At first the rain was a welcome thing - seeing as we had very little of it last summer. Obviously we have to take care of the pasture if we want to graze our horses successfully over the summer, so a little rain is needed. But this is ridiculous. It has rained here every day for what seems like forever. Our fields are like quagmires, the horses are knee deep in sloppy gloopy disgusting mud. The grass is like marshland and the river is threatening to break its banks and flood the fields. Phoebe hates the mud and starts to panic if she feels her legs getting stuck (wouldn't you?), and I have just woken up to hear the rain falling once again. I feel a bit like Noah. I know that I probably do more than most to contribute to global warming, and I don't really know if that's to blame (being a bit dim and not really understanding how all that stuff works), but I am really really getting fed up of it now. Yes, Really! I've just looked at the BBC website for the weather report and it's going to continue raining for most of the rest of this week. I think I want to move to Spain.
On Monday (26th Feb) it'll be my brother Russell's birthday. Today I should have posted his card - but I have forgotten, and now if I post it tomorrow it won't reach him until Tuesday. I feel really bad because normally I'm very good at remembering birthdays and the such like. So because he won't get his card now until Tuesday I thought I'd wish him a happy birthday here..
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Russell, Happy birthday to you xxxxxxx
In case you were wondering how old he is - the number is actually too big to write.
Wednesday morning 8.05am. Esher...just going past Sandown Race Course. The road narrows from two lanes into one. Much jostling of cars and near road rage incidents. Normally I am very polite. Note that I say normally. Stupid woman in an Astra trying to cut in. "Get in the correct lane" I am thinking..."just like I do and most other people do. WAIT YOUR TURN".
Anyway - battle of wills and nerve between Range Rover lady driver and Vauxhall Astra lady driver...who do you think won? I gave her the finger and I got to Kingston first....yaaaaay!!! Mind you , she did chase me all the way to the car park...!
Today Dan and Emma (her instructor) and Bugsy went to the other side of Guildford to train on a cross country course. I went to the other side of Guildford for a kip in the car. They took off across the field and through the woods, Dan and Bugsy galloping and leaping over log jumps, water jumps and coffin jumps... Emma in hot pursuit on foot, and I, meanwhile, ate my tuna baguette, drank some coffee, then reclined the heated seat and slept for two hours. No wonder I keep so fit!
This week has been a bit mad. Our lovely office manager - Maria - is expecting a baby, and it's due in the middle of summer. This week 2 of our reception staff were off ill and she was running around far too much for a lady in her condition. Our HR manager, a lovely lass called Trish, asked me if I could help out. I duly stepped into the breach and did 3 days answering the phones!!!! (it took me one and a half days to master the switchboard..yikes!). I did one late night - when I didn't finish work until 6pm, and then my normal 'at home' day on Friday was surrendered also. Normally I finish work at 3.30 and work from home Tuesdays and Fridays.
Anyway - apparently I did such a good job that they've asked me to cover Maria's job when she goes on her 8 weeks maternity leave in July and August. That'll be 8 solid weeks of 5 days until 5.30pm. I think I will spontaneously self-combust.
I know that many of you reading this will be thinking 'idle bugger' she only works part time...and it's true, but when I add up all the hours I've worked in my life since I was 16..(.and as Christian will tell you if you ask him, I've had many weird and wonderful jobs - including being a rat catcher for Rentokil, and a 4 month stint as a milkman) it certainly adds up to more than 39 x 49 x 48 (that's hrs x years x weeks)..so seeing as I've already done all the hours for a full life of full time working, now is the time to start taking things easier. Also, if I do more than about 30 hours per week I get seriously over tired and start snapping at everybody - Dan will tell you that today has been a 'snappy' day!!!
Anyway, I'll let you know in the summer how I get on. I think I'll get the sack by about the middle of the second week.
I've just had an e mail from my cousin Stephen in Canada. Actually to be precise - he's not my cousin, he's my Mum's cousin, which technically makes him my second cousin (or is it 1st cousin, once removed?) Anyway, our big family (or La Famiglia as we like to be known) has a strong italian heritage of which we are very proud. We're related to the Massarella's of Ice Cream and Show jumping fame (only by marriage - but it still counts - for a lot!) and our roots are based in the Island of Ischia in the bay of Naples (next door to Capri).
Anyway - Stephen is coming to the UK to run in the London Marathon on the 22nd April. personally I think he must be barking - but each to their own. He's invited me to the finishing line at Buckingham Palace to watch him complete the race - and no doubt get wrapped in a big piece of baco-foil (what's that about?) before being carted off on a stretcher for oxygen. He has specifically requested that none of us shout encouraging words from the sidelines such as "come on.... you know you can do it..... only a couple more miles" because apparently this makes him angry!!! Especially when it is shouted out by people who have never even run for a bus!!!
My Mum, and her sister, and their cousin, and my great Aunt (told you it was a big family!) will be there, and then after the race we'll be going out for something to eat and no doubt a few drinks!!!
Can't wait!!! I wonder if the Queen will be watching from her bedroom window?
I know that you know all about our horses (probably because I'm always going on about them) but we also have a cat. We started with 3 kittens last year which were bought for Dan's brother's birthday. However we took them to the vet to be 'done' and shortly after that 2 of them left home. We searched and searched for them but they never showed up again. Now we just have one!!! Her name is Fifi and she's a killer cat. She brings in mice and voles constantly and we have lots of squeaking from behind radiators and sofas, I have to rescue them and put them back outside. Sometimes I'm too late and come home to find dead small rodents on the floor (aaaaaah). She has actually killed and de-capitated a full grown pidgeon which was twice her size!! The only person in the house who can cope with these dead creatures with all their entrails hanging out is me - so, upon discovery.... I hear screaming and have to run, armed with a big roll of "Bounty" kitchen roll to collect the carcass..Lovely.
There is another side to Fifi, and that's the cuddly side. Every evening after her Whiskas and Iams biscuits she likes to snuggle up on the sofa and have a kip. However - as you can see from the picture - she loves her comfort and won't settle until she's wrapped in my luxury super-soft towelling Per Una dressing gown!!!!
Today Dan and Bugsy were competing at a show jumping competition at Merrist Wood in Guildford. It was the very first time ever I had towed the trailer with Bugsy on board. It was really strange as I could feel him stamping around in the back of the trailer. I only drove slowly, and I was so busy concentrating on my driving that I went home the wrong way - ie via West Byfleet. So if you were one of the 20 plus drivers stuck behind a horse trailer in West Byfleet at 1pm this afternoon, I apologise, and thank you for your patience!!!
How exciting to wake up and see the snow today. The horses were a bit nonplussed and confused. Dan's Dad had to leave his car on the main road and I had to go and collect him in the Range Rover, but by tea-time the worst of it had gone. According to the news London ground to halt (southern softies can't cope with a few inches of snow...pah)
Dan took Bugsy for a hack in the field and he wouldn't settle down as it was all too exciting!!! And the equine dentist managed to brave the blizzards to arrive at the yard to rasp their teeth. Phoebe backed into her automatic waterer and broke it - she also broke the valve and there was a bit of a flood until we worked out how to switch the water supply off (oops).
We had Pizza for tea out of the freezer as a trip to the supermarket was considered too hazardous. What made me laugh the most was that half the schools in Surrey and Kent were closed for the day!!! They never closed school in my day because of a few inches of snow. It was all the more exciting because you knew there'd be mass snowball fights at breaktime, and we'd spend many happy hours sliding on the ice - no health and safety legislation in the 70's!!! Our class would have a couple of broken arms, everybody would sign the pots, and there was no such thing as negligence litigation!!! On tonight's news report there were clips of children sledging and they were wearing HELMETS!!!!!
Dan took her driving test for the 2nd time on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately she failed again. This time for driving too slowly (!) She was really disappointed and frustrated. I keep telling her that nobody keeps on failing it forever (apart from Maureen - and even she passed it eventually). She's booked it again for 2nd March.
Whilst she was on her test I went to Tesco and purchased 2 congratulations cards (one each from her Dad and me) and one 'sorry you didn't pass' card. The congratulations cards are written and waiting for 2nd March!!! The other card was opened, read, and quickly consigned to the waste bin.
There is a new advert on the TV and I have seen it twice so far. It's for"Kellogg's nutrigrain bars" and features some horses chatting in a stable. Obviously it appeals to me because of my horsey life-style - but it really makes me laugh, especially when the horse asks "anyone for aqua minerale?"