Rainy Day Office Companions

Bikes against a wall through a window

Some days are just plain soggy. The rain has been hammering at the window for hours. Walking the dog has been a wet affair. I’ve spent much of the day at my desk with a pot of tea by my side.

Hamster on a desk

I’ve heard that working from home can be lonely, perhaps particularly so when the damp keeps all our doors firmly shut. But, I’m pretty happy hibernating on a day like this. After all, it’s still a hive of activity in this little room..

Hamster on the desk, with pen pots

I’ll admit some of us are busier than others. Mabel is a master in carrying her entire body weight in sunflower seeds across the length of the desk at high speed. Rolo offers a fine repertoire of creaky yawns, enormous sighs and full-body stretches. He’s certainly fitting more yoga into his day than I am.

Dog sleeping on the floor

I’m settling in to the routine of self-employed life, discovering the delights and challenges of being accountable to noone but myself. Early days have involved plenty of big-sketch planning, strong black coffee and fresh air. And why not? I’m pretty sure Mabel won’t bust my ass for taking a long lunch break.

White Winter Dwarf hamster on table in front of laptop

PS – you can catch up on my recent SaLT by the Sea work over here.

Countdown to Blogtacular

Kate Molesworth speaks at Blogtacular 2014

This time last year I had just returned from Blogtacular, brimful of inspiration, plans, new ideas. I was expecting a good time, but left with so much more, thoughts that filtered through different corners of my world and left me feeling lifted.

This year, the conference of blogging kickassery is on 13th June, just one month away. I can’t wait to meet far-flung friends in person and soak up all the colour and sunshine (there’ll be sunshine again this year, right?) I’m hoping to nab a place on the early morning photowalk and catch a word with Benjamin Hole (with his beautiful spot of Purbeck looking across to the Island we’re practically neighbours after all.)

Have you got a ticket? I’m so excited to see everyone there!

Project Dog: One Month with a Rescue

Rusty playing fetch with Rolo in the bluebells

I’m writing this with a dog by my feet. I’m still surprised that I’ve managed to pull it off. I can’t quite believe we found such a lovely dog (completely unbiased opinion) and also convinced someone we’re capable enough to be responsible owners. I shouldn’t really be surprised, given how many dogs are in need of rehoming. Favourable odds on finding a good’un and a rescue centre willing to entrust him to us. Still, I definitely don’t know what the hell I’m doing. It turns out there’s a fair few lessons to learn in training a dog.

Some of it has felt simply perfect from the first moment. Exploring quiet corners of the countryside, or chilling out by the fire. I defy anyone to be strict about ‘no dogs on the couch’ after the utterly peaceful delight of reading a good book with one curled up next to you.

Rolo the dog photo collage

Out and about things feel less certain. Training classes are hilariously bad. A room full of other dogs is way too exciting and only fistfuls of chicken will keep Rolo quiet. So, we’re still seeking out quieter spots to wander. Our beautiful Northwood Park has a hidden green knoll, perfect for a long leash and a frisbee. He’s a fine catcher, mid-jump and all. He just needs to figure out that fetch is more fun if you bring it back.

Rusty playing with Rolo on the beach

We still have a way to go. I’m looking forward to being able to take a calm Rolo down on the seafront. To skate. I think it might be a while…

Two Stars and a Wish

Wood anemone flower

Oh hello Spring! Every day of blustery blue skies feels full of potential as my self-employed time stretches before me. I have visions of days filled with yoga, home-cooked lunches, leisurely walks and afternoon naps. Secretly I know it won’t be nearly so idyllic, but a girl can dream.

I’m excited to have time to blog and share a few more fresh air adventures. I’ve been doodling a redesign and thinking through what I really want to write about. It would be even better if it also fits with what you want to read about!

In Tom’s early teaching days he introduced ‘two stars and a wish’ with his class: two good things, and one thing to improve. I loved the perfect simplicity of it and have used it ever since. I don’t care if it’s intended for six year olds, it still applies to a movie review, a meal out, or a recent read.

Could you give Rusty Rambles the same? What are the two things that keep you reading and what do you wish was different? Blogging is a strange mix of complete isolation and infinite camaraderie. So many of you read and yet I don’t know why! So I’m calling out for a dose of that community spirit. Say hello, tweet or leave a comment. I’d love to know what you think.

Meet Rolo the Rescue Mutt

Rolo the dog's paws

We have been With Mutt in this house for a week now. I’ve been failing to write this post for seven days due to the endlessly delightful distraction that is watching Rolo find his feet in his new home. We’ve revelled in sunny spring days with maximum outdoor time, plenty of snoozes, and more running around in the garden than I’ve done in ten years.

Rolo the dog

I have longed to have a dog for as long as I can remember. The beginning of my new work, based at home, finally made it possible. There’s no way that starting a new business and getting a new dog at the same time is a bad idea, right?! (I like a challenge;) Both work and mutt have been plans long in the making (you’ll spot it in my Alphabet Year list) and I’m so excited they’re both finally happening!

Rusty running with Rolo

I knew we would love having a dog, so have been wilfully ignorant of all the many inconveniences attached. It turns out I don’t mind that sunrise walk round the block and have accepted the hair with the graceful purchase of a lint roller. The need to sweep often is counterbalanced by the fact I never need clear up dropped crumbs again.

Not much is known about his early days before he arrived at the collie rescue centre. We are all having to be gentle and patient with each other. His ears are starting to perk up and he’s trailing us around the house a little less than before. We’re enjoying figuring each other out in these early days. Huge thanks go to Jen from Inky Collective for all the advice and reassurance.

Tom and Rolo in the woods

I think D is my favourite letter of the alphabet year so far.)

Meanwhile, I’m reading these lovely blogs for some dog day delights: Michelle, Freya, and Jenny.