He’s done it again. The weeks go by with routine harp lessons, feeding the hens, cat and dogs – everything follows the same pattern with the same sounds. Then you wake up to an unusual sound. This was like what you would imagine a scarp/breakers yard to sound like. Ear splitting sounds of metal banging metal, wood splitting, dogs barking … and a donkey braying. A few seconds of panic and then you realise – its got to be Dodge. Scramble into clothes, get the ‘bribe’ bucket ready (peelings mixed in with pony nuts), shove your feet into wellies, unlock the doors and follow the noise. We had locked Dodge up in his winter stable as the rain was unrelenting the other night. He had smashed the door past the locks and then smashed the outer door open. Then he had decided to go back in and upset all the metal feed bins and ransack the last of the hay, neatly piled. Arghhhhh! He saw me coming and quickly slid the bar on the old metal garden gate with his nose to let himself onto the drive. I shook the bribe bucket enticingly which stopped him in his tracks then I had 2 seconds to get a head start, sprint across the farm yard and open the field gate before he galloped through the garden towards me. I dumped the bucket in the field entrance and dived into the hedge just as Dodge did his emergency stop to get his pony nuts (all four legs outstretched in front skidding on the mud). Chorus the harp gets an outing this week for an international corporate event – the sound of that harp is improving with every week so I am looking forward to it immensely.
Really enjoyed the reception and venue last night – thank you Black Dyke Mills. They weren’t joking – it was cold, but there were settees and comfy chairs where people were snuggled up under blankets with hot water bottles. Lots of wine bottles and picnics at the chairs and tables. Luckily they had a pa system as the space was vast and my expensive microphone decided to break alas … I have another one but it needs a mic stand which at the moment is being used as a ‘gibbet’ to dry a batch of hands for some more puppets we are making! One of our parrots, Bennie, is still very sweetly saying ‘hello’ to the rabbits who now live opposite her! She is absolutely fascinated and spends here time watching them from her low perch. In the summer last year when we moved the parrots outside in the sunshine they were all quite happily chatting away to the hens who came to peck at any seeds thrown from the cages.
Was too busy doing Winter Weddings these past two weeks but the weddings were particularly amazing – every year winter weddings seem to take on a new high. The ‘tech’ teams for the lighting are now arriving in huge artics! The old country house hotels I work in are transformed into wonderlands – either with huge ‘Victorian’ mechanical Christmas toys or ceilings lit up with thousands of tiny lights so that when you look up you think there is no roof and you are literally looking up into Heaven itself. The weather was either wet and grey – in which case it was lovely to be transformed – or it was deep in snow ‘deep and crisp and even’! Back at the farm Dodge the donkey was unimpressed however. He loves to work and we are looking for a small cart for him. Growing up we had a donkey called Flossy and Dad commissioned a proper sleigh to be made one Christmas. Wooden reindeer antlers were strapped onto Flossy’s bridal and there were secret wheels set under the skids out of sight. She pulled this sleigh around the houses where we lived and Father Christmas sat in the sleigh and gave out presents. Occasionally disaster would happen as Flossy loved sherry and mince pies. She was quite a large donkey and if she tried to set off up the garden path she completely forgot about her precious cargo and it was left stuck in the gate hole as she grabbed her booty.
here is a quote about Fiona Katie from another website
Fiona Katie Roberts
Fiona-Katie started her musical career at the age of 11 years old and went on to achieve prize winning performances at both concerts and festivals.
After following her dream to research and resurrect the rare 16th C Italianate tripleharp, Fiona-Katie now designs and makes her own exquisite harps and has a collection of over 26 historical and modern harps, with many period costumes to add extra special ambience to any event.
Fiona-Katie has memorised many hours of music and has a highly impressive repertoire which remains timeless and covers many different cultures.Fiona-Katie continues to deliver time after time giving show stopping, foot tapping performances at both concerts and festivals and has worked alongside top bands whilst on tour in America.