Yesterday, after a brief chat with Christian regarding the merits and efficacy of the Nikon D50, I popped myself along to a lovely camera shop in Weybridge and bought one. I also got a 55-200mm additional lens.
I spent a couple of hours reading the instruction book (must be turning into my Dad!) and then started taking pictures!!! You can see the results here. I'm sure my photographic technique will improve with time and practise!!!
Today is Dan's 17th birthday. Obviously I am biased, but she is growing into a very fine young lady. She's smart, funny, kind, gracious, gentle and sweet, and then sometimes feisty and strong and determined. She was born on a Tuesday - which means she is "Full of grace", and she so is!
Her Dad and I have spent the day with her today - we opened pressies, had breakfast, then she had a two hour driving lesson - this went well and there were no accidents (!) Apparently she kept wanting to pat the steering wheel and tell the car "Good boy" (that's what she does with her horse!). She managd to get to second gear and only crunched the gears once!!!
This afternoon she went on a shpping trip with Dad and then tonight we have been out to dinner with Christopher and William (her brothers), and good friends Simone and Kimberley.
We have all had a lovely day - much better than the day I had exactly 17 years ago!!!!
Dan will be 17 next Tuesday. Her provisional driving license has arrived today in the post. I will publish the schedule of her driving lessons, so that we can all stay at home. Yes even those of you who don't live in Surrey...as I'm sure the repercussions will be felt as far north as Sheffield!
Yesterday Dan took Bugsy to Great Bookham Equestrian Centre to compete in a show jumping competition. I don't know where my nerves have gone...? Usually when we go somewhere I am a bag of nerves and in a total state until we're on the way home again, but yesterday I never felt a flicker. I didn't mind parking close to another trailer ( two neddies tied up near each other can sometimes lead to kicking trouble), I didn't mind holding Bugsy while she got changed (who? me? hold him? what if he runs off? or rears up? or eats some grass?), and I was supremely calm while she was warming him up, I even changed the heights of the practise jump without a care in the world.
When she entered the ring to begin the course I was idly chatting to another "Horsey Mum" and din't bat an eye - previously I would have been throwing up and simultaneously filling my pants!
As she jumped the course I was able to watch with both eyes open, and whatsmore I was able to appreciate the technical ability that they both showed!!! Amazing!!
She didn't win unfortunately - but hey, no matter, because I was cool!!!
So, Saturday I managed to hack out my horse, and then this yesterday....has someone switched my medication?
Those of you who have read my blog before will know that I'm a bit of wimp when it comes to certain aspects of horse ownership and horse care. Because of this in-built fear (and a great desire to stay alive) my poor Phoebe hasn't been taken out on a hack since we moved to Surrey...imagine your horse bolting off with you in the middle of a ten acre field....yikes!!!
Anyway I was very brave today and took her for a tootle round the field, with my riding instructor walking alongside just in case.
Anyway I am thrilled to report that good old Phoebe didn't put a hoof wrong and we had a very very pleasant amble around the perimeter of the field. She was a bit puzzled by car radio noises as the hedge came close to the car park at Walton Bridge (very busy in the sun as there's a great ice cream van!), but apart from that not even a hint of naughtiness...bless her cotton socks.
All the girls on the yard cheered when I got back, and I was very proud of myself for conquering my fears and having a nice time. Lovely!! And now as a reward I'm going to have home made chips for tea!!!!
Actually it's the former!!! For a few months now my shoulder and arm have been a bit painful. The discomfort comes and goes, but as it's my right arm, it's been a bit inconvenient. It wasn't getting any better, so yesterday I made an appointment at Weybridge Physiotherapy Centre.
Imagine my surprise to discover...after an hour of exercises, and some very painful prodding (all borne with huge bravery!!!) that the pain is a result of a) bad posture - apparently I have humped shoulders and stick my chin out too far, and b) left over issues with a thoracic vertebrae fracture from 21 years ago!!!
According to the lady who treated me, the nerves coming out of the sides of my spinal column (I didn't even know there were any!) have been trapped intermittently because of tension in the area!!!! This is due to my body's memory and protection , via tension, of the old injury site...fascinating... and there's me thinking it was just due to old age...ha ha!!!
The resulting discussion has taught me that the best thing is to let she who must be obeyed (16 year old daughter) muck out her own horse from now on (Yippee), and I also have to re-learn some basic posture.
She's made me a sort of temporary brace out of bandages and sticking plaster which is a kind of figure of eight which wraps around my shoulders and across my back, and I have to go back for the next 4 weeks for manipulation and massage.
The worst part was sitting on the bed in front of a mirror and seeing my saggy grey bra, and my totally un-toned upper torso in horrific close-up, although the nice lady did say that she had seen much worse (!).
I feel like a new woman (or a new man - that would be if I could find one!)
The good news is that I'm not falling apart after all, and there's hope for a pain free few more years!!!!