I achieved my equestrian goals of competing in a show jumping competition and a Novice dressage test - doing quite well in fact with lots of fluffy rosettes to show for it. I pushed myself further and into scarier realms than I thought possible. It would be easy to sit on my laurels from now on and enjoy the ride, pardon the terrible pun, but I think I will kick on, reach higher until one of us can do it no longer. Fletch being 21 years old and me pushing 42.
Fletch gave me some incredible highs over 2014, and some scary lows - I guess it is all about the yin and the yang and finding a natural balance with your horse. One thing I know for certain is that my parenting, my work, my home life and relationships all benefit from having this huge ginger beastie in my life. He puts the small stuff into perspective for me, settles my jumbled mind by blowing sweet hay-breath on to my face, he keeps me on my toes and never lets me take anything for granted, he's hard work but the rewards are worth more than gold, he keeps me calm and reflective, he soothes my adrenaline and is the cause of it - thank you Mr Fletcher for 2014, undoubtedly the most successful horsey year of my life.
We travelled far and wide giving ourselves a little more adventure than we thought we could manage. We challenged the children to a couple of weeks in India, a colourful experience in Kerala amongst the elephants and saris with stories of leeches and tactical pukes on the side of the roads, between the rickshaws and mopeds. We all loved India, really loved it. I will go back.
The children grew fast, as they do. A has elongated, has an oval face and still the wide blue eyes. Something has clicked for A in 2014, she dances how the others dance, she can tackle maths homework without a tsunami of a meltdown, she uses better vocabulary, she can do the rising trot, she remembers and loves her travels. Still she is kind. P grows too fast, provocative and scary when let loose in H & M. She delegates, ie gets her sister to do it, she does the least amount of work possible to be on the 'best table', she learnt to ride a bike and swim properly. She was the narrator in the school play doing a sterling job - I can see her on the stage in the future.
Perhaps most significantly we decided to stay in Sussex. Dreams of travelling and home-schooling were laid to rest, an organic small holding in Spain was disregarded and a city-life in Barcelona rejected. We decided to stay on the hamster wheel of life, work hard, have small adventures which fit into the school holidays and decorate the house. It felt good when we came to that conclusion in November.
But now it's January - and I'm not sure that's the best decision I've ever made.