Goodbye, Ozzie. We love you xx

Today we had to say goodbye and let our brave bunny boy go ? We adopted Ozzie when he was 2 1/2, and he lived to 10 years old. He was found wandering the streets with terribly overgrown teeth, skin and bones because he couldn’t eat properly. He had all his front teeth removed and lived happily from thereon in. He shared our house with us, and after his friend Moppy passed away in 2014, he developed a friendship with our semi longhair cat Pudding. He really loved snuggling with Puds when we had a fire on, and enjoyed sunny days running free in the garden. He was feisty and funny and such a big character – he’d been through so much but had so much courage. We were blessed to have such a lovely boy in our lives and will miss him so much.

It’s going to take a while to get used to no bunnies, not seeing and greeting Ozzie when I come in the door, not saying goodbye to him when I leave the house and checking he has everything he needs. I’ll miss him running in circuits around my legs when I get up in the morning, as he waits for his breakfast to be served. I’ll miss seeking out dandelions in the garden for him, and his head nodding upwards, as I give him a cheeky bit of micronised pea as a treat. I’ll miss cutting up his carrots or apple in the evenings and watching in satisfaction as he tucks into his bedtime treat. Miss him lazing in the sunshine or stretched out blissfully in front of the fire in winter. I’ll miss tickling his head and hearing him snore and snooze. I’ll miss coming across him hopping through the kitchen on an exploration. Good God I’ll miss that droopy lower lip.

Rest in peace Ozzie, we love you xxx

Getting ready for Christmas… without presents

Christmas at the Smallest Smallholding

Even though it’s still 10C outside and not a snowflake in sight, we’re getting ready for Christmas. But this year, my side of the family decided that we are going to eschew the traditional gift-giving element. The more I think about it, the more I think it is a great idea.

Although I absolutely love love love giving gifts (and will try to whenever I can), at 32 I feel so utterly jaded by the constant “buy! buy! buy!” demands everywhere I turn, from Hallowe’en until December 24th. It feels like everything is just tuned in to make you part with your cash, and you’re made to feel that your Christmas will never be complete unless you’ve bought this, that and the other. Maybe I was more oblivious, but as a child in the 80s I don’t remember it being this intense. I didn’t feel like Christmas was so only about gluttony, extravagance and spending. Christmas has become a commercially-fuelled holiday, and has been for a long time. So saying a quiet “no” to a little consumerism will allow us to just enjoy some relaxed family time when Christmas Day comes along.

The Smallest Smallholding Christmas 2015 with Ozzy

Of course I am still more than happy to buy gifts for other family and friends, I do enjoy it… especially now that shopping online means I can avoid the crowds! But I am really tuning out from the non-stop commercialism of it all, and have found myself turning to hygge as my inspiration this year. Yesterday Rich brought the Christmas tree in and I got out our decades-old jumble of tree ornaments out – some inherited from my grandmother, some we bought when we got our first tree together in our early twenties – and we slung lots of lights up. Our living room might still be half renovated after I was forced to stop due to pretty severe tennis elbow, but in my mind it’s still cosy and homely. With the fire going and the animals chilling around us, I felt so warm and comfortable. I wish I had at least a month off to myself to just reset, relax and enjoy life a bit more.



Goodbye my beautiful bunny

Moppy passed away suddenly last Friday evening, after a really short illness. I didn’t even see her before she went, and didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.

Maybe it’s for the best, so I can remember her as she was.

Moppy lived with a condition that’s only really being diagnosed and recognised recently. Our vet is writing a paper on the condition and Moppy was one of her first patients to have it. Moppy would suffer with ileus (gut stasis) as a result of her condition up to four times a year. It was hard, but she always pulled through after a week or so to bounce back as good as ever. And we made sure she had a wonderful life. She played in our garden amongst the trees, flowers and vegetables when the weather was good. When it was bad, she had the run of our house downstairs. She was never left in a hutch alone for one day of her 6 and a half years. She was so loved.

That’s what’s helped me come to terms with losing my little ball of fluff. She was a wonderful character and only in the past 6 weeks or so had bonded (after four years) with our bunny boy Ozzy. They would sit together, she would groom him, they were peaceful and content. I do miss seeing them just relaxing with each other, but Ozzy seems to be getting on OK so far. He was a street bunny, rescued by the RSPCA and is tougher than he looks. He still has us around (Rich works from home every day and I am only away one or two days a week), still charges at the cats at every opportunity and when the weather is good, he will still go out and play in the garden (and check out Miffy next door).

I cried so much in the two or three days after Moppy died… just the horrible feeling that she won’t just come hopping round to the corner, or binky around my veg patches again. My animals are my family, you see. It’s easy to be sad about it, but the fact that she was so loved and cared for, and that we gave her the best we could helps me to try and just be thankful that she had a good life, when for her it could have been so different.

We miss you Moppy, my beautiful bunny. Rest in peace x