Monday, 28 May 2007

Which biscuit?

Just watching the BBC news and the presenters had a brief chat about which biscuit is best. We have this discussion at the stables all the time. They decided hob-nobs, but I don't agree. They're too bitty for me and you get left with oats and sawdust in your mouth long after the biscuit pleasure has passed. Peter Kay does a hilarious sketch about the 'hob-nob' (dunk me again!). If pushed I would have to say my all time favourite is the lemon puff (haven't seen one for a long time) followed by custard creams and jaffa cakes, and maybe jammy dodgers.

We take it in turns to buy biscuits for the stables. Well, some of us do. As in all things there are those of us who buy them regularly, and those who never buy them. This discrepancy disappears miraculously when it comes to eating them. We all take our fair turn at that!!!

Who's in charge?

I'd really like to know who is in charge of the weather. Last week we had 28 degrees and beautiful sunshine. Today the forecast says 8 degrees and 23mph winds. Whoever is in charge is not doing a great job are they? If they worked for me they would be getting the sack or at least a serious disciplinary. If you paid a monthly subscription for the weather you'd be looking for another service provider, or at least on the 'phone to customer services asking for a reduction in your direct debit. Isn't the weather supposed to follow some kind of pattern or trend, so once it starts to get warm and sunny it's meant to stay that way for a while (give or take the odd day of rain)? It's glorious June in 3 days and we've got early March weather. I've now got to crawl about in the back of the wardrobe and get out my winter warm riding clothes that I had put away!!

It's probably my fault for driving a 4x4.

Update I have just come back from the stables - it's 11.32 am and I had to come home because I couldn't stand the cold a moment longer. As I am now officially a southern softy I simply cannot handle the cold. It's absolutely bloody freezing - I could see my breath in the air. For goodness sake!!!!!

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Billy Goats

The mad ranting woman from the next door stable yard has done a dastardly thing. She has built a pen next to our outdoor menage (fenced area in which we school our horses) in which to keep goats. Goats are very cute, but bleat and leap about a lot and therefore scare the living crap out of horses. Needless to say my 'ride with your mind' lesson didn't go that well yesterday. (I couldn't possibly tell you that Phoebe was a bit naughty and I nearly ended up in tears!). We've all had goat-related near misses this week!!! I can't imagine why she has sited the goat pen next to our outdoor menage and not her own...probably because the parents of the children she teaches would sue her if one of their 'little darlings' were to fall off because of a goat-scare. Anyway Phoebe's goat de-sensitising programme continues tomorrow! I'll be the one wearing the dark brown jodphurs!

Top Tip

When you have 'man-flu' and can't really taste your food, and your appetite leaves you - try eating 3 M&S individual luxury sherry trifles. I feel better already.

Wet and cold

Today it has rained all day and the temperature has dropped to November type cold. My man-flu is getting worse despite having spent twenty quid at Tesco on medicines and kleenex balsam ('spoil-me') tissues. But it's okay because early on Tuesday I'm flying out to Puerto Banus for two days. Dan is there with her Dad at the moment and they phoned me this morning and insisted that I fly out and join them. Well, who am I to argue with that? I have been told that I don't need much luggage as they have all the toiletries, make-up, hairdryers that anyone can ever need, so can I fit two pairs of shorts, two t-shirts, and clean knickers in hand luggage - you bet I can!!!

Emma at the stables has kindly agreed to babysit Phoebe and Bugsy and Jo is coming over to feed Fifi (killer cat).

So even if the rest of England has rain all week, at least I shall get 2 days of sunshine.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Sad

I'm sorry to let you all know that Rachel didn't make it. The vet and I decided that she was probably never going to regain the use of her front legs. The kindest thing was to put her to sleep. So Rachel has now gone to big bunny heaven in the sky. Her last snack were Marks & Spencer best Chanteney carrots.

Not a good start

This morning I have woken up with sore throat (swallowing glass - ouch) and runny nose. The rabbit is going for what I think will be her final visit to the vets - she still can't stand up on her own and spends all her time falling over (after I've set her back on her feet). In addition to that I've just checked the website for the organisation that I've recently sent £100 to for four tickets to see a dressage demonstration for 6th June - only to see that they've changed the date to tomorrow. No phone call, nothing - just a crap one line on their website. If I want a refund I have to have phoned them before the end of business yesterday - I can feel a fight coming on, oh yes and now it's bouncing it down with rain. I've got a feeling that today is going to be one of those days.

Friday, 25 May 2007

She's stood on her own four feet

This morning, for the first time, I've stood Rachel up on her four feet, and she hasn't toppled over!!! I think if she tries to move she probably will fall over - but right now she's happily watching the world from a normal position instead of on her side!!! Progress! So it might not be bad news tomorrow after all.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

The boys are horrid

I was just talking to Christian on MSN (I think he should be working?) and Phil was sending him links to send to me. Christian was asking me how Rachel was doing, and then he sent me this. I think they're horrid.

Back to the Vets

The vet and I are becoming good friends. Rachel is improving - but still not able to use her front legs. We had a bit of a decision to make at the vets this morning. The vet thinks that there is probable nerve damage where the cat would have picked her up at the back of the neck. We decided to give her until saturday morning, and then if she's not better we will do the kindest thing. Come on Rachel.

Well, she's feeling better!

I've just fed and cleaned Rachel. She must be feeling better as she's kicking big time with her strong little back legs, it was difficult to hold her steady. Her front legs are still not right and she can't stand by herself yet. But there's nothing wrong with her mouth. She just bit me...OUCH!!

Bev is a bloody nutcase !

There's this mad woman I know - come to think of it I know a few! When I say she's mad I mean that she's volatile and gets angry very quickly for no real reason. Quite frankly at her age (late 40's) she should know better. She runs the stable yard and riding school next door to our stables. Since we've been there (17 months) she's had a go at me twice before. Both times for - in her opinion - driving down the lane too fast. When she has a go she goes off at an alarming rate and screams and shouts and generally tries to bully her victim into submission. Well, as you can imagine, that wouldn't work with me! I wait for her rant to finish then calmly explain that I wasn't driving too fast and then politely request that the next time she talks to me to please do it in a civilized manner. Everyone who knows her has been at the sharp end of her tongue at some point and they all share the same opinion of her. (she's nuts!) Most of her victims are children and teenagers who don't have the necessary skills and experience to deflect such aggression. So her behaviour for the most part, works for her. As I said, the woman is a bully.

Yesterday she was having a go (foaming at the mouth, wailing like a banshee) at one of my friends and I just happened to be standing near the gate looking for Emma at the time. She saw me and started having a go at me too!!! I told her to 'wind her neck in' (great northern phrase). Now I don't know what had upset her but it surely wasn't me, so I didn't really see why I should take a volley of abuse! The outcome of all this is that she has stated that I can no longer use the lane which leads to our stables (she owns it). Nobody else, just me. It doesn't matter as there is another entrance which she doesn't own which I can use - but the injustice of it has really annoyed me. So here's a little message for her..."Bev, of Weybridge Equestrian Centre...I think you are a nutter. I think that you need some professional help with your temper. I think you are rude and aggressive, and a bit of a bully. I also think that you should be very grateful for the fact that you have a great life living in a fabulous place and spending all your time looking after animals. Today is a lovely sunny day, and you should take a moment to go outside and smell the clean air that surrounds you. ...then you should calm down and come and apologise to me"

I know that she won't, and I feel a bit sorry for her - as it can't be nice walking around with all that aggression running through your veins, but I feel better for having written this!!! I wouldn't dare say it to her face as quite frankly she scares me a little!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Rachel Update

We're back from the vets. He didn't think anything was broken and has given us some special food to feed her. We've got to give her some TLC and take her back tomorrow morning to see if she's improved. Oh yes, she had an injection (tiny needle) of painkillers and antibiotics. The vet said that she was only a couple of weeks old. Bless!!!

Update: 12.32pm - Rachel has done a small poo!

Rachel is going to the vets this morning


I've made an appointment at the vets for 10am. She survived the night and has had some more apple and water this morning. Fingers crossed.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Rabbit Rescue

Fifi - the killer cat - has struck again. This time it's a tiny little rabbit who she has injured. Dan found her in the hall earlier and brought her to me. It's a little female rabbit who we've christened Rachel, and she's only about 7 inches long. She's got an injured shoulder / front leg which she can't put to the floor. We've wrapped her in towels and put her in a box. She's had a drink of water via a little pipette - she was quite thirsty!!! And she's also had some tiny little pieces of apple. She's asleep now - but if she makes it through the night I'm taking her to the vet first thing in the morning to see if she can be saved. Fingers crossed.

I know it's only nature that makes Fifi go out on the prowl and kill and injure all these creatures, but I wish that she could be a little less aggressive. It's not as if she's hungry. Nature is quite wonderful - but can also be quite cruel.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

New Links

Every day I read Christian's blog (in my opinion he's not a very prolific writer!) and then I use the links on his blog to read what Oboe Jane and Rachel are up to, and now Victoria too. Jane lives in London and Rachel is up in Bonny Scotland, whilst Victoria resides in Dronfield. I like to read what these ladies have to say and their posts are entertaining and funny. I have never met these ladies (apart from Victoria), and before I started reading their missives I didn't even know they existed. Now we regularly put comments on each other's blogs, and have become almost like 'virtual' friends. Because of this I have added links to their blogs so that you too can read what they have to say. I hope you enjoy their stuff as much as I do. I've also added a link to "Hot Phil's" blog - but that's out of good manners as he was kind enough to put a link to my blog on his blog - so I thought I'd repay the compliment. Mind you - his blog is funny and entertaining too!!

A bit off colour

Phoebe was a bit off colour yesterday. She hadn't eaten all her night time haynet (never been known before as she's a tad greedy). She was 'tucked-up' which basically means that her tummy was a bit pulled up, she'd been chewing her flanks and she looked a bit forlorn with her head hanging over the stable door. Now, I have a full equine first aid kit including stethoscope and thermometer - so I listened to her digestive sounds (biggest killer of horses is colic - equine tummy ache, usually cause by intestinal blockages) and everything was gurgling away nicely. Then I took her temperature. This includes lifting the tail and poking the instrument up her bottom - the look on her face was priceless(!). Her temperature was also normal. As I was mucking her out I managed to stab the sharp prong of the shavings fork in her foot and there was a little bleeding (Sorry, sorry). Anyway, by teatime she was much better - but her stable looked like it had been used by an elephant. If that amount of 'poo' needed to come out - there's no wonder that she had a tummy ache!!!! If anyone is growing rhubarb this summer and would like some first class horse manure - just give me a shout!!! I don't think horses go out for curries, but if they did she probably had a vindaloo!!!

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

I love this......

Success is:


At Age 4.... Success is..... Not peeing in your pants

At Age 6.... Success is..... Finding your way home (From school)

At Age 12.... Success is... Having friends

At Age 18.... Success is... Having a driver's license

At Age 20.....Success is... Having sex

At Age 35.....Success is... Having money

At Age 45.....Success is... Having money

At Age 55.....Success is... Having money

At Age 60.....Success is... Having sex

At Age 65.....Success is... Keeping a driver's license

At Age 70.....Success is... Having friends

At Age 75.....Success is... Finding your way home (From anywhere)

At Age 80.....Success is... Not peeing in your pants.


As for me; all I can say: Man .... what a life..

Beggars Belief

I had a nice message from a good looking, slim chap on the dating website. He asked me to join him for a chat on MSN. I declined (too soon) but said he could contact me by e mail. Then I re-read his profile and noticed that he was married / cohabiting. I politely declined any further contact, and then received a message from him telling me that it was no wonder I was alone as I was too picky!!! Cheeky twat!!!

Monday, 14 May 2007

Training Course

I am busily writing a new 'Induction' course for new starters at work. I have to make a powerpoint presentation and include all the departments. To prevent it from being boring ...yawn... I have decided to take photographs of each department head and include them in the slide. I e mailed everyone concerned today to let them know that I will be taking the pics on Wednesday. (Thought they may like to ensure that their hair is clean etc!) and you cannot imagine the ensuing panic!!! Hilarious.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Bad Bad BAD girl

I have to confess - because I know that you were all so supportive (in spirit if not in person)- that I have had a few cigarettes this weekend. I have no excuses, and feel disgusted with myself. Now I have to start the stopping all over again. I'm sorry everyone.

The Ants are here again!!!!

Last year, about this time, I came home from work to find that my living room and bedroom had been infested by these, and when I say infested I mean many thousands of the bloody things crawling all over everything. Obviously I freaked out big time, and then got the Dyson and hoovered them all up the tube (quite a satisfying feeling). When I came home again later, they had arrived again, and once more they met their Dyson fate. The whole thing carried on for about 36 hours, and then, as soon as they had arrived, they departed. Anyway, this year I am prepared and have been waiting for them. They're a little later this year, but tonight as I sat watching 'The Best of Top Gear', one landed on me, and I looked around the room and there were about 8 of the little blighters flying around the room.

This means war.

Fat Kids

I've just been watching the BBC news and a report said that 27% of children are now obese!!! Thank goodness that Dan is among the other 73%. We were talking about this and I worked out that in the good old days when I was at school, my Mum never, ever took us to school in the car. We Walked three quarters of a mile to the bus stop, and then walked back at night time. In rain, snow, wind, hail, and hot sun. We all had big coats (duffel!) and scarves, and gloves on elastic, and I worked out that over the 11 years of school I walked a total of 644 miles. When I got home from school I would quickly get changed and then rush out to 'call for' my friends Susan and Susan, and then we would play outside until my Mum shouted me in for my tea. Skipping, playing with tennis balls (anyone remember sevens?), leg hoops, and of course our bikes. I regularly used to cycle to Bakewell, Grindleford and Castleton. I never ever sat down and watched TV (apart from 8pm Mondays, BBC2 - Monty Python - YEAH!).

Our diet wasn't particularly healthy - Sausage and Chips - Bread and dripping (ugh) - Bubble and squeak - bacon and eggs - the frying pan and chip pan were always in use - but we were all skinny little things, you could see our ribs, and we were covered in scars, bruises, scrapes, and there was at least one child on every street who could claim to have been impaled on rusty railings at some time or other. Every mother had a bottle of TCP (ouch) and good old pink Germolene cream!!! No suing for damages in those days. Each September when we returned to school there were a handful of kids with pots on broken arms, or stitches, or some outward sign of 'serious injury' that had occurred during the holidays.

A fat child was a very rare thing indeed. I can't remember one from my school.

Other things I remember... jelly shoes, hand-me down clothes, black plimsolls (nobody at our school had Dunlop Green Flash for ages), Dirty muddy potatoes!, Blue Peter, Magpie, Clackers (subsequently banned after children were blinded) short trousers until you were eleven, Marbles, Conkers, Sherbert fountains, Langley Farm yoghurts in three flavours only, Birds Eye frozen Mousses, my Dad getting a new Cortina, Luncheon meat sandwiches (yumm), roller skates (no elbow pads and helmets), scooters, chopper bikes, french elastics, skipping ropes with ball bearings in the handles, comic annuals bought for Christmas, Sindy dolls, being allowed a small 'Snowball' made with advocaat at Christmas - then pretending to be drunk!, swaps, 45 records ('Can the Can' by Suzy Quatro was my 1st ever purchase, followed by 'Silver Lady' by David Soul), puncture repair kits in little tins,(your Dad showed you how the first time, and then you were on your own with a puncture!!!!), and finally - attempting to successfully tape the "top 20" on a Sunday night, without the talking - just the music!!!! Very difficult thing to achieve - nay, almost impossible!!!

Anyway - to get back to my original point (thank goodness) if you have a fat child, feed them less, get them to do more....it's not rocket science.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Muscle Memory

I've had another "Ride with your Mind" lesson on Phoebe today (and we got soaked as the heavens opened). The theory is to encapsualte feelings memories of how your body feels when you're doing the correct thing posturely - get that? Then your muscles will re-learn their own memory and eventually your posture should stay correct.

My posture is obviously a crock, because during the lesson we changed about 5 things - put them all together - and hey presto Phoebe turned into a Grand Prix dressage horse!!! It was amazing. She was lighter, using her hocks more and came right off her forehand (Sorry to be technical here folks!) Anyway the end result is more lightness and the horse lifting up through her back more. It was difficult and frustrating - but when it all came together it was pure magic. Anyway my position is really very bad - but it should improve with time. If you want to have a look at dressage done beautifully and correctly go here, to see Anky Van Grunsven who is one of the best dressage riders in the world today. Watching this makes me want to cry!

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

No Diesel

The fuel light has been blinking at me for a few days, and the fuel range has been showing me that the car has hardly any distance left to travel before it runs out of diesel. But I always think these things are set slightly high to allow for error. Well tonight at 5pm on Weybridge High Street - right in the middle of the really busy rush hour - I discovered that the fuel gauge on the Range Rover is deadly accurate!!!! I also found out to my horror that when the car splutters and stalls because there isn't a drop of fuel left in the tank - the power steering and power assisted brakes fail too!!!!

Oh My GOD - THE SHAME!!!!

Pimp My Kettle



Today I had to go to Curry's and get a new Kettle for Dan's Dad. He was hosting a meeting at the house and his kettle wasn't working.

I thought that this kettle had just come from an episode of "pimp my kettle". I liked it so much that I bought myself one too!!!

This photo doesn't really do it justice but it sits on a shiny glass plate and it is really a very attractive kettle!

I need to get out more.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

New Radio







I went and got a digital radio today. The sound quality is absolutely amazing. It's at the side of my bed and it has an alarm clock feature. You don't need an antennae (although it has one), and it is really easy to use.
If you've been thinking of getting one - then go ahead - I promise you won't be disappointed.

Freedom

I've got mine back. Freedom I mean. After 17 and a half years of being tied to Dan (Mum's taxi) now that she can drive and we've got her the little green pea, she's off out and about on her own. This morning she came into my room and told me to have a lie-in because she was going down to the stables to do the horses. BLISS!!! (seeing as I had hangover from hell).

Tonight she's gone out to a barbecue with some friends, and I've got a cosy night in with the TV remote all to myself!!!

This is fantastic. She's even offered to do the supermarket shopping if I give her a list, my switch card and my pin number!!! (ho Hum!)

To all you parents who think that the ferrying around is never ending - believe me - get them through their driving test as soon as you can - and then you too can have your life back!!

Badminton Horse trials

Yesterday we had the best day ever. We flew to Badminton from Fairoaks airfield and watched the best event riders in the world compete at Badmninton Horse Trials. We watched the dressage, and then walked the cross country course. Dan, her Dad and I went and we had such a laugh. The shopping village was fantastic.

I Love special days out.

Tracy's has had a drink

Those of you who know me will know that I don't drink. Well tonight I've had 4 Gin & Tonics at Red Bar in Weybridge with Gilly and Mike from Spain, and Jim and Kate, and I'm a bit squiffy.

Off to bed now then.

It was Chris's birthday today and we've had a party for the children which then precipitated at party for the adults.

OOPS!!!

Oooh yes - nearly forgot - a man in the bar was giving me the eye!!!! Will wonders never cease?(mind you - he was butt ugly!!!!)

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Too much time on my hands!

All of a sudden I have too much time on my hands. Now that Dan has passed her driving test and I have sorted the little green Pea out for her I am redundant as taxi driver. (Please don't ask me about the silly little man in the MOT garage yesterday and the 2 hour wait I had when I went to collect the car after he had phoned me and told me it was ready - ggggrrrrrrrrrr - this non-smoking thing has really got my back up and my temper is never far from the surface)

Last night she drove me to Tesco - very well I may say. When we got home it was just going dark so I suggested that she drive round the estate on her own in the dusk to get used to being alone in the car. She came home unscathed half an hour later, and then this morning she has taken herself off to school, and then to the stables..in rush hour traffic !!! I advised her to park the car by reversing into spaces if she can - and then getting out again later when the car park is fuller would be much easier. So far so good.

I'm at home today finally doing my 2006 tax return which should have been with the IR (bastards) in January. They phoned me yesterday to find out where it was - so I thought I'd better get on with it.

I have been to M&S to buy food, then popped into Currys and nearly bought a DAB radio, but then got confused and left empty handed.

I have no idea which DAB radio to buy - any suggestions from techno geeks that read my blog? Christian?

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Badminton

On Friday we're going to Badminton - to the Horse trials. Very exciting! Dan's Dad is coming too. He'll be asking lots of "I need to gain more understanding" questions, which will give me a headache!

But never mind, because there's a huge shopping village.

I'd do it with you, but......

..."my knee is really bad"...., ..." I won't be in the country in April"....., etc. A couple of the Marathon excuses I've heard this week. Really people, it's okay - nobody has to do the Marathon with me - I'm more than happy to do it by myself - well obviously not really by myself as there will be another 15,000 people running on the day, but you know what I mean.

Why is it that when you decided to do something worthwhile, everyone assumes that you expect them to be doing it too, and they must think of an excuse - quickly - as to why they can't?

I don't expect anyone to do what I do, so - everyone else is off the hook. Huge sigh of relief all round !

No thankyou - I don't smoke.

Just in case you were wondering - I'm still not smoking. It is getting easier each day - but that might be because my determination increases with each day that I manage not to smoke.

It's not as hard as I thought it would be - although Saturday and Sunday were quite bad.

I cannot wait for somebody to offer me a cigarette and for me to be able to turn around and say ...."Oh ...No Thankyou, I don't smoke!"

I have been smoking since I was 13 - that's 30 years...Good Lord, that's appalling. I didn't even stop smoking whilst I was pregnant - doubly appalling. (although I did cut down considerably). Last weekend when the ladies were here I watched all 3 of them smoking and just decided that it wasn't for me anymore. Just like that. After all these years.

Dan has a new Pea

What? the Nicotine starvation has finally addled her brain!!!! No. No. It's okay - really.....Yesterday I went to Sheffield on the train to bring back the pea. The Pea is a little bright green Ford Ka which I have owned and driven since the year 2001. I love that little car - it's never broken down on me and it's very nippy, economical and it has a rather cool 10 disc CD player. Anyway, it's been living at Gary's house since we left Sheffield 18 months ago, and yesterday I had to go fetch it back as it's booked in for an MOT this morning. Gary has looked after it for me and it started first time!!! (BIG THANKYOU GARY!) It is nice and clean, and during the drive back down to Surrey yesterday afternoon I listened to Tom Jones' greatest hits on the CD player - bliss!!! I also threw a cup of over-priced railway station capuchino all over my white t shirt at St Pancras station - so by the time I got to Chesterfield I looked like a pikey.

Last night Dan got behind the wheel and drove me round the estate here - I thought I'd be scared but actually she's quite good and adapted to the Ka straight away - previously she's only driven a Fiesta. So Hopefully if the KA passes its MOT today she'll be driving it by tea time and I will get my life and my freedom back!!!

All we have to do now is think of a name for the little green Ka. All suggestions gratefully received!!!