have done, but there's "tough", there's "really tough" ...& then there's Fiona.
Needless to say she is in a lot of pain, as it has now stiffened up.
8th February - Charity Auction Update
The Swedish Crystal Glasses that Fiona was selling on eBay were sold for the grand sum
of £230 ! - This will help towards this months feed bill. (see 24th Jan entry for details)
A few weeks ago we were contacted by someone who works for Hozelock who had been researching the Internet and came across the sanctuary website - specifically the wish list where we have asked for Hozelock hose fittings to replace broken and worn ones we have here. They kindly offered to send a few pieces on behalf of the company. Click here to see what they sent !
28th January - New way to donate !
If you would like to donate via PayPal on a REGULAR basis - particularly useful if you are outside the UK, we can support this now via the wonders of modern technology - see HERE
Oh, and yes - 2 more old Dogs are on their way ! - more details soon
27th January - Sanctuary Shop
The commission cheque generated from purchases through the Sanctuary webshop arrived today. See HERE. It was for £39.26 & was generated from 22 people visiting the shop in December & making a purchase from one of the 150 retailers signed up to the scheme.
In case you are not familiar with the shop, basically if you ever shop on-line, please see if the retailer you want (Amazon, Play.com, M & S etc etc) is available via the Sanctuary shop front. All you do is visit the retailers website via the shop page & buy there online as usual - It costs you nothing more than visiting their site direct, but if you go via the Sanctuary shop, the retailer pays the Sanctuary commission ! - Yes it's mad, but if you can't beat em ...
24th January - Charity Auction
It's been another grim weekend in terms of weather & work here at the Sanctuary. The rain has flooded everywhere making the usual grueling tasks even more grueling than usual. Masha the Horse has hurt her leg and needs to be rested in a stable for a few weeks - but we have no free stables, so we have had to improvise. The problem is that just to do the normal caring and feeding is a "full on" all day activity, so to fit anything extra in is a real challenge.
To free up a stable we had to build an aviary for the Peacocks! - There were some old aviary panels down by the chickens area which were no longer being used, but to free them up wasn't easy as they were literally stuck into the ground. Digging them out was very hard work & to show how stuck they were we actually snapped not one, but two pitch forks! - They were the wooden handled type rather than the metal ones!
Having sorted the Peacocks, we got Masha in. She is happily in her stable now resting her leg.
Additionally today we took delivery of 8 giant straw bales for the Pigs over the road to play in - their last straw bales have disappeared now & the fields are so wet, more straw is needed to give them a dry area to play & eat on.
Also today a Cat arrived. Fiona hadn't told me another Cat was coming until this morning. The man arrived at lunchtime & I went to meet him. He handed me the cat in a basket & I asked how old she was. 19 he said. Oh, I replied - Have you had her long? - Yes, since she was a kitten came the reply. I see, I said. What's the problem? - Well, she's old now & I can't look after her anymore he said. I asked if she was used to Cats & Dogs? - Oh no, she's been alone all her life with me. He said it was either bring her here or have her put to sleep.
Not that it makes any difference, but he was a Priest ! I find it incredible that people can decide to put an animal they have had all it's life into an alien environments for, let's be honest, the last few months of its life - at 19 she won't have a lot of time. But hey ho
Finally - an auction on ebay to hopefully raise funds for the animals.
So if you are into fine Swedish Crystal Glass from about 1993 - then check out this listing HERE. There are 5 "Clown Series" champagne glasses hand painted by Ann Nilsson who worked for the Swedish glass company Orrefors in the 90's. We noted that a single pair went last week for over £90.
Fiona is selling these to try & help with the feed costs as we continue to struggle
22nd January - Vladimir update
Vladimir, as mentioned below (14th Dec entry) is doing well and has gained some weight now. Hopefully he will be strong enough to be "seen to" soon and then we can start to integrate him into the blind dog "gang" - I have uploaded some pictures of him here
10th Jan - Ice cold in Asheldham
It's been a grim week - probably the toughest week Fiona has ever known at the Sanctuary. We have had cold snaps before, but we have considerably more larger animals than ever before and of course all the water troughs & pipes supplying them have been frozen all week. This means that Fiona has had to hand carry water from the house to all the horses, Pigs & Cows - including across the road to where about 60 of the animals live.
This is a very hard way to carry on & has added considerable effort to the already ridiculously heavy workload that Fiona has to endure. Plus unfortunately I picked up a shocking cold at work, which obviously I have passed onto Fiona. she always gets hit harder than I do due to her levels of fitness (resting pulse a mere 27 - straight up). Fiona cannot ring in sick or stay in bed, so she has had to knuckle down & get on with it - this is very tough.
Hopefully the end of the freeze is in sight.