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Sunday, 31 August 2008

barn owl beauties

Especially for the Blacklog, and particularly Nicky - here are Skipper's companions, just chillin'. Every day they swoop and hunt over his field, and the meadow next door, if you stand really still they come really close, there is ever the hope one will land on an outstretched arm, but not so far.

Old People doing it too

Old People's night around the fire pit - campers welcome! One couple (who are about to be married), turned up with the wooden steam engine trailer aged nearly 100 pictured above! That was a surprise. They even claim to have slept well in their tiny bunk beds. A beautiful piece of history being sympathetically restored. Festivities commenced at 7.30pm and at 3am as I was making my way across the circle surrounding the fire pit (to finally go to bed), the whole pit jumped up and leapt into my path, causing me to stumble into and across the fire bed, and fall flat on my (drunken) face on the other side. I was wearing the new pair of white linen trousers in the top picture, which I had managed to keep relatively clean until this unfortunate incident. When I had picked myself up from the floor, and dusted off my dignity, among other things, I realised that the entire floor was not very stable either, causing me to walk quite crookedly and unevenly to the house, and my bed. Today I have some bruising and an unexplainable headache and sickly feeling in my stomach. Must be something I ate. 40 or so old people came along to pretend to be young again, and drink warm wine/beer, and eat smoky food, and become liberally covered in wood ash, as there was quite a strong prevailing wind. Even asked to do it again next year. If there is a repeat performance must make sure to anchor down the fire pit to stop it tripping up unsuspecting passers-by.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

invisible farrier

to put the cap on a less than brilliant 24 hours the farrier (£60 for 40 minutes work) failed to turn up today. Waited 2 hours this evening, but no show, no call - this I believe is part of farriery training and an established part of farrier etiquette. Ho hum. Skipper still shoeless and my temper hovering around red again. At this rate I'll be booking onto anger management course! Shopped alone in Morrisons tonight, surprise, surprise, no problems regarding alcohol purchases, I must look more than 21, how can that be?

Another rare bird sighting Lawnmowing teenage bird

Spotted in the garden yesterday - nap disturbing, but very welcome, Lawnmowing Teenage Bird, in full summer plumage, and friendly, cheeky attitude. When it emerges from its nest (see earlier post) it can be a very useful addition to the garden, though it is a voracious feeder, and is sometimes moody/reclusive...

tesco titters

In local Tesco last night, with two boys, and a trolley packed with goodies for a grown-up party. Boys kindly agreed to come with me to do all the heavy lifting. Marvellous. At the till the cashier said she couldn't ring my trolley through, because she believed I was buying alcohol for minors. She called for help, and an officious little git entered stage left and asked my boys for age ID. I said, no, no, these purchases are for me, my boys are not 18, they are here to help me. I have a painful right arm, and am not lifting weights at the moment, thankyou. He said, no we can't sell, I must see ID for these boys. I said, if you don't ring this trolley through I won't be shopping here again. He called for more assistance (duty Manager) who was accompanied by security and two other members of staff! Now 5 staff lined up within my own comfort zone, trolley blocking till aisle, and boys agog at developments! Same story - these goods are for me, my boys are my sons, they are not 18, they are helping me etc etc. No go. In a flaming temper I cried 'leave it boys, we won't be coming here again' and we stalked out of the shop with what dignity we had left. A calmer phone call later to the same Duty Manager when I said we would be making a very formal complaint. Bit of internet research today shows Tesco implementing their own laws regarding sale of alcohol to families and people accompanied by minors, which I had no idea about. Embarrassment and intimidation factor very high. No shopping for party achieved. Disaster score off the scale. Late night visit to Asda 15 miles away looking likely tonight...(without wicked underage boys obviously). I need to get a grip of my temper that's for sure...

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

day off fun & frolics

Yippee, day away from the salt mines, a nap beckons. Excellent.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

bank holiday woe

Bank Holiday Sunday, biggest & best weekend of the coastal year, and here it is, pouring with rain (again). Bus broken down at drive entrance (convenient for campers), and guest just been in clutching: double duvets x2, duvet covers x2, mattress coverx1, double sheets x2, and says his tiny daughter had a small accident or two in the night could I change all these for new ones. This after just two nights in the unit. I replaced all at no charge, but grin is very thin today. Traffic appalling as every single coastal camper gets into car, rather than walking. You know what, be glad when Bank Holiday just a distant memory. Both boys struggling with very heavy head colds, so all grumps at home too. Ready for a holiday... On plus side yellow horse very happy walking around meadows last night because of lack of front shoes, and very excited to be taken out on a date, with me, to self service apple tree bar. Happily and briefly stuffed his face with sweet red apples and made contented journey back to his own field, face and ears smeared with apple juice bubbles. Wiped his face clean on my bum as we walked. Lovely.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

exam results!

Very happy boy, results better than he hoped. Also got his fixed dental braces off yesterday, so blinding everyone with big smile. Results also almost identical to his brother's last year, so no opportunity for "I got, you got" etc (as if they would). Yellow horse managed to pull off both front shoes last night all by himself, so has made himself unrideable on the roads until farrier visit next week. Looks smug. Has not affected apple eating skills.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

yellow horse tests pockets

Just realised that in the next 3 weeks yellow horse booked for: dentist (yes really), farrier (new set of shoes), vet (annual vaccinations), back lady (remains of firework injuries) and saddler (refit saddle). Ouch. For October half-term he must go away to live with someone else whilst we look at Wales and Ireland. Perhaps they should keep him while I still solvent...

can I canoe you down the river?

three boys (only one mine, one a nephew/cousin, and one friend) had fab afternoon canoeing up and down the river, and then all diving into the river for the complete 'wet' experience. Brought home in horse trailer wet, cold, shivering, happy, tired, elated and very, very hungry. Eldest boy too sensible to join canoeists! All this after sleepless party night and 4 mile walk home this morning.

Monday, 18 August 2008

V festival survivors return to base

many thanks to very good friends for making sure boys had a great time at V2008! So tired they could only eat and talk when they walked in. However, youngest has now headed off to a sleepover party (girls involved) though legs can hardly carry him. Eldest watching clock for respectable time to retire to bed. They have had a great time, much to tell, and biggest driving experience to date. So pleased to get them home safe. Apparently Little Man Tate are the greatest - I can hear the words but I don't understand their meaning...

Sunday, 17 August 2008

sunday bloody sunday

8.15 am Sunday morning HIGH SEASON famous british tourist resort, sea front area. Not many visitors taking early morning constitutional to enjoy sunshine, as you can see. It's raining torrents. Yellow horse ran out of open gate last night and cantered over to 40 acres of meadows in pitch dark. Off he went, in high feather, across the green fields and far away. Eldest son set off with lead rein and torch, I said just close gate and let him have night out, but horse cantered over to my big boy at far end of field, and said to him, in horse language "I thought it looked exciting, but i've had enough now, and its quite dark and scary, can I go to bed?" Big boy clipped on lead rein, and they sauntered back to shed like nothing had happened. Another exciting event in the life of the yellow horse anyway. Both boys set off early hours this morning for V Festival, carrying golf brollies, pack-a-macs, wellingtons and several fleeces for under the plastic coats. Apart from me being worried witless by all the driving big boy going to do - they very excited and completely casual about journey, weather, safety & risk factors. Oh to be young...

Saturday, 16 August 2008

salt mine sightings

One of the buddleias at the salt mines was, yesterday, absolutely covered in butterflies of all types. You could put out your hand and touch 10 or 20. It was absolutely beautiful. Even the campers were entranced. Just goes to show, even the darkest places have hidden delights. Yella horse excited, has been introduced to apple trees, and has learned to pick his own! Its okay, there are none in his field, he must be accompanied to reach the trees. Don't want him with tummy ache after all his other troubles! But he loves them! One filthy unit today, an inch of dingy brown fat in the grill pan, absolutely disgusting toilet and shower. Yuk.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

nest of elusive & temperamental teenager bird

I discovered this nest today, stumbled upon it without realising, and recognised it immediately as the nest or 'bedroom' of lesser spotted teenager bird. Many characteristics shared with teenager birds worldwide, but this particular nest made more obvious by loud calling (shouting) of female, or mother, lesser spotted bird upon discovery. Much fuss and botheration between teenager and mother resulting in nest reformation into what can only be described as a 'tidy' condition. Barely natural environment for lesser spotted teenager bird, but its okay, don't worry, well known to return nest to more natural environment as soon as mother's back is turned.

mud-skipper, rainy resort, people allergy

Its a bit wet then. Here's the yella horse wearing his fine mud coating, and his mud bathing area. Also, typical English holiday resort in less than clement weather today, and, as its my day away from the salt mines, a view, or two of my proper environment. as I was buffetted by the massed ranks of holidaymakers in the rain in town today I had an overwhelming urge to hold out my arms and bop them all out of the way. A bit too much exposure to them perhaps, more time out needed I fear.

Monday, 11 August 2008

yella horse ambling out

Yella horse went for another walk today, with me riding, and even managed a bit of a canter/gallop down a field. Not absolutely sound I would say, but much, much better, and so pleased to be out and about in the countryside again. No road trotting. By end of week will have formal 'trot up' on hard surface and make decision whether vet needed again or not. He looking so cheerful and chilled think he must still be improving. He so relaxed and laid-back its hard to think its the same horse as: A) I bought, and B)was in such a frenzy 10 days ago. Hooray. Eldest boy passed a one day emergency Red Cross first aid course today - suitably scared at the actual prospect of resuscitating someone. Both boys hoping to do a 6 day pool life-guard course next Spring so that their summer jobs can involve lots of girls in bikinis and whistle blowing. Soon they will have flown the nest themselves, trying not to think about that too much. National exam results this week and next week - a bit of tension developing. Fingers crossed. No pictures today, a bit short on ideas - keep watching.

Friday, 8 August 2008

light relief

chook communal bathing - look at the state of the lawn! This is the price of living with a poultry keeping son.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Holiday resort pyjamas

8am and a small English holiday resort awakens to a multitude of sights similar to my photograph. On the plus side, the man with the bin bag and litter pickers was on his way down the road, but it was a long, slow journey! Yella horse is improving. Walked him out last night with saddle on and my bum on saddle. A tiny bit lame, only walking, no trotting. He very pleased to be out of field. He relaxed and happy, even with traffic and dogs. Looks promising. Drugs run out on Friday. Quiet at salt mines, except for guest who came in to complain that he was very disappointed as he and his wife wanted 2 bedrooms in their unit. I showed him his own reservation form upon which he had carefully placed a tick under the box for ONE BEDROOM UNIT. Hard to know how to make some people happy. Also he arrived last Saturday, and now its Thursday, he's leaving tomorrow morning, so not sure what his expectation of a happy resolution might be. Obviously, he is sure he didn't make a mistake.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

its happening fast!

THe husband has just bravely been and said how very, very sorry he is....they have both been laid off (though there was money for fireworks) and he just 'never thought'. His apology seemed sincere. I have asked for a donation towards the £120 excess, though I don't know if they will send any. I have accepted the apology. The horse is, thank god, insured. Oh dear, I feel really churned up now.

begin legal proceedings against firework folk

Oops. Its hit the fan now. Took a bit of advice from the legal helpline with my horse insurance, and they said I could claim the £120 excess through the smallclaims court if I could prove that the firework family had been negligent (much use of the word reasonable was employed). I think they were not reasonable, so I wrote a polite letter to tell them so, and advise them that I would try for the £120 through the civil courts. Boy is she mad! Anyway, I met her in the road, only for 2 minutes, which ended with her waving her fist and forbidding me from writing her any more letters...she's going to be disappointed then. I hate arguing above all things, but sometimes you just have to do it. I just want them to be sorry. I don't even really want their money, just an apology. Keep you posted.

more peas please!

Day off from hard labour at salt mine, so got yellow horse out for a walk on a lead rope. He slightly lame walking and very lame trotting. Still taking magic medicine so put him back in his field. Now a question for you - "How many freshly picked in their pod peas can one greedy and quite small person eat whilst standing in the pea field?" - Answer - TOO MANY.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

visiting the neighbours

Took a flyer around to all neighbouring houses (including the firework f*****s). It explained calmly what had happened to the yella horse, and asked to be advised of anyone else's firework plans. Hoping it makes firework people feel at least a bit guilty. Other neighbours been very kind indeed - even phoning up for more details, and with deep sympathy. Quite surprised really, as I am never here, always at salt mines. All very supportive and kind. Bute now working and horse looking a lot better, must wait until medication is finished to see if he really better or just effects of drugs. Bute very strong, could cut his leg right off and he probably wouldn't notice in drugged state...but he looks more comfortable. Internet research results are that loads of horses are injured and have to be put down every year because of fireworks, can't help wondering why they still legal at home in garden? No problem with big displays, plenty of warning, lots of chances to keep in little critters and shut up big critters, but think the huge bangs and crashes of garden fireworks probably cause more trouble than its worth. At least two neighbours lost cats on the party firework night, both coming home frightened and bedraggled the following day.

manning the guns...

Skipper still lame this morning, though perhaps not quite so bad. Taking medicine like a trooper. I am filled with a big ball of rage and hatred towards responsible neighbours (most unlike me) and there's a hard lump of ice in my chest where my heart should be when I think of them. Hoping to calm down slightly in next day or two, or else I will burst. Must be hormones or something. Childishly flicked the finger at their windows as I passed to the salt mines this morning. Pathetic or what? But made me feel a bit better. Eldest son working on salt mine laundry yesterday (there is absolutely tons of bed linen - 100 beds or thereabouts), and he looked up and said, "I think this one is covered in coffee, or something brown and sticky anyway, I've sprayed it with liquid soap, what do you think it is?" My rather more jaundiced and experienced eye saw straight away that it was not coffee, but something far less appealing - oh dear, he was most distressed! Apart from that bed, this week there is nail varnish on two sheets (why, why?) and the usual circular yellow staining. All the result, I think, of too much sun, sea, sand and seaside beer.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Super Alistair the Vet has been

The Vet kindly came out to the yella horse this afternoon, arriving 2 minutes after I got home from the salt mines. I was all hot and bothered, had very hard day picking pubic hair out of drain holes, not really, today I cleaned kitchens and sitting rooms. Led horse up for Vet, unbelievably lame. Vet gave him a huge jab in the shoulder, is sure it is all muscular and after a course of bute (horse magic stuff) should be fully recovered. Tomorrow I will make pin dolls in image of vile neighbours, maybe. Or throw a stone through their window, or a brick. Just thinking aloud.

firework nightmare

Oh what a disaster. At 9pm last night I was sitting with friends at my kitchen table when we heard an enormous bang. It was quickly followed by a salvo of deafening bangs. I ran outside to see the yella horse galloping round and round his field in the dark, in a frenzy of fear. I couldn't catch him. I ran to the house opposite (the location of the banging) and shouted to a departing family - have the fireworks finished? She assured me they had. Again I asked - are you sure? She was sure. I ran back home. Horse still in fear frenzy. Banging began again. Fireworks lit up the sky. Small black dog also in fear frenzy, but too tiny to make much trouble. Finally caught horse at 10.15pm. Sweat running from him by the bucketload. Ran back to neighbours house. They couldn't give a damn. Said they had permission to let off fireworks up until 11pm. Said they didn't need to tell me. Absolutely couldn't give a shit. Ran back home. Horse circling and banging about in his barn. Still running with sweat. Finally began to calm about 10.40pm. This morning he is dead lame. Calm and quiet (sleepless night probably), but unbelievably lame. In dark we could only see him galloping too and fro, during fireworks, he might have slipped, fallen, anything. Vet coming today or Monday. Poor Skipper. Vile neighbours. I won't forget.

Friday, 1 August 2008

too windy for little skipper

too windy to take the yella boy out, he hates it. 1st August and trees flapping about like flags in a storm...what happened to our brief summer? Tiring at salt mines today, departing visitors perhaps need some housekeeping lessons. Save us from small children with chocolatey fingers, bright white gloss doors and clean beds just waiting to be peed in....Just a few weeks of this madness, then back to normal.