Virtual Friends?

Part of the reason I started this blog was to keep in touch with family and friends back in Ireland, but a side-effect has been a whole pile of new on-line friends – there’s all the gang at Haynet for starters, there’s a load of Facebook friends, there’s the folk at A Matter of Horse and then there’s the twenty-five people who have taken the time to click the “follow” button here at Some of you keep your thoughts to yourselves, but it’s nice to know that you all enjoy reading of our adventures here in Provençe.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting two “virtual friends” in the last couple of weeks.  First of all there was Sara, from Le Petit Village.  Sara is a weeny bit younger than me (a year or two, y’know) but we have a lot in common – an Irish mother, dogs, rugby, Provence, and Barry’s tea.  Well, of course we hit it off.  Cinny and Cookie took to her straight away, and then we went to visit the Boyz, who were appropriately attired in mud for the occasion.  Sara didn’t seem to mind the mud, or their extreme enthusiasm when being offered apples, so yeah, I think we’ll be meeting again, if only to bemoan the Irish team’s performance…

Máire & Ben

Then there was Máire, whose blog I found when I was researching barefoot horses a year and a half ago.  Well, it’s a small, small world – it turns out that Máire lives literally a stones throw from my mother, so when I was in Ireland last week I called down to see her.  We talked horse… and talked horse… and talked horse… and my poor mother was bored to distraction, I’m sure, but she kept smiling and nodding!  It was so lovely to meet Máire, Ben and Cloud, and of course, the two-legged family members, and I think Máire enjoyed hearing about “how it used to be ” by the lake!


Who will be next to make the transformation from virtual friend to real friend?  It looked like it would be Stella at Cavalier Attitude – there was a plan to meet at Equisud in Montpelier on Sunday, but circumstances have conspired against both of us, so that plan was shelved, but I suspect we might manage to meet up during the summer.  It now looks like the next virtual friend I will meet is Sharon from La Fiaba. The LSH and I have booked in for a three day Transumanza at Easter and we are looking forward to meeting Sharon, Lorenzo and all their four-legged friends.

What’s a Transumanza?  Yeah, I didn’t know what it was either.

I first came across the French word Transhumance last year when I bought a children’s book to try and help myself and the LSH increase our vocabulary. The word was used to specifically refer to the droving of sheep from their summer pasture high in the Alps to their winter grazing in the low-lying valleys, so naturally enough I thought it was only used with reference to sheep.  This year, though, I learned that it means a long-distance drove of sheep, cattle or horses and, within days of figuring that out, I came across the La Fiaba blog post announcing an Easter-time Transhumanza, moving young horses from their winter home to their summer home.  It turns out that we’re only a six hour drive away from La Fiaba, the LSH is very enthusiastic about the whole concept and our dogs are welcome to come too.

So that’s our plan for Easter weekend, what’s anybody else up to?

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