Tuesday, 22 July 2014

School's out

No more lunch boxes.
No more spellings.
No more school trips.
No more homework.
No more uniform.
No more last minutes drop-off's.
No more last minute pick -ups.
No after-school clubs.
No after-school tantrums.
No bickering with friends.
No playground antics - adults included.
No neat hair.
No clean finger nails.
No more times-tables.
No more reading of deathly-dull-boring-yawn-making books.
No P.E.
No more working off sheets of paper.
No sitting cross-legged for hours.
No more assembly.
No prayers.
No rules, OK some rules.
No more maths.
No tests.
......and no more frigging cake sales!

What are you going to do in the holidays girls?

A: "I'm going to grow a dreadlock and take an afternoon nap...yeah a siesta!"

P: "I'm going to build a camp, make a fire, roast marshmallows...ummmmm.. and never go to bed!"

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Eventing début!

I knew I would want to do it all over again once I had finished. The build up was hard, the anticipation sickening and I even wanted to have a little cry at times, I was so nervous.

Saturday was my very first try at eventing, an equestrian sport which tests the horse and rider to the maximum.  A dressage, a show jumping and then a cross country phase. I have tried to question myself why I was so terrified and have come to the conclusion that most of those adrenaline jangling nerves were excitement - I bloody love riding and I especially love going cross country at speed.

So I would like to thank a few people who made this happen.

Thank you firstly to his owners who entrust me with their very special horse. Thank you to D who feeds Fletch and looks after him every day; mucking him out, changing his rugs, cleaning his wounds, turning him out and loving him dearly. Thank you to D, B and K who have been so patient to teach this old lady who really has no idea, especially about dressage.

Thank you to him, who puts up with my smelliness and my passion. And thank you to my kids who are running along beside me encouraging me at every moment of the journey - 'if you think you can do it Mummy, you will do it..." they repeat in unison - at least my teachings are sinking in!

Thank you to my friends who put up with my absentee-ness, knowing I will be up to my knees in horse-poo and trying to work on my flying changes somewhere. Thank you to those who supported me yesterday  - it meant a great deal.

But mostly thank you to Fletch. It wasn't the winning, or the rosettes or even the incredible ride he gave me yesterday. Thank you Mr Fletcher for being the sweetest horse I have known, for still giving so much after twenty years, for still having enthusiasm for a coloured pole or a brush fence. Thank you Fletch for being my guru, teaching me humility and understanding of a horses thinking. Thank you for not always making it easy. 

I hope we have many more rides together - and I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Head lists

I must write a blog post, it's been too long. Probably should write a couple of articles as well. And look at my weekend course notes. I need to write a travel story and get published. I just need more money in general. God, I have to finish the neighbours garden before the weekend. Shit, I'm competing at the weekend, it's going to rain. I have to remember his studs, and my medical arm band. I hope I don't fall off. I really want to win. Or do well. Or just get round in one piece. I'm not sure I know my dressage test, will practice tomorrow. The house is a tip. Detritus everywhere from P's birthday. She has to write her thank-you's and I must pick up the cake tin from school. I should call the Grandparents. Actually I need to call the doctors, I'm going to do that now. Will pick up the prescription on Friday, actually am working Friday and then it's the teachers leaving party. Will pick up prescription next week. I must get the writing finished before the children break up. Gosh, need to buy teachers more presents, will have to be bottles of wine from Londis. P needs new shoes, tough, will have to wait. Need to hoover desperately. And clean the fish out, it laid eggs all over its tank this morning but has eaten them all now, least I know its a girl. I haven't prepared dinner. Picnic tea again, I should get off this computer, the garden really needs watering. Need to pick the tomatoes and dead-head the petunias. The floors need washing, the cat litter changing, the washing putting out. Shit, Im competing at the weekend, I had forgotten for 2 minutes. I need to pack my kit and clean his bridles. I need a gin. Better not, it's only 4.30pm. Wonder if he's coming home tonight, do I need to cook? Fish cakes I think. I am slack at everything, need to buck up my ideas and clear out the attic. And sell things on eBay. Did I put sun cream on the kids? Bugger, A has her maths homework left to do. Jeez. The cat just brought a lizard in. In two parts, it had a yellow belly. Revolting animals. Must flea them, they're overdue. I'm tired, need a coffee but just had a coke. Must be more healthy, am so unhealthy I will die soon if I don't get healthy. Don't be a dramatic old fart, just get healthy. The bathroom floor needs washing and shelves are thick with dust. The orchid is about to die, need to water all house plants. And recycle. I drink too much. Must get healthy. I will start tomorrow. Kids need attention, now. Eeeeek, I'm competing at the weekend and it's going to rain. I can't do it, I can do it, I can't wait, I'm so nervous, I'm so excited. I love riding.

Only 5 more school days until the holidays.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Summer pics

What an amazing summer so far,

Festival days

Twisty chips

Krap Kites


School gardening

Sleepy trekkers

Ginormous dead dragonfly

Loom band craze

Row row row yer boat

Li'l fluffy clouds

Sunday, 29 June 2014

A conversation with Fletch #2

We had words, Fletch and I, last week. He very definitely told me he didn't want to do dressage but would rather fly around a cross country course. It had after all, been a very long time since he had done cross country - but not as long as me. The last time I attacked solid fences at great speed was when I was 18 years old, that's 23 years ago, so I was understandably shitting myself when an opportunity arose to take the Big Ginger Ninja for a schooling session this weekend.

So we are going out again are we? Not much of a retirement is it? I'm no spring chicken woman, that said - neither are you! Better not be poncing around a stressage arena. Oooh, what's that she's putting on my legs, protective boots eh? This looks promising.

I tried very hard not to be nervous and quietly asked Fletch to look after me, I whispered to him that I had polo's, apples and even a mouldy carrot in my bag if he was a good boy. I think he understood as he nosed around my pockets for the mints, I gave his head a fond rub and trusted him that I would be safe. Cross country is probably one of the riskier equestrian activities, but also the most fun. I put on my armour of a back protector, an air jacket, my hat and a good pair of gloves before leaping on in an ungainly manner with all the extra equipment. Fletch stood tall and grew another hand as he looked around him, seeing the cross country fences in the distance.

Yeah, this is more like it. I think we may actually be going over there towards those fun looking jumps. Yes we are! Yes, yes, yes!!! I promise I will behave, see not even one spook. I promise I will be good..yeeeeeehaaaaaaaah - see not even an explode into canter - let's go, c'mon. Let's go, let's go...which one? That fence? That's a tiddler, hang on woman - wooooohoooo ...where next?

I had the most incredible ride that day. Fletch didn't put a foot wrong, he was big, bold and brave - helping me find some inner strength and nerves of steel I didn't know I had. We jumped banks and ditches, we flew a trakener and barrels, we even jumped the huge tyres which on the ground are menacing. Fletch got me out of trouble, he corrected my riding, he was honest and fun - I'm not sure who had the biggest grin on their face when we finished!

That was AWESOME....phew, let's go round again...again, again, again! Awwww, we're going home -boooooo. Well I guess you're getting on a bit and puffing like a good'un up there - you need to get fit like me - see hardly blowing and I did all the work! Now don't get ahead of yourself woman, I treated you today and got you out of some sticky situations. You need to trust me, this is my job so allow me my head a bit more and enjoy the ride. I know I'm fabulous, yeah, I am great, yes I know I'm handsome - you keep telling me, where are those polo's? You what, you want to be Mary King when you grow up? Ha! You've got a lot to learn lady, but good job today all round. If we do that again I may behave myself in the dressage...I said 'may'!