Saturday 28 July 2007

Affiliated Dressage

Since Dan left home (sob!) I've had a lot more free time, and therefore have been able to do more riding and schooling with Phoebe. I always knew she was a good horse, but she's going from strength to strength. Even though she's middle aged - she's about 18 and there are approximately 3 horse years to one of ours - so at that reckoning she's about 54, she still works as if she's in her mid twenties, and at the peak of her fitness. She's very giving and always does whatever you ask of her. She's been so good in fact, that I've decided to affiliate. What on earth does that mean? Well, it means that I have joined us both in 'British Dressage' which is the governing body of the sport. It's a bit like the official football league as opposed to the Sunday League or some local competition. It means that we get to go to some much nicer venues to compete, and will be at competitions at the same time as people like Carl Hester although clearly not competing iin the same classes, although Olympic riders do take some of their younger horses and enter them in the lower classes as part of their training. Phoebe and I are going to try the slightly more difficult class of 'Novice' whereas before we alway entered the 'preliminary' classes.

We have to be able to do more extended trotting (legs flicking out more to the front with more impulsion from behind - more power but no more speed - yikes!) and some other more difficult steps and stuff!! It should be fun!!!! So we've increased our training schedule and so far everything I've asked of her she's given willingly - she's such a lady (I'm a lady!). Rightio, must dash...I've got to clean my saddle!!!

Sunday 22 July 2007

A Poem

Rain, rain, go away,
Come again another day.
Rain, rain, go away.
Come again some other day.
Little Arthur wants to play,
In the meadow by the hay.
Rain, rain, go to Spain,
Never show your face again.
Rain, rain, pour down,
But not a drop on our town.
Rain on the green grass,
and rain on the tree,
And rain on the housetop,
but not on me.
Rain, rain, go away,
Come again on washing day.
Rain, rain, go to Germany,
And remain there permanently.
Rain, rain, go away,
Come on Martha's wedding day.

Wednesday 18 July 2007

Dirty Stop Out

I don't know why I didn't think of this before - but the simplicity of the answer has staggered me!!! To prevent the cat from dragging small animals into the house during the night - simply shut the cat flap!!!! That way she has to leave any carcasses outside!!!! No doubt she's got a flat area on her head from running and headbutting the cat flap door, expecting it to open...and I may have to re-address the issue as the nights become colder - but for now it seems like an ideal solution. I've just opened it again to let her back in and you should have seen the look she gave me.

Tuesday 17 July 2007

In case you're wondering...

...I'm still in the UK and didn't go to Spain. This is because Dan's youngest brother has been quite poorly. He had suspected 'scarlet fever' and had to spend 4 days in hospital. The trip has been postponed for a few weeks. He's on the mend now. Thank goodness.

Fifi's reign of destruction and garden terror

The killer cat has started her reign of garden terror once agan. I thought that the bell had done the trick - but no. Yesterday morning there was half a rabbit underneath the kitchen table, and this morning there was another half a rabbit. Both halves were too badly damaged to see if I could (Frankenstein?) make a whole(!) Yesterday I had my french windows open and a little bird flew in. Fifi went demented and was racing around the walls trying to catch it. She knocked my plants from the window sill, and I had to lock her in the bathroom while I rescued the bird and put it back outside. The bird poo'ed on my silk cushions (but I forgave it - it was terrified!!) Dan's Dad has said that if she carries on bringing dead half-animals into the house then she's got to go. So now I have to get up really early, and go through into the kitchen with my rubber gloves and disinfectant to clean up before the rest of the family awaken. It's not very pleasant and it's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. The cat has no idea that I'm secretly battling to keep her here, but I do so wish that she'd take at least one day a week off!!!

Why don't they tell you the simple stuff?

Yesterday I was printing some Photographs. I couldn't get the colours right. My printer kept darkenng everything down too much - strange but true. After 4 hours of wailing and gnashing of teeth I discovered a setting in my printer control where you can change the ink mix from RBG to CMY (that's red blue and green, to cyan, magenta, yellow). I found it by accident - and I was really annoyed because nowhere on Hewlett Packard's website, or Apple's for that matter did it mention this feature. They tell you all bout 'colour synching' and other complicated stuff but they never mention the simple bits. Am I supposed to know this stuff without being told? I nearly went out and spent £100 on a new Photo printer because my frustration was so immense. Anyway, now I've fixed it and all is okay again. (but I'm still a tad narked)

Monday 16 July 2007

More Movies

I'm a bit bored here by myself without Dan so I've been watching more DVDs. Yesterday I watched 'Freedom Writers' and 'The Good Shepherd'. I liked them both. Freedom writers is about a school teacher in USA who is struggling to teach no hope ethnic kids in a getto school. It's a true story and very inspring - again, I cried at the end!!! The Good Shepherd is all about a CIA agent - but a bookish one - not an action hero. It's very confusing and the story doesn't become clear until nearly the end - but once it becomes clear it was a good story, although I was tempted to give up half way through. Both worth watching.

Saturday 14 July 2007

Get the Kleenex ready...

For when you watch this film. "The Pursuit of Happyness" starring one of my favourites Will Smith. It's a great film, and if you haven't seen it I suggest that you do. It's a true story - which I always feel makes films better.

I miss my baby

Well, I've managed a whole week without my baby. I've cleaned up and it stayed clean. The fridge doesn't get raided and the washing machine thinks it's gone to a 2 day week!. The cat is on anti-depressants, and we are all missing her so much. I've spoken to her on the 'phone every day and she's had to learn very quickly about cooking pasta and potatoes!!! (actually I have taught her all that stuff - but she's forgotten!) Bugsy is fine too and is enjoying his new working life. She's off to one day event in Cheltenham on Wednesday and it will be the first one she's done without me - her head groom. I will be in Spain so I can't even go to watch her ride.

So far though, I haven't taken up Yoga or Knitting, or even 'Spanish for beginners', but there's still time.

Wednesday 11 July 2007

A few days away

I'm off to Caba Pino (near Puerto Banus) on Saturday until Wednesday. Dan's Dad has a house out there and needed somebody to accompany the boys on a flight. That'll be me then!!! Dan's Aunti Gill and Uncle Bob (who're lovely) will be there too so it should be fun. I hope that there won't be any issues with passports this time ( don't think I could go through all that again!).

I'm really looking forward to the break in the sun but it will feel a bit strange as Dan is usually there too. She is having fun in Gloucestershire - but working very hard and has fallen off the ramp to the muck trailer about six times. She keeps bashing her shins - ouch!

It feels like I'm going to Spain and abandoning her here alone in the UK. I can still speak to her on the 'phone - thanks to international roaming, and of course I will call her every day. I'm sure she'll be okay without me......she will, won't she?

Tuesday 10 July 2007

New tools

I'm a bit of a DIYer. I have my own tool kit and can manage (quite well) most jobs around the house. I can put up shelves, curtain rails, change washers on taps, have fitted an new ball valve on a toilet, and do all my own decorating. I have an extensive tool kit, and abide by the golden rule of tool owners which is 'NEVER lend tools out'. If anyone wants to borrow a tool of mine I would rather go and do the job for them - that way I know my tools will be looked after, and more importantly - returned to me!!! I've pretty much got one for everything, and like to have a look in the DIY store for new tools and gadgets!!! (It's sad I know)

I have my own drill which I've owned since I bought my first house in 1986, and it's still going strong - however it's not cordless. It does have a long cable and so I've never seen the need to buy a cordless version. Yesterday I decided I would like a power screwdriver, and ended up buying (they were on offer) a drill / screwdriver combination. I'm going to put up two saddle racks this morning and will be trying out the new-fangled drill. I don't actually believe deep down that it will be powerful enough to drill into the wall - but we'll see!!! I think I need to get out more.

Embarrassing Parents (or parent!)

My Dad who lives in Spain with his partner of 18 years, Marrion, has just been over to the UK to visit my Grandma who lives in a nice home for the elderly in Sheffield. He stayed with my Mum (his ex-wife). They get on very well considering he left her twice during their marriage for other women. She (being very gracious) has forgiven him and they are now good friends. Imagine her shock then when after a few drinks on saturday night, he made a clumsy pass at her, and suggested they spend the night together for 'old times sake'!!! It wouldn't be so bad but they are both nearly 70 years old (do people still do the deed at 70?)

I don't get on very well with my Dad, although I love him, but he's very self-absorbed, and loves to be the centre of attention. He likes to be the one doing all the talking, and thinks he is the world authority on everything. When we were growing up he ruled our home with an iron fist, and now we often say what a lucky escape my Mum had. I take after my Dad in many ways and work very hard to try and limit the characteristics that I recognise in myself that came from him!!!

When she told me what he had done last night on the 'phone I was speechless. She thought it was very funny indeed, but I must admit to being completely horrified. Even after all these years and all the distress and pain he caused her during their marriage, he still refuses to treat her with the respect that she so richly deserves.

And what he thought he would be able to manage at the age of 70 with a bottle and half of red wine inside him is beyond imagination!!!

Needless to say she went to bed with a chair wedged up against the door.

Sunday 8 July 2007

Lucky Me

This guy has left a message for me on a dating website. I know that you shouldn't poke fun - but when you read his description he sounds a little like too much hard work for me.

- 11 miles away in LONDON

Contact me
Add to My Favourites
See My Personality Assessment
Age 43
Hair colour Dark brown
Eye colour Brown
Body type Slim
Height 6'1'' to 6'4''
Ethnicity White
Religion Other
Education Degree
Employment Self-employed
Industry Skilled/unskilled trade
Income 5,000 to 9,999
Drinking Don't drink
Smoking Smoke regularly
Relationships Single
Have children Yes, living at home
Want children Undecided
Housing Housing Association tenant
Chat Up Line:
creative man seeks inspiration

I'm a free-thinking,creative-minded rebel,I love to live naturaly as I can, creatively too,I'd rather be free than loaded. I have my responsibilities and interests, but I'm missing the love of a good woman,someone who is not afraid to care an share. My lifestyle? I'm vegetarian for a while now, I'm fit due to training, walking, cycling and work. I have many skills, and at the moment I'm trying to utilise them to avoid the9to5 life which is unatural and frustrating. I'm not afraid of hard work tho, at the moment it is freelance whatever-gardening,artwork,cleaning an decorating, occasional teaching-I got experience of adult and child care. Past few years have been a struggle, so I need someone who can recognise and respect that; I make many things, both to create but also to explore ideas, I'm a reader and student, but I enjoy physical activity. Music is a big part of my life, playing or listening and although I enjoy going out places, I am happy with my own company. (love reggae an african sounds]I have a close relationship with my daughter as we've been through a lot together, she's been the light of my life these past few years. I'm not conventional, I've crossed the colour bar, I've met many people from all over, they all enrich i life, I'm a serious man though and ignorance is not for me, I'd rather face the truth, for we all have to.

I wasn't impressed and then I checked out his photograph, and I thought...."ooh yes, I'll e mail him straight away"

Got to keep busy

Now that my baby has flown the nest, I'm at a bit of a loose end. We've been together every day for the past 18 months, and because we have the horses together we spend many hours with each other every day. Probably more than most mothers and teenage daughters. Quite frankly she's my best friend. I must be missing her because I've phoned my own mother three times in 24 hours (!)

Yesterday I had a BIG TIDY at the stables and brought loads of things home to launder and clean. Normally that would take me days if not weeks to complete - but already it's all done. Yesterday I made a list of 'things to do' which includes horrid jobs like "clean out fridge" and "clean windows". I'm already two thirds of the way down the list and it's only 6.05am on Sunday morning.

God only knows what I'm going to do with myself when I've completed everything on the list. Anyway, she called me three times yesterday and everything seems to be going okay. I'm expecting tears by about Wednesday (hers, not mine....mine are about every 5 minutes!)

Friday 6 July 2007

Tracy and Phoebe are sad

Today Dan and Bugsy went to Gloucestershire for the summer. I took them both, left them there and then sobbed my socks off at the motorway services on the M4. When I went back to the stables to drop off the trailer Phoebe looked sad and confused because Bugsy was no longer in the stable next door. Tonight, the house feels huge and empty. I miss my little girl so much when she's not here. I need to take up 'Spanish for beginners'.

Beautiful New life