The Valley of the Squinting Windows

Today’s kitchen sink drama is brought to you by The Horses in the Back Field; brightening quarantine since 2020.

My dishwashing view

My dishwashing view


A frolicking weeks-old foal makes a fine backdrop to dishwashing and a distraction from drudgery. Interesting to note how adept equine babies are at wrapping their mammies round their little fetlocks. This one nuzzles his mother’s hind quarters affectionately and I can almost see the fug of oxytocin rising off her as she stands there placidly. It takes me a while to realise he’s only using her to keep the flies off and having a good old scratch. Kids eh!

I've been rumbled. This is what happens when your phone is connected to the bluetooth speakers when you take a photo. A 'shutter click' that resonates round valleys

I’ve been rumbled. Even at full zoom and indoors, with my phone connected to the bluetooth speakers the ‘shutter click’ rings out across the valley like a shot

Closer investigation of the frame reveals that the palomino mare to the rear is actually roadside of the fence and doesn’t belong here at all. She and her field-side buddy are just hanging, head to head. Love through the barricades. Yesterday she was returned to her own field, further up the hill, at least twice, and this morning it’s not long before her owners pitch up to retrieve her again. 

She’ll be back though, soon enough. My father always used to say that once a horse gets into the habit of ‘thieving’ (as they call the livestock’s art of field-escaping in the west of Ireland) it’s impossible to stop them. I’m witnessing the wisdom of his words several times a day right now.  

And sure I never miss any action in the back field as our two dogs always alert me to any goings on. They are pure maddened by any signs that the horses are having more fun than they are and bark disapprovingly should they dare to break into a playful canter or whinny to their mates up the road. When the horses’ owners turn up, WITH AN ACTUAL DOG, this drives our hounds into a frenzy altogether. 

And I, in turn, constantly update my supremely uninterested 10 year-old on fascinating facts like which direction the horses are facing now and why that might be as I find myself, despite the lack of net curtains or near neighbours, whiling away my time in my very own Valley of the Squinting Windows.

P.S: I can’t figure out how to turn off that strange Instagram filter on the photos. It’s certainly not just that the windows are filthy. 

P.P.S. Yes, I have probably been both locked down for too long and watching too much DisneyPlus



  1. Loved your tale from your kitchen window, wish I had that view, keep sane and safe, xx

  2. Mynhardt Potgieter says:

    Good morning, up early to water the vegetable garden here in the extreme south west. I loved your description of the horses and even more so, of your dogs.
    I trust you came through lockdown unscathed and that you will be testing your wings today?

    All the best from here on!

    From Mynhardt in San Julián

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment Mynhardt. We did indeed come through lockdown happily unscathed and eternally grateful to live where we do. Sounds like you are happy and safe too and enjoying your vegetable garden. Not sure about testing my wings though – I think I have become too accustomed to staying at home!! Best wishes y un abrazo

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