Protection from alcohol, award winners and a sanctuary full of love

Jump or curl?  What do you do as the light streams through the window? Before I throw back the duvet I usually grab my iPad to catch up on overnight social media developments. If I’m not in a rush, I can happily laze around with Facebook for company until I get hungry.  I thought Sunday was going to rain, so waking up to bright sunshine was a lovely surprise and made me wish I was going somewhere interesting.  Lo and behold, one of my Facebook friends had posted an ad for a craft fair being held at an animal sanctuary about ten miles away…

I’d never heard of Hopefield Sanctuary and it’s not well signposted from the main road, but thanks to Facebook, the place was flooded with visitors.  Founded thirty years ago by a couple appalled by the abandonment and abuse of horses in Essex, the sanctuary has steadily grown with tender, loving care and dedication.

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Safe from the madding crowd

Now also home to alpacas (my favourite animals!), donkeys, goats, pigs and various other abandoned creatures, it’s a delightful place to visit.  Sad, to know of the abuse these animals suffered, but joyous to see the environment into which they’ve been brought – and where they thrive.

I loved the craft fair and spent a good deal of this week’s income on jewellery, gifts and a bag of Baileys and white chocolate fudge, which I’m devouring as I type.  I found a beautiful amethyst bracelet, which was weird as I’d been reading up on amethysts just a couple of days ago.

These gorgeous semi-precious purple stones were regarded by the ancient Greeks as protection against the evils of alcohol!  Apparently, wearing an amethyst means someone can merrily get as drunk as you can possibly imagine, but will be kept safe by the gem’s protective powers*.  They also give the wearer a clear mind in business (helpful for me) and in battle (maybe less so!) – as well as increasing spirituality and an openness to whatever the universe has to offer…

photoI mentioned last week that I’d be attending an awards dinner with one of my clients who had been named as a finalist in two categories for a major industry award.  I’m so pleased to report that they walked away with TWO awards – huge congratulations to Nordens!!  I was especially pleased to hear that one of the judges remarked on what outstanding written submissions they had provided – so I guess that was a good day’s work for me!!

I never ask the female-specific question of questions: does my bum look big in this?  But, looking at the award photo, I can see that mine did!!  Or maybe it’s simply time to call an end to all the Baileys and white chocolate fudge…

So this fudge addiction makes me think I should be quoting Queen this week – yes, you know the one!  Won’t you take me home tonight…?

But no.  Hopefield Sanctuary’s patron is X Factor star Leona Lewis, so I feel compelled to end with some lyrics from her syrup-coated voice. (Baileys flavoured syrup?)  “Light up, light up, as if you have a choice, even if you cannot hear my voice… I’ll be right beside you.”  And if I’m not beside you, I’m definitely here: @WeekendWitch.

*Don’t take my word for it… be responsible!!!


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  1. Jason Thorne says:

    Hi Renee,

    Good fun, thanks. I like the sound of the Animal Sanctuary. Makes me think of a part of the World I like the sound of, know a little about, and would like to know more about if I had the chance. Or may I need to MAKE the chance?! 🙂


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