Total Pageviews

Sunday, 30 November 2008

traffic control dog outfit

The traffic control dog kindly accompanied the yellow horse for 4 miles this morning, weather conditions were appalling, a freezing steady rain and terribly muddy roads. Nevertheless traffic control dog stayed cheerful, did a great job with the speeding cars (and tractors/transit vans) and kept up for the entire outing. Her high viz coat with its two repairs is absolutely covered in road splash, and the only consolation is that had she not been wearing the coat, the splash would be all over her belly, and now all over the kitchen floor. Horse was a bit miserable, he hates the wind, and driving rain, but trotted around the route in a well behaved and admirable manner. We stopped to say hello to some friends and the horse reversed nicely out of their drive, just could do with a reversing warning alarm. Working on that. Smallest boy had cancelled hockey yesterday due to weather, but played rugby game away today, and lost 17 - 30. IN the wind and the rain and freezing mud that's pretty disappointing. He is now listening to Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry whilst in the bath, and its so loud we are all enjoying the story.

Friday, 28 November 2008

farrier photo

THought you might like to see Skipper having his nails done by the new farrier, and held by Hugh which was jolly obliging of him as its freezing cold today, and this farrier takes about 1 hour 40 minutes from start to finish which is a L O N G time. I took the horse trailer in for a quick service today to the suppliers, about 30 miles away. It was thick fog and freezing on the roads so was one of the most unpleasant journeys I have made for a long time. After my stolen day off from work yesterday I feel like I'm having a bit of a holiday, still two days of the weekend to go! Getting a hair cut tomorrow and visiting the dreaded supermarket before we all starve to death. Things so bad on the food stocks front that we are all going to KFC for our tea tonight before seeing Frankie Boyle at the Theatre. What poor parenting!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

thursford christmas spectacular, Norfolk

Here are a few of the 25 or 30 coaches I could see when I left the above show tonight. I thought I was going, with a neighbour on SATURDAY to see this Christmas Spectacular in deepest Norfolk, in an agricultural shed. However, it turned out to be today, so at very short notice we made our way to Norfolk. She is a regular visitor to this extraordinary and unexpected Christmas gem. I couldn't believe the size, number of performers, professionalism, number of cars and coaches, and efficiency of the whole operation. Absolutely amazing. Would highly recommend to anyone prepared to make the journey, though you have to book early, as all shows 8th November to 23rd December, twice a day, are always sold out! Taking horse-box for a service tomorrow morning, rushing home for the farrier, and another show tomorrow night. Worn out with all this gadding about!Don't believe have any committments for Saturday, so may be able to catch up with all stuff which needs doing at home...

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Skipper & Mary

Here is Skipper wearing his best winter coat, and a bit of mud, talking to his favorite girlfriend Mary. He spends hours and hours just looking at her. Except sometimes, if she has been cool with him, he pretends she isn't waiting for a chat and completely ignores her, grazing on the other side of the field with his back to her. He loves her, in a platonic, gelding kind of way.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Lakeside misery

Every year I go on a christmas shopping coach trip with Primary School. This year's destination was Lakeside in Essex. What a miserable, grim, soulless experience it turned out to be. I don't need to go shopping there again. How those staff all survive with never a breath of fresh air or glimpse of sunlight puzzles me very much. Boys out at Pigeon Detectives concert in Grimsby tonight, all very exciting. Horse well, though a bit chilly in this exceedingly cold snap. The snow was just wonderful last weekend and meant roaring fires and very warm coats. Still painting at the salt mines, it seems never ending, though I think we are making progress. I am certainly thoroughly covered anyway...Going to the theatre again this weekend, this time to see Frankie Boyle, whole family plus one extra, so hoping he's as funny as Dara Obriain. Will let you know. Getting photos together for next post - keep watching

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

two horses shot...

Very serious and sad news. 8 mares have been here on grass livery for 3 weeks now. Its their third winter on the same 20 acres, and they come in the Autumn, grow more pregnant, and go home in Spring to foal. Yesterday Hugh noticed that one was sitting up (like a dog) This is a sure sign of digestive problems in a horse and the owner was contacted immediately. He drove over (about 10 minutes) and called out the vet. By the time the vet got here the mare's anus (sorry about that) was poking out like it was a bit prolapsed. The vet gave a thorough inspection including hand into both body cavities and diagnosed chlostridium difficile and shot the mare. All others very carefully inspected (including my Skipper who lives through the hedge from these girls) and pronounced okay. Never seen it before in a horse, but often in sheep apparently. Vet set off home, only to be called back almost immediately by owner who now noticed that another mare, who was fine 20 minutes earlier, looked uncomfortable, and her anus was poking out slightly. Vet returned - and, to cut a long story short, shot her too. Insides rotting away in front of our eyes - unbelievably quick. Telephoned my own vet to ask about Skipper. All mares and skipper injected with 2 giant jabs, thought not to do any good at all, but worth a try (penstrep and Flunixin). Horse specialists in Liverpool and Newmarket contacted by attending vet for advice and guidance, apparently also astonished that this should be seen in two perfectly previously healthy horses. You can imagine how terrible we all feel. Just dreadful. Apparently this bug is environmental (soil, mould, grass) not airborne. But NO-ONE knows what can possibly have caused such a catastrophe. Other mares (and Skipper) seem fine today, but being watched closely. Because its too late to isolate haven't split them all up, but will keep Skipper away from other people's horses until feel more confident. Vets assure that this was/is a 1 in a million misfortune. The mare owner is absolutely devastated. He lost a foal with peritonitis three weeks ago.

On a lighter note, youngest gone to try playing hockey for Boston Men's tonight for the first time (there's no hope for his teeth as he plays rugby too) and eldest moving turkeys around for serious Christmas fattening. Vegetarians look away now - we shall be eating one of his turkeys and several of his young cockerels over the festive season - excellent.

Christmas presents all wrapped and sitting upstairs waiting for their special moment to shine before the paper ripped off, and I'm going to enjoy a days shopping near London on Saturday with nothing to buy for anyone else except ME!!!!! I need a new ball-gown/cocktail frock for the christmas season so I can coffee & cake & try on dresses to my hearts content.

After arguing with local land rover dealer have now put works land rover on ebay to see what happens. Will keep you posted. I would have to practically give it away to do worse that the land rover dealer's offer. Name and shame? Duckworths.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Dara O'Briain - hilarious

JUst got in after 2 hours of irish humour in little local theatre. As Dara O'Briain predicted, will always be remembered because half way through the second half he split his trousers and flashed us all with his underpants until a kindly audience member advised him that his backside was hanging out! He was utterly fab. If you get the chance to see him would highly recommend. I laughed so much I ached.

just a brief note

Went to Art nightclass last night after a break of 3 weeks, and it was lovely, very refreshing, though the piece I have begun may well be a failure. My lovely little horse has been a star since returning home. I don't think he liked being away. He has managed to be an absolutely perfect dobbin every time he has been ridden - I cannot give him higher praise. Not everyone's cup of tea, but certainly mine. Been busy at the salt mines, painting, paying bills, maybe trading in landrover for new one if there is a good deal to be had. Going to see Dara O'Briain tonight at local theatre, hoping to spend at least two hours laughing my head off - best medication money can buy. And guess what? All my Christmas shopping done...doesn't that just make you want to be sick?

Friday, 7 November 2008

a few more photos

If you click on the photos they miraculously get much bigger and clearer. From the top: flooded welsh lowlands, bouncing pebbles down a welsh river in the rain, welsh hills, old woman running up woodland steps (note extremely grey tied back hair...), big boy gainfully employed in pub, baby boy also, yet another irish castle especially for Janet. Honestly the photos really are rubbish, these are slightly better than the rest. Fetched the yella horse home this afternoon. He has had a good time, with the company of other horses, though hasn't been ridden since Monday, and has apparently looked after a 12 year old rider during his first week. This was a surprise to us, as we didn't know that's something he would be doing during half term week. A novel experience for him anyway. He's all tucked up in bed now, and there are 12 mares to keep him company when he gets out into the field tomorrow. The mares are here for winter keeping again, so he will be able to chat them up through the next few months. Luckily his two critical bits were nipped off when he was a youngster (an operation called gelding) so he doesn't need to strut and shout as a stallion would in the presence of all those females. The weather forecast is absolutely horrible with wind and rain for the next 5 days at least, so I don't know when I will be able to ride him, but its good to have him home. We were asked if we would like to loan him out to the 12 year old girl who rode him in our absence...I don't think so! When we go away next Spring the big boy is staying home alone, and he will be able to see to the horse, which will be better for us. The little boy is going skiing with school, and the old people are going to Bath and Stonehenge WITH NO CHILDREN AT ALL. Scary thought. Can count the nights away with no kids during the last 18 years on two hands with fingers left over. But, with University looming for the big boy, and last year at school for the baby boy, we old people will be home alone before we know it. Now salt mines have closed to the public we are able to have a few weekends off, and I am really looking forward to it. On good weeks that means Friday, Saturday and Sunday with no toiling at the salt face, EVERY WEEK! Until March. Yippeeeeee

Monday, 3 November 2008

Some Irish photos (and a Welsh beach paradise!)

Rubbish photos, weather frequently overcast, so light poor. However, the squirly patterns were all over the Newgrange Neolithic tombs, if I had known they would turn out so clearly I would have taken hundreds. They, and the tombs were fascinating. Newgrange is the funny looking white edifice. Sadly reconstructed (probably wrongly) on the outside, but the inner passage tomb is a joy, and made me feel 'all funny'. Look it up on google, a burial site (with its neighbouring tombs) of international importance, and pre-dating the pyramids by eons. No-one, not even the academics, know what the builders were thinking, how it was planned, how materials assembled from miles around, how it was used, it will remain a mystery and I find that really exciting.
The boys and I are sunbathing in the beach photo at Tenby, Wales, so sorry to be flashing so much flesh!!! Not. Gorgeous place, and I would like to go back there.
All in all, much history absorbed, wiser, poorer, and 1000 miles at 51 miles per gallon added to car. Big boy did quite a lot of the driving, and his parents tried not to nag too much (its very difficult) and hope he learned at least a little bit about safer driving techniques. Disaster struck in our absence: electricity main trip failed, and freezer defrosted...Aga failed to light properly and gassed us all for the day yesterday (engineer required). Little horse still on his holidays, coming home at the weekend, hope he's had a good time and made lots of new friends.
Horrible dog seems to have missed us, goldfish had gone all sedentary owing to severe drop in water temperature due to lack of heating in house. Water now warming up and their appetite returning. Bit of a chicken cull on our return I'm afraid, big boy searching out all non-layers - oh dear. Little boy grew at least another inch while we were away, he spent about 12 hours in every 24 asleep, and the other 12 eating...
Both boys a bit home-sick and delighted to be back, difficult age to be stuck with old people, they did really well, and might even look back on trip with kindness by this time next year. Sadly, no weight lost on trip, so came home carrying more than memories...