Total Pageviews

Thursday, 30 October 2008

news from Ireland

STaying in a hostel, though very upmarket. Access to internet free! Better than at home. Just so you know, southern Ireland frighteningly expensive, for everything, especially feeding hungry young men. And drinking. Am cultured out, though tomorrow looking at a fabulous burial barrow/tombs from neo/mesolithic? period? Anyway, really excited about it! Sad huh. Southern Irelanders at the end of their tether with high costs, economic downturn, they have to pay a fortune here just to visit their GP, free helath care taken from old people, only good thing seems to be slightly cheaper fuel. We are travelling through an incredibly cold and unseasonal cold snap, snow here yesterday! Its absol;utely bitter, but not raining at least. If you like castles and caves though, here's paradise indeed. Boys astonished by Irish ability to talk, talk, and talk, the cultural exchange has been marvellous indeed. Travelling home shortly - looking forward to my own bed, and toilet.

Thursday, 23 October 2008


I saw this bag and knew that I needed it. You know how it is. So, next time I am going away for the weekend I will be recognisable by the fact that I am carrying a bright orange and completely frivolous overnight bag (with handle and wheels of course) which can been seen from about a mile away. Its price was such that I have not dared to take it out of the car boot yet, but every time I look at it, it gives me a warm feeling....
Hugh has been kind enough to drop the yella horse off for his stay in livery, this morning. Horse very excited to have a change of scenery, I am sad and anxious already. Worse than sending a child away to school, packed his coat, food, tack, bucket, headcollar etc, etc and he won't be there when I get home. Hoping Jess will teach him a bit more dressage whilst he's at his boot camp, missing him already.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

health & safety haha

Health and Safety Inspector visited yesterday to review our arrangements at the salt mines. Luckily it was my day off. Sister passed with flying colours, and we have been downgraded to very low risk. I could go on forever about small businesses being sitting ducks, too much red tape etc, etc, and it was a good job I was not here. Sis did really well though (its all her work), and is suitably proud. Blood test has provided the information that I am both anaemic and possess a very low white blood cell count. Another test required. Trying not to worry. Reason I have not heard from Physio about some help with trapped nerve is...Doctor forgot to refer. Hopefully some help will now be arranged. I sound like a health obsessive, but am not, try to stay away from Quacks, but shoulder problem, and tiredness, a bit irritating, and would like some help resolving both. Iron tablet prescription in car. Gorgeous day, horse getting his bags packed for his holiday, and we beginning to think about what we need to take with us on tour of Wales & Ireland (probably wellies and brollies). Really excited to be getting a break. More retail therapy on my day off yesterday, which was very, very nice. I tried on about 100 different garments, and though I only bought a waxed jacket I really enjoyed myself! I never take anyone with me clothes shopping, ever, so I never have to worry about how long I have been, or how boring it is for anyone else. Its just me and the coathangers! Don't need to try on anything else for about 12 months now. Maxed out, but oh what fun! Horse's undercarriage looking good as far as I can see. Have now been able to inspect one side of it completely, but haven't yet worked out how to hold onto his long bits, and walk around the other side to see it from the other angle....perhaps I need a volunteer...or to dive under his belly, swinging on his bit as if it was a bell rope, and surfacing on his other side, eyes bright and ready for further close inspection? Too, too tricky.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

yella horse's private parts!

Farrier found something unsavoury in horse's sheath on Thursday, quite by chance. As a result am trying to 'catch' horse's 'undercarriage' when he lets it down to pee, to apply some sheath cleaner/oil to it. Hmmm. Makes my menfolk squirm, and I'm not too excited about it either. Apparently you can put your hand right into the 'cave' where it retracts, cop a hold, and drag it don't fancy that. This morning he half let it down, whilst peeing, and I casually caught hold of the end, and applied a bit of freezing cold KY jelly to it. Hoping to make a better attempt when next have the opportunity. All too, too grim! Otherwise, had saddle on and out on the road by 7.30am, this despite a night with no sleep. Eldest boy brought some friends home after an 18th party, and they were flapping about until 3.30am. Burning toast at 3.15am set off smoke alarm, and girl being discreetly sick shortly thereafter brought down irate mother and 'enough is enough' speech. They were repentant. This morning it emerged that from the 10 bottles of wine in the fridge my son chose the only really good bottle of champagne as an after party tipple, and so these 5 teenagers quaffed a £40 bottle of bubbly at 2am. Oh no! Hard to be cross when I like the kids so much, and they had not idea. They thought that as it was the plainest bottle and label, it must be the cheapest plonk. It was right beside a £4.00 bottle of Spains finest gut cleaner, which, owing to its very flashy labelling was passed over! There must be a moral to this tale, but I'm too tired to think of it. Just trying to keep my eyes open at salt mines until 2pm, then its nap time - hip hip.

Friday, 17 October 2008

beautiful day, again!

Almost freezing temperature this morning, but blue skies and still atmosphere - perfect. All packing up at salt mines for end of season, sad, but looking forward to 2009. Still got guests though, those hardy and intrepid few who holiday in England out of season. Must have inner central heating. Horse smashing, car serviced and repaired (temp sensor) at enormous cost of over £300, boys teeth serviced (retainer check) £200 and shoes serviced for yella boy £50. Pockets now to let. Keep digging salt. Trapped nerve in right side of neck causing some pain today, all down arm and into hand, which is very frustrating. Going out with ladies tonight for food, drinks and gossip, can't wait. Whilst right arm can still lift full glass things not too bad. Big boy shooting with his Uncle again tomorrow which is a high treat indeed then rushing off to another 18th birthday party chocs in hand. Other boy celebrating 17th birthdays left, right and centre, as all his friends begin to learn to drive. Big boy would like big 18th with family & friends so plans afoot for all that's necessary. Thinking pig roast and band (know someone who can...). Lots to look forward to, just a little sleep needed between now and then...

Monday, 13 October 2008

god going at salt mines

Good day today, two gigantic, brand new caravans pushed onto plots, and one geriatric rusting old unit pulled off. For our tiny band of labour this constitutes a super-human effort, and a real sense of achievement. The biggest unit sank like a stone when it hit the green stuff, and had to be jacked and propped until it could be got onto 'tracks' to enable progress over the grass. Much chuffing and puffing ensued, but all was well, and only one more to go. Luckily, I am the tow vehicle driver and so miss out on all the struggling and sweating at the sharp end. Pity. The yellow horse continues fine and dandy - doing loads of miles on the road steadily and sweetly. Neighbour's ten year old even rode and steered for a bit yesterday. Small black dog now accompanies on the road, wearing her own yellow coat, as we have discovered that whilst motorists will often not slow down for a horse, in any circumstances, when they see the horrible black dog in the middle of the road they will slow down in a bid to avoid squashing her. This has made riding on the roads MUCH safer for me, and when the dog is eventually flattened by a supremely bad driver she will be replaced with another dog to do the same job. Sad but true. Every time we go out I feel sure she has saved me from a serious accident. This does mean that I find myself being a great deal nicer to the dog, as I am very grateful. She has a whale of a time running beside us for mile upon mile, still finding time and energy to chase all neighbouring cats and dogs, roll in everything unsavoury laying by the side of the road, and crapping in new and interesting gardens. Then she gallops along to catch us up, and find the next piece of wickedness to indulge in. For an old lady (she's about 13) she maintains the pace very well. Day off tomorrow - marvellous. Nap imminent!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

weather & hair

Its a BEAUTIFUL day, following a glorious day yesterday - marvellous. Here's the salt mines when its not raining, still not pretty, but blue sky - how novel. And this is youngest in desperate need of a hair cut, which he has just agreed to submit to. He had let me put the bobble in his hair to see what it looked like, and to show him how horribly long it has got. One more week before the scissors. Broken bone improving, eldest digestive problems also improving, horse out for 6 mile hike last night - alls well with the world.

Monday, 6 October 2008

weekend of the bucket

Eldest boy, not to be outdone in the sympathy stakes, suffered sudden onset, in the middle of the night, of violent (very violent) sickness and dia(however you spell it). Poor bugger was up all night on Saturday night vomiting either into the toilet or the bucket by his bed, and by Sunday was absolutely exhausted, and also dehydrated. Spent Sunday lying on sofa, sipping water, and happily, this morning, not well enough for school, but certainly improving. Hugh just recovering from same thing, but not so severe. I beginning to feel like last man standing, and really looking forward to short touring holiday (WAles & Ireland) in few weeks time. And its been raining, again. Day off tomorrow, and I think some retail therapy is required to assist in my own recovery from the strains of nursing! The broken finger is bruising up nicely, and proving to be a real badge of honour...

Saturday, 4 October 2008

skipper's circus tricks

When I bought the yella horse I was aware that he had begun training to be a show/circus type horse for a Western riding display, for county shows etc. Mostly he doesn't need to use these tricks, and I hope one day he will forget them...but I now doubt that's going to happen! We have seen evidence of his nodding, stealing things from your pocket, stealing hair bobbles, stealing paper from your hand (all taught) but until this morning I had not seen his most scary trick. His trainer told us he would rear, to order. I particularly desired neither to see this demonstrated, nor to learn the cue for it. Its a very dangerous habit in a horse, and never to be encouraged. Circus horses do it I know, but not my Skipper. For almost a year now I have seen no signs of it, BUT this morning I turned him out, as usual, and I did something I don't normally do - I'm not telling what it was, but his tiny brain clicked into gear, and he gave it a moment of consideration, and he then politely and in an organised manner stood up on his hind legs!!! I nearly laid an egg. He dropped back to all four feet, looked at me to see if that had been the required performance, and then wandered off to eat his grassy breakfast. My heart was beating like a drum, I can tell you, because a horse of 16 hh striking you with a rearing forefoot (and this does happen) can kill you. I know exactly what action was the cue, but still can't believe it happened. I now can't decide whether to check this really happened by trying again, or never doing what I did again in his presence. Just goes to show that horses have a long and accurate memory for their training, and when a horse has come to you from someone else you never know what they might have learned. Scary.

Friday, 3 October 2008

the hand!

Left hand ring finger - he's so proud! And it hurts...

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

some holiday so far!

Briefly, my 4 days R&R turning into a bit of a marathon. Spent one day out with father (always tricky) - spent two days running up and down to local market town sorting out replacement fire grate, spark guard, - this afternoon finally settled down for much needed napping and so forth in front of freshly lit fire on new grate, candles, mood lighting the lot. Boy returns from school 30 minutes later and says: "I think my finger has been broken at rugby today". Into car. Off to hospital. Finger indeed broken. Xrays forwarded to bigger hospital for later in week, another appointment to see expert, might need pinning.Weather horrible, horse unridden, and, I regret to say, much chocolate consumed...oh dear. Tomorrow am chillin' come what may...because its back down the mines on Friday. That went quickly. (Photo of mood lighting/candles before broken finger episode, Artwork eldest boy GCSE piece I really like, and the bracelet arrived in post (internet purchase) to cheer the week. I love it. ) Sinusitis worn off, visit to quack required for more drugs. Kitten begged and delivered to friend, dentist visited (highway robbery legalised), shopping, washing, ironing and cleaning underway. Need to get back to work for resting to take place.