Thursday, 27 November 2014


"Will you stop it!" I scream up the stairs, "Everyday I have to tell you to stop fighting and every single day you ignore me, just leave each other alone, go in separate rooms, just don't look at each other, for goodness sake, stop winding each other up!"

They continue to hiss at each other and even start caterwauling loudly, I physically pull them apart and they slink to their own private spaces and start to lick their virtual wounds.

Sisters, same the world over.

Lupin and Cleo, my not-so-little cats, will make huge efforts never to be near each other except at dinner. They sleep at other ends of the cushion in front of the fire, if they accidentally touch each other, a hiss or a whack ensues. Sometimes they touch noses and then fight, just one bop on the head and walk in different directions - it is amusing, but I wonder why they hate each other so much?

Suffering closeness for a bit of tuna-mayo

Friday, 21 November 2014


We are not talking about the 90's favourite perfume here.

I feel like I am running out of time to get as good as I can. My body creaks with stiffness as I crawl out of bed in the cold November mornings - and after getting the sandwiches made, cats fed and litter tray cleaned, spellings practised, numerous naggings to get everyone out of the door with clean teeth and straight ties - I finally drive to the yard, where a furry head and a flurry of nostrils greet me over the stable door.

I'm not really too sure what drives this passion and why it matters so much that I ride well? Why do I have an insatiable appetite to learn more? Why am I not content with what I know and how I ride?

It feels like I don't have much time left to improve, I'm not eighteen and I don't bounce when I fall off. I've created bad habits in the thirty years I've been riding and they are really hard to break, I'm not flexible and sometimes I'm a little bit scared.

But I try and try again and if someone video's me riding, it may look like I am not trying at all. But I am, with all my heart, all my passion, all my longing just to get those 2 seconds again when I feel in perfect unison with the horse. I would like to learn how to do that more.

I can learn to crochet when I'm ninety.

A lesson this week that had me yearning for more - my 2 seconds of harmony 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


The leaflet was advertising a school jumble sale, asking people to donate items and clear out their unwanted goods - just in time for Christmas. Get rid of stuff to make more room for more stuff. When we were at the dump last weekend taking garden waste and clearing out the rubbish from our shed, I was genuinely shocked at what people were throwing away. Mountains of stuff being dumped. Plastic crap being chucked only to be replaced by more plastic crap at Christmas.

Doesn't make sense. We know it can't be like this forever. I'm going to think about Christmas even harder this year to buy ethically, environmentally, home-made and recycled where possible.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Life story

On Friday after school, P's tooth was ridiculously wobbly, she had been playing with it all day no doubt and now it was hanging out her mouth comically. Pull it out I told her, go on, yank it. So she did, and when it still didn't come out she gave a it a double twist and a great big tug - out the tooth finally came, along with great spurts of dark red blood. I guess it wasn't quite ready. We giggled at P's bravery while A squirmed and squealed in the other room, not daring to look at either the tooth that had come out or the bloody gap.

I try not to put our children into pigeon-holes but if I had to describe them in three words it might go something like this:

A - the kind and sensitive, daydreamer
P - the wilful, competitive, brave one

Anyhow, the story goes that we were all cuddled up to watch the new David Attenborough series, Life Story, on iPlayer. If everything has been done, all the washing, feeding, cleaning and preparing for school the next day I like to sit and watch a programme with the girls. We choose something with animals in normally so this series was very fitting. And for those of you that have already seen it, you can imagine that my cosy snuggle-up session ended in chaos. In wailing. In screaming. It was a disaster.

The gorgeous fluffy Barnacle Geese chicks balanced precariously in their 400 foot high nest, only 2 days old and needing some food they had to get to the bottom where the vegetation grew. Being born so high up gave them a chance of survival, away from the nasty mean foxes down below, it was like a fairy-tale about to go very, very wrong. The Mother and Father goose flew off the cliff edge and encouraged their babies to jump out of their nest, unable to fly they squeaked and crashed violenlty into the cliff face, their little furry bodies tumbling and whacking against the hard rock as they journeyed to the bottom. Three out of the five made it at which point we had to turn it off.

P, the brave one, was heaving, shaking and screaming at the screen.

"Why doesnt the Daddy just go and get food for the chicks and bring it back to the nest.......sob sob sob....or, or, or they could've flown down on the Mummy's wings!"

She was utterly distraught, I felt a bit sad as well and hugged her little, upset body.

"It's only a chick, for goodness sake," said A the sensitive one, blowing all my pigeon-holing right out the window.

Friday, 7 November 2014


It was a rainy morning and no one was around so I spent my time taking selfies of me and Fletch. Fletch being the great big ginger horse I have the privilege to ride and love. He was a bit shy at first, and then persuaded by polo's (Fletch will do anything for a polo) he got into the swing of the selfie. It's pretty hard to get us both in you know, I need one of those long stick things tourists have to take the professional selfie - not as funny though!



Isn't he the lushest horse you ever saw?

Monday, 3 November 2014

'Alternativo' holiday pics

Barcelona is a great city, really one of the best. But it wasn't the Sagrada Familia or the Gaudi architecture that made it such a fantastic place, in fact we didn't even see those sights - but the city beach, the large open spaces made for roller-blading, the melting pot of cultures, the languages, the plazas at dusk and the constant smell of cigarette smoke to remind you were in Spain, sorry, Catalonia. We meandered and wandered, avoiding The Ramblas, the churches and we never set foot in a gallery or a museum. Heathens to all thing cultural, we had a blast.

No hotels for us - we stayed on a boat in Porto Olimpico marina

Blimey - nobody says it quite how it is, like the Spanish - sorry, the Catalans

Balconies of films and dreams - beats a church any day

Minding the tourists and dog poo - there are a lot of both in Barcelona

Morning toe-dip, the beach is the city's biggest draw

Proper scary cable car down the mountain - crossed all the major sights off from up there - job done

Pimientos de padron - the russian roulette of tapas 

Galley cooking

Scooting around the plazas 

Choose your favourite font - hours of fun